Tuesday, April 20, 2010

another year of life

In a couple of hours it will be April 21 . . . my birthday. My 27th birthday to be exact. Another year of life has passed. I was sitting on the couch writing in my journal just a bit ago and wondering where did this year go? It does not seem possible for another year to have passed. But, when I think about all that has happened since my last birthday I guess it makes sense that it has been a year.

As I reflected on what life since April 21, 2009 has looked like I found myself initially going back over the major events of the last year of my life . . . both of my sisters getting engaged, lots of change at church, friends getting pregnant, etc. The longer I reflected the more it moved towards the spiritual life. Spiritual life is undeniably connected to the events that happen in our lives. Oftentimes an event or a series of events will set in motion some lessons in our spiritual walk. They give direction to the journey of life with God that we will be on as long as we are walking on this earth.

Ultimately, whether we claim to be followers of Christ or not, we are on a spiritual journey. As a follower of Christ that journey moves us into deeper relationship with our heavenly Father. But, growing in that deeper relationship does not always come easy. The relationship grows through the good times, but it grows even more through the hard times - through those times when life does not make sense and all we can do is cling to the hope of what we have known in the past and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Not too long ago I was asked to describe what the journey I have been on with God lately has been like. It was an interesting question and the answer somewhat surprised me. My answer: It's like I'm walking through a dark, thick forest. There's a path that I'm trying to follow but it's overgrown and almost not noticeable in the brush. As I take each step, the next one is revealed. Not knowing what it coming twenty steps down the road, all I can do is take the next step as it revealed to me.
That answer was not maybe what I wanted it to be, but it reveals a journey that is about trusting God in the unknowns of life. I wanted to be able to say that it had been a great party and life was just exciting. But, in thinking about that answer I realized that life is probably more like what I was describing than like what I wished I could describe. Both times on our journey are good and are needed, but, if I am honest, I learn way more in the times when I have to trust and step in faith than when times are easy.

Where are you on your journey with God? How would you describe the journey you have been on with God lately? What word picture makes it clear? What are you learning in this time in your journey?


  1. It has been a tough year for me too. I feel like I am at the edge of that dark, thick forest; the part where it is more light than dark, and smaller thinner trees. It is perhaps the new spring with warm weather, but the stress of a new work position has also been easing, little by little. Just when you think you will be completely crushed, there is relief. The chapter is at an end, and there is a sense of 'well done'. The next chapter is beginning, the next level of the game, and there is a gift of courage and strength to do even a little better than before, because there is a little more at stake. But I am so glad for the warm weather and the intermission. :)

    ~ J