There was a great deal of reluctancy, tears, fear and grief at the start of the day. There were millions of poisonous spiders everywhere. (It is possible that there were not actually millions. It is also possible that not all of them were poisonous.) The strangest thing happened though - they seemed to just come say hello and then when I helped them back onto a stick or leaf or some other place that was not on my person they went back to their business. And I kept on walking.
For hours I walked uphill, down hill, over fallen trees, under the protection of the changing leaves. I had a map, but let's be honest, without the constant chirping of my phone telling me where to turn I was...lost. Lost but safe.
There were a lot of tears. Soooo many tears. There was also a fair amount of fear, but with each slip in the dirt and with each wildlife greeting the fear seemed less and less significant.
The constant chatter in my mind yelled "Spider! Spider! SPIDER!" or "So this is how I'm going to die. I wonder how long it will take for someone to find my dead body?" or "Now what have you gotten yourself into Katrina? Honestly, have you no common sense? You will die doing this."
But I didn't die.
No, I probably shouldn't have climbed on the things I climbed on, at least not alone. No, I probably shouldn't have worn earth tones in the woods during hunting season. But I didn't die. And when I realized that I started to relax just a little. I started trusting God just a little bit more. I started looking for the gifts He had put on my path. The chirping of the birds. The trees. The spiders that kept coming to welcome me into their home. The yoga under the heavens.
I sat for a long time in the bare earth looking up at everything He created. Fixing my gaze on Him. To be completely honest, I have lost sight of Him in my daily life. I have been walking by sight not by faith. But out in the woods I had to walk by faith not by sight. And He met me there. He was always there with me, but I had to slow down and be still to see Him, to feel Him. I had to give myself the space and the freedom to fully feel my emotions. To weep. To cleanse my heart. To fall. To get back up again. To renew my faith. To walk with Jesus. I even started to play in a treehouse of all places, and it gave me the tiniest glimpse of what it is like to truly be carefree like a child. It was just a glimpse, but it planted hope in my heart and I want more.
Have you walked with Jesus recently? I mean really walked with Him? By faith and not by sight? Try it, you'll be amazed at where your heart ends up. I promise. XOXOXOXO
If you're looking for some one-on-one time with our Lord out in the world He created I highly recommend The Hermitage in Berger, Missouri. It is 18.5 acres dedicated to facilitating your connection with Jesus, one person at a time. Photos are on Pinterest. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a reservation.
2 Corinthians 5:7
We walk by faith not by sight.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
"Nature is considered to be God's territory. It is where we feel an awareness of truth and a sense of closeness to that field of energy which created All That Is." ~ Susan Barbara Apollon
Thank you Abba. Thank you for meeting me in that special place in that special way. I'm sorry I took my eyes off of You, please forgive me. Please give me the courage and strength to keep my gazed fixed on You so that I may carry the weight of my cross, as Jesus did, uphill on the path toward redemption. Remind me I'm not alone in any of this. This is for my good and your glory. Feed my soul and cleanse my heart so that it may be pure and willing to love others as you have loved me. Thank you. I love You and I trust You. Amen.