Walking outside is a source of joy for me. I enjoy spying on nature in our suburban neighborhood. But these pine cones……
Several days I walked by the same tree, and my eyes were drawn to these two pine cones. Each time I looked at them, I wondered why…..why is one sickly, almost dead…why is one vibrant and alive…..and why are they next to each other? Who made the decision to save the pretty brown one?
One day, as I stopped to take a photo, sadness slowed my movements to a halt. Survivor’s guilt crept around to find residence in my freed soul. The why’s were loud. Why one and not the other?
Why did God save me and not someone else that has been trapped by depression and loneliness? Is it fair that I am saved…..and someone else is not?
The truth is I know there are people in my family who have gone before me, who most likely were not saved. When I go to the grocery store, my heart aches if I see a person trapped by pain, unable to speak kindly to others. I know that story….staying distant from others is better, safer, when you don’t know how to love.
For over a year, I contemplated how to begin my blog, what style of writing, and the audience. Mentors in the field of writing and speaking suggest narrowing down who you talk to in your blog. The pesky platform…….. I could not do that.
In the middle of a ministry training last May, I realized my hang-up. God helped me to put words to the claim He has laid on my heart. If I chose a specific audience for the blog, I was afraid I would leave somebody out. Anticipating the horror of passing over a scarred, lonely soul, I just could not choose. This blog is for absolutely any adult who wants to read it.
In the very beginning of my walk, somehow, I took steps to church, toward Our Father in Heaven, reveled in meeting Jesus.
As the momentum of faith gathered, the element of choice was laid in front of me like a map. Only the map was merely a daunting fork. One road was barren and blank. In the distance was the dark, hellish destination. The other road was bright, and Jesus stood at the entrance with a sweet love in His face and a tender hand reached out for me, just for me. The end of this road was not pictured on this map, but I was overwhelmed with a draw to Him who would not ever leave me, who would shine His light on any shadows of my past. The reassuring promise was clear:
So do not fear, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV Isaiah 41:10)
While writing this piece, I needed to rectify lies about guilt of those missed. Be gone, Satan, out of my blessed life.
For I choose Jesus, I choose His way, His Truth, and His life. I choose to abide in Him, making the closeness with Him such that I do not have to think about it.
As for the others who aren’t saved, I am led by Our Wonderful Shepherd to help connect the lost sheep to Him. I obey and offer myself as His vessel. It may be the words I write, or the talks I prepare, or the look of peace and kindness on my face…He will choose how He works.
While walking this narrow path of life, I can choose to pray for God to use His mighty hand to intervene in the troubled souls…. those caught by addiction, those abused wondering their worth, those stuck in grief feeling a loneliness they have never felt before, and whomever else is laid upon my heart. So many lost sheep, but He promises to gather.
I choose to rest in that.