Faith, life
Comments 9

Ask for the way…and walk in it

This is what the LORD says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. — Jeremiah 6:16

This is the way…walk in it.

I set out in January 2010 to take care of myself physically, spiritually and emotionally and to wait on God’s care for me and for those I love. I shared that vision with the ladies in my writer’s group.

Honestly, I can’t remember exactly all that prompted this New Year season goal; an entire year has passed and the details are lost in the fog of time. I know we had just eked through one more, busy Christmas season and I rang in the New Year with two days of volunteering at my daughter’s ballet gala event. I spent hours away from my other kids, home from school and enjoying their Christmas toys, and hung strands of lights and glittering glass globes in the windows of the theater, plated hundreds of chocolates and created floral arrangements for table centerpieces.

I remember awaking New Years Day not with a hangover or ears ringing from music and blasting party horns, but dehydrated (I’d forgotten to drink much water, or eat anything but chocolates) and exhausted. I had done so much, fulfilled the commitment and expectations of me, but I was completely spent,

sapped,

done.

I felt as if I was shriveling.

In fact, I was.

I looked in the mirror New Years Day 2011 and I was shocked by the wrinkled rings around my eyes, sunk in gray circles, like dingy coins. Everyone in my family asked me, “What’s wrong with you…you look terrible!”

Indeed I did. I guzzled at least a gallon of water, went on to juice and back to water again. I only drank one measly cup of coffee to avoid sabotaging my hydration efforts, so I developed a caffeine withdrawal headache. While my husband and kids and their friends went sledding–the hills were perfect and the weather just right–I stayed behind and made lunch and promised hot cocoa on their return.

I confess that while they were gone, I drank two glasses of water and lay on the couch, doing nothing.

That must have been when the brilliant bulb lit up over my head: take better care of myself; pause before agreeing to another commitment; exercise and breathe and eat with intention.

And I did. The first six months of the year I monitored my food intake, kept a diet diary, even broke down and set financial goals and budgeted with my husband. I lost weight, gained strength and clipped coupons. I took the dog on walks, I read the New Testament three times and started this blog.

And I’m glad I did–because on August 14, our lives came to a screeching halt. I nearly died. My leg was broken in pieces like dry kindling and I was only able to lie on a bed and breathe.

Eventually, I could sit upright, eat meals prepared by others set before me, breathe without oxygen tubes, hop down the hall with my walker (and oh, the searing pain of each hop, I’ll never forget it). Then the glorious day I could take a shower and care for myself without dragging drainage tubes and a nurse along with me.  It was progress, though very slowly.

Yes, the investment in myself mattered because God had led me to see the shortages and shortcomings in me. I took care and listened to his leading and He filled me  up…and then turned my face to a new journey, a new adventure. The trajectory of my life changed before the next New Year, but God knew my future and what I needed to be prepared for. In his goodness He prompted me to walk into that path ahead of time.

Friend, you may be feeling a nudge or a whisper, or an all-out shout.

Is it finances? Relationships? Something secretly eating away at your joy?

Whatever God is calling you out of you can be sure of this:

He has better way and better days ahead (yes, even filled with difficulty, obeying and following Christ always makes us happier, more peaceful people) and, He will see you through and uphold you.

He will not call you down a path of abandonment, but promises his

spirit for companionship,

his strength for the journey,

his wisdom to teach you,

his grace to see you through,

and rest, sweet rest, just when you need it most.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” — Matthew 11:28-30

linking up here at a holy experience…

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9 Comments

  1. Teresa says

    Thank you Alyssa for this. For some reason this really ministered to me. Your use of scripture and ability to intertwine it into everyday life is refreshing and giving.

    • thank you, T. His word is for our daily life, not just pulpits and pews. Someday you’ll have to share your Thessalonian prayer here — that is intertwining scripture! I loved it!

  2. That last verse (now spattered with toothpaste) has been on our bathroom mirror for weeks and weeks. Was encouraged by your post; glad to have met you through Em.

    • 🙂 I have one of them, too, an over-splattered verse. mine is: the lord will provide all your need out of his glorious riches. We’ll meet again, I’m sure 🙂 thanks for sharing! bless you, Aly

  3. dear, dear alyssa… i feel like you wrote this just for me. i am going to copy down that first verse from jeremiah… thank you for reminding me to rest. to take care of myself. and to trust him. i’ve been struggling with all of that today. and do you know how i love you? i hope you do. always, e.

    • e, when don’t we struggle with resting in him? It is a daily struggle, but thankfully, he’s strong enough to keep us steady. Bless you!

  4. I’m glad you’re going to take better care of yourself. You will be able to serve Him and His purpose for you better. Would you consider sharing your journey with us at Painting Prose? We would love to glean from your adventures!

    • sure! I will! I’ve got you on my reader. It’s funny, but at my writer’s group we set down a word or a goal and that was mine last year… I had no idea what was in store for 20111 — I’m so thankful God did (and does!)

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