The Path Forward
It was just two years ago that I heard God speak to me clearly…in the deep forests of the Dominican Republic. It was a lesson I still carry with me today and share with those who find themselves ‘stuck’ in life.
It was on a birthday trip, celebrating a good friend of mine, that I found myself face to face with my deepest fear….and that is a fear of heights. We had all decided to go zip lining (or should I say that they decided and I reluctantly went along lolol). For the entire bus ride to this space, I found my stomach already filling with butterflies, my palms sweaty and my chest tightening at the very thought. What was I thinking? How could I do this? Why didn’t I say something?
Just thinking about it, I found my legs turning to jelly, as they usually do when I’m faced with high places.
Just before we exited the bus and met our mountain guides, the Holy Spirit reminded me of the scripture found in 2 Timothy 1:7:”For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”. After saying a few times in the first person, I found myself starting to release the anxiety and my breath returning to normal. I can do this, I thought confidently. As we climbed stair after stair & bridge after bridge, it became very apparent to me…this was NOT a good idea.
I kept a brave face as we ascended higher and higher, with each path becoming more narrow and rural. Paved trails gave way to dirt paths, carved out by the fearless titans before. I can only assume that I was beginning to either annoy or panic the climbing team of 10 people because I literally repeated the verse out loud with every step, lol. It was working. I focus on my shaky legs and breathing, trying to steady both as I declared the scripture out loud. I was actually beginning to convince myself until I made the biggest mistake of all…I looked down.
At that point, the reality that I had climbed two adjoining mountains and was now on my third hit me with the force of a submarine. I froze. I started to hyperventilate and called for my guide. It was then that God spoke such wisdom through this man, my life is forever changed. He placed both hands on my arms and breathed with me until I found my rhythm and said: “When you’re able to, I want you to look over your shoulder…I’ll be right here with you. Now, instead of saying that you can’t go any further, look at how far you’ve come! Look at how much you have accomplished already. The trail that you’ve travelled is only designed for upward movement. The path was built with an upward slant to make progression easy but retreat dangerous. You cannot go back the same way come. You can only go forward, that is your goal.”
As you read this today, let me be your guide as you progress forward in life. God is calling you to surrender your fears and to trust Him as he continues to take you to newer levels. Whenever you feel stuck or overwhelmed, remember how far He has brought you from and how much He has done through you. Remember that you are not alone as Joshua 1;9 tells us:”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
My dear friend…You cannot go back the same way you came…this life is only built to go forward. So take a deep breath, find your rhythm, surrender your fears to God and march onward. He is with you, which means…YOU CAN DO THIS! 🙂