I want to welcome as many of your stories as I can so on this Saturday, and if it works out, all the Saturdays to come, I’m hosting a link-up post sharing extravaganza.
Category Archives: Journey
EPFH’S FIRST GIVEAWAY!!! Enter to win Through Waters Deep by Erin Shafer
TODAY IS THE DAY!! I’ve been waiting for this day! I’ve had these 5 little books, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR, in my hot little hands for weeks now just waiting to give them to 5 of you lovely readers. Yes, 5! Not just 1 of you, but 5 of you!
We’re all just walking each other home.
There are times in our lives when it is so very clear that we are not meant to walk alone. Like pretty much all the time. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard on how to find our mate or find a friend or two is to walk your walk, live out your faith and while you’re doing that, look to each side and see who is walking with you.
I recently found myself looking to my sides and being so overwhelmed with God’s gracious provision. There was a particular day I was not meant to walk alone. A day when my kids were hurting, I was hurting and life was just heavy. And I couldn’t fix it. There really was nothing to fix. I just needed to know I wasn’t walking alone. This truth, “We’re all just walking each other home.” was more than evident in my life on that day.
It did, however, take a solo step from me first. I had to express the need. I had to share my hurt. I had to ask for prayer. I had to look to my side and see who was there and take the risk. Oh, vulnerability is such a risk. That is not an easy thing for me. I know how to do alone. I’m pro at that. I’m not so great at doing community. Walking with people means they know your stuff. It means you have to trust them. It means they see you. Maybe some of you or maybe all of you. It means they might hurt you. But it also means you’re not alone. We were made to live in community and when we don’t, our souls ache for more. God knew Adam didn’t need to be alone so he made Eve. Even God Himself didn’t want to be alone so he made us! He wanted to share His goodness with us. We all desire to be loved. Even God. We all want to walk with someone. Even God. I mean, who wants to go to the party alone?
Isn’t it always better to show up at the party with someone else?
So we have a choice. To walk alone or walk together. Two sets of footprints or one. I hope we’ll choose the together option. To those who were by my side when I needed you, to those whose footprints were beside mine, to those who have chosen to walk me a few steps closer to “home”, may God bless you as you have blessed me. I am so thankful for you!
THIS is what the whole purpose of this blog is about! Walking each other home.
“SO LET’S DO IT! —full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in ENCOURAGING LOVE AND HELPING OUT, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but SPURRING EACH OTHER ON, especially as we see the big Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:22-25 (The Message)
GUEST POST: If You Still Have Breath, by Christi Gee
I’m so excited to share this space with a long time friend, Christi Gee from The Cheerio Trail. Our husbands were college roommates about 200 years ago. Of course, Christi and I were only like 2 at the time. 🙂 We got married within months of each other and then parted ways due to work. A few years later, providence would have us living near each other. We shared dinners and fun times together and watched our families grow. Our lives took different geographical turns, but thanks to social media, we were brought back together a couple of years ago. I couldn’t be happier about that! We share similar passions for our God, for His Church, for our families and for writing. I asked her recently if she would be interested in guest posting over here and she graciously accepted. I say graciously because her writing skills are nothing short of gifted and her blog site is a well-developed slice of southern hospitality. When I visit her blog, I feel like she welcomes me into her beautiful home, directs me to sit on her big comfy couch and offers me a good cup of coffee in her best cup. And then she secretly hopes I can stay for a good long while. Read on as Christi shares a piece of her heart. I’m confident that yours will be filled.
If you still have breath, He still has a purpose for you to fulfill.
On a warm May night, 1300 miles from home, I heard a speaker recount his call to establish a church building ministry in India.
The scope was huge and he recalled praying, “God, this is too big. I can’t do this.”
He said he heard a still small voice reply, “Good, I can.”
I fumbled for something to write on.
I still have my little pieces of paper with my scribbled notes:
- “If you tell people your vision and they don’t laugh, your vision isn’t big enough.”
- “All of life is about scaling cliffs, but moving with God means you’ll never climb alone.”
- “Accomplish at least one thing each day that will outlive you and last into eternity.”
From his mouth to my heart via the Holy Spirit.
I sat there thinking, “My vision isn’t big enough.”
And then I told God, “Whatever you want from me, I will do it. I just want to know where you want me. PLEASE speak!”
This was May 13, 2011.
- Big Vision
Fast-forward a couple of months and we had moved 1300 miles to live in the city where I heard those words.
Many back home thought we had lost our ever-lovin’ minds.
But we knew we were supposed to go.
We had a “Go and I’ll show the rest when you get there” kind of call. (I quoted Genesis 12:1 often.)
It was an exhilarating time — one of those rare moments in life when you see evidence of God directing your steps.
Every detail lined up and everywhere we turned we saw His answer to prayer.
