“As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because you are with me.” – Psalms 23
I have gone through periods of lots of walking. When I first accepted that a divorce was imminent in my life, I got on a treadmill every night and walked for an hour several nights a week. When I realized a job I had accepted was going nowhere and I was cut off from everything and everyone I loved for days at a time, I got on a treadmill and walked for close to an hour during the week.
Looking back, I started walking just to have something to do and an outlet for my hurt and rage. It has also come to symbolize the emotional and spiritual journey of the hard days of my life. I feel, at times, like I am walking through a desert. Dry and thirsty. Just me and the coarse sand scraping against me, step by step, irritating my skin. Irritating my mind and my soul.
The good thing about walking is that it leads somewhere. It has led me in circles and it has led me to paths leaving the desert. It has led me to people who challenge me and it has led me to people who love me and want the best for me. It has led me through the valley of the shadow of death, as I know it at this stage of my life, and I believe it is leading me to bright, shining moments.
My friends who know me well know there are times I felt I was on the edge of a cliff and starting to fall off. I am sure I was blowing the situation out of proportion at times but when the pain is constant and you just want it to stop, sometimes proportion is in the eyes of the one in pain. Regardless, there were times I was ready to jump but one thing held me back.
I do not have a perfect faith but I do have faith. There have been many times I thought my faith would run out and woke up the next morning to find it still there but thin. Other times it has been full and running over. Part of faith for me is walking in it. I may not know where I am going but I keep going, in faith, trusting that God’s ways are better than my ways and leaning on Him instead of leaning on my own understanding.
There have been times my life has been like walking on a treadmill. I walk for an hour but still find myself in the same place I started. Then there are the other times, the times that bring so much hope and excitement. All the walking through the desert, through the coarse and painful sand and it seems I am walking into a valley full of hope and joy and excitement for what is now and what is coming. I feel like I have walked in faith and now I get to look back on the lessons of the journey while enjoying the fruit of reaching a place of peace and rest.
Grace and peace.