Sunday, April 17, 2011

keep walking...

This has been an emotional weekend to say the least. One which brought joyous highs and bittersweet lows. Saturday our church family participated in a Prayer Walk downtown Detroit. Approximately 20,000 believers joined together to pray for the city. The experience was nothing short of amazing and I feel so blessed that our family was able to be a part of such an incredible movement of God.
Later that afternoon we had a "going away" dinner and party for the Ayotte's (our "kin" as I like to say. Darcy's mother is cousins with Dana's father, so we are family somewhere down the line, and best friends at heart). The Ayotte's are moving to Arizona, probably pulling out of their driveway as I type these very words. I still cannot believe they are gone. Dana has been the closest thing to a sister that I have had since living here. We both moved here around the same time and were each other's only friend. Both of us were new moms and had boys (Jackson and Brayden). We've seen eachother through pregnancies, births, miscarriages, deaths of grandparents, moves, new homes, and career changes. Our families share every birthday and holiday together, summer vacations, regular playdates, and adult game nights. Their move to Arizona is an enormous loss to our family...one that I'm deeply struggling with. I already feel lonely. One thing is certain, there will be some very lucky people in Arizona who will be blessed to become friends with this very special family.
Dana, with three kids of her own, is one of those friends who I could call at the drop of a hat and she would be there for me...watching all of my kids and loving them as her own. Never making me feel that she's inconvenienced or too busy for me. Over the years she has taught me a lot about friendship and what it means to be a better friend.
I'm having trouble believing that tomorrow I can't just pop on over to her house, open up her fridge as if it's my own, and talk a mile a minute to her about what's going on in my life.
This morning, before church, I had to run over to her house. I walked up those front porch steps as I so often do, and she met me there with a smile for the last time. Both of us unshowered, free of makeup, with bedhead hair, hugged, held onto each other...and cried. The tears followed me home the entire car ride home and spilled into my shower...they stained my cheeks all morning and caused me to worry how I would ever be able to apply makeup before church that day. I've lost homes and things, but those things in life just don't really matter...people do. This has been one of the toughest goodbyes I have ever had to say.
In the shower I kept thinking of all of the ways I fell short...I could have been a better friend and a better witness. I was feeling regret and wishing I just had more time. This feeling lingered with me into church and during communion, as I was reflecting on the cross, and Jesus' broken body and poured out blood and my unworthiness of it, God gave me a picture.
I saw a toddler standing with his parent a few steps in front of him, arms spread wide, coaxing that child to take a few steps on his own and to keep walking.
Sometimes I feel like I am just toddling through this faith journey...falling short and falling down. And God is on the other side, right in front of me, with arms wide open, encouraging me to keep walking.
To keep walking...
whether it's into the unknown, or through a long season of drought, or while wandering in the wilderness, or pushing through a raging storm,
He is saying, "keep walking."
That walk may lead you clear across the country, to the unknown...
or into the arms of someone sitting in the very same room as you, into the very familiar.
It may lead you into another day,
in a circumstance that doesn't seem to change...
to moments that cry mundane and disappoint,
or into a place you feel your heart can't possibly bear.
Either way, He's urging us to keep walking.
This life will bring joys and blessing,
pain and sorrow.
Whether you find yourself walking the streets in a sea of tens of thousands of other believers,
joyfully praising and petitioning our God.
Or by yourself in the quiet of the day
with a laden heart that's riddled with doubt and fear,
One thing stays the same...
keep walking.
Keep walking into the arms of our Father.
He's right in front of you, waiting to take you by hand,
"For I am the LORD, your God,
who takes hold of your right hand,
and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'"
~Isaiah 41:13
He's urging you to take a step, willing to pick you up when needed,
and leading you every step of the way.

"Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways."
~Psalm 128:1

Keep walking.

2 comments:

  1. That is the sweetest thing! I will be praying for you sweet friend. You have such a humble heart and I feel blessed to have you in my life. You are a sweet reminder of what friendship is all about.

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  2. I am so sorry that you are enduring this loss. Yet another reminder that this is not our Home. For, when we ARE Home, there will be no more loss, leaving or tears. Only love and joy.

    And, I cannot believe that you were anything less than a wonderful witness, because the love of Jesus OOZES from you. And, that, sweet friend, is the best witness of all. HIS love, through our broken and feeble lives, is what this world needs to see to find Him. Words can speak volumes, but LOVE ... love has no bounds.

    (((hugs)))

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