- Scaling Cliffs
It turned out that although following the call was exciting, fulfilling the call was exhausting.
Leaving the flatlands of Texas for the foothills in Virginia, we began to understand the climbing analogy on a whole new level.
Life seemed to always be uphill.
The next few years were a test of endurance and we sometimes wondered if we had indeed heard God correctly.
Just when I thought I had finished climbing hills and scaling cliffs, I fell back to the bottom of the mountain.
Or more specifically, I fell to the bottom of my stairs at home.
This was May 13, 2014.
Exactly three years from the night of my prayer, “Use me,” I lay in a whole new state of seemingly “unusable.”
Broken bones. Emergency surgery. Setbacks and a long recovery.
As I watched opportunities slip out of my hands, my heart followed my flesh to the bottom of the mountain.
And there I stayed for a while, begging to understand, questioning God’s timing, and feeling forgotten, broken, and useless.
I learned much in that valley at the bottom of the cliff.
But this post isn’t about those lessons. (I’ve written extensively about that on my own blog and invite you there to read more.)
No, I share here for a much different reason.
- Greater Purpose
I share here to say: In God’s economy nothing is wasted.
I share here to say: If you are wondering if He can and will still use you, the answer is YES.
I share here to say: It may just be your pain and your struggle that gives birth to your most effective ministry yet.
That is what happened for me.
As I began to limp out of the darkness and write about the struggle, I noticed some fellow travelers were limping behind and beside me.
As I rubbed my scars and recounted the Healer’s touch, others came near to listen, viewing those wounds as credentials and opening the door for me to speak truth.
And as I took the noose from around my neck that had threatened to strangle the joy out of my life, I realized that I held in my hand a lifeline I could extend to others who were drowning from the breakers washing over them.
My eyes were opened and I saw that I had never walked alone.
The best part of all: God gave me an opportunity to join Him in doing something that will outlive me and last into eternity.
I have a new vision and it even makes ME laugh.
The same is true for you!
Have you just left one season of life and are struggling to find your purpose in another?
Do you have past failures or recent falls that have seemingly had the final say?
Are you waiting in winter with no sign of spring?
Take heart, dear friend.
God can and will redeem it all.
Beauty from ashes. New mercies. Renewed vision.
That setback is just a set-up for Him to reveal Himself in a deeper way than you ever knew before.
It is not over. He is not done.
If you still have breath, He still has a purpose for you to fulfill.
The waiting is not easy, but it will be worth it.
And if along this journey you find yourself crying, “God, this is too much. I can’t do it myself,” listen for that still small voice to whisper back: “Good. I can.”
Embracing the journey,
Christi Gee married her high school sweetheart 26 years ago. They have three children of their own and one by marriage – their son’s wife. After spending all their married life on the Texas Gulf Coast, they now live in Virginia.
Her professional background is in development and marketing. She served for many years as Director of Development and Marketing at a private K-12 school and as a director in the Marketing department for Liberty University.
However, she says that her favorite parts of life have had very little connection with what someone paid her to do. The four years spent homeschooling when her children were older were the most exhausting — yet rewarding — time of life. Two decades full of children’s ministry, teaching junior high Bible, and loving on other women of her churches rank a close second.
She can be found “embracing the journey” over at TheCheerioTrail.com where she celebrates the “in between” stages and seasons that help us all get from here to there … together.
Passion Week Experience – My Journey In Words
As we approach the weekend that Christians remember the death of Jesus and celebrate His resurrection, our church offers a self-guided journey through that stations of the cross. I went yesterday and took my time at each station and soaked in all I could. I didn’t want to miss a thing God had for me. It was very moving and meaningful.
My mind is cluttered these days, like eye balls spinning around in their sockets cluttered, so as I began this journey I just felt that writing down single words would help me reign in my thoughts and enable me to process in snippets. I didn’t think about the words, I just wrote them down as they came to me.
The stations along the journey were:
Pieces of Silver
Instruments of Suffering
Garden of Gethsemane
Oil and Spices
Here are my journey words that I wrote along the way through Christ’s journey as he made His way to the cross to die for me- and you.
Not My Will
“Following Jesus is not about better, faster, stronger, higher. It is about recognizing our helplessness, admitting our guilt, and receiving His sacrifice on our behalf. Everything depends on the crucifixion and resurrection. Everything. That means nothing is left to depend on us. Grace is something we receive, not something we earn.” Second Baptist Church Houston, second.org
My prayer in sharing my journey is that someone will find something in these words that helps them take a step closer to the cross. If you’re reading this and you have questions about, please ask. I’m no a theologian or scholar but I know what I’ve experienced. If I don’t know the answer to your questions I will do my best to find out. If I do know, I will answer with grace and non-judgmental love.