This Journey really is one of steps. I look back and I see that so clearly. Each step was made up of an act of obedience. Some steps were smaller than others, but just as necessary as the other ones. Some steps were harder than others and some grew my faith more than others. Some of the steps resulted in tears; some were tears of joy and others, tears of loss. Yet all of the steps required a heart of complete trust in my God and a fall to my knees in complete surrender. All of them led me straight into the arms of my Savior. And I am so thankful. I know that God is not a feeling, but when you do feel Him and His love for you even amidst the times of confusion... you realize your true worth. I am wrapped in the arms of the One who holds the world. He surely knows how to care for His own. And I am one of His own. Oh, how unworthy I am! Yet how grateful and how humbled to know that I am loved by the King...
Step by step by sometimes painstakingly slow step... Each step is for a purpose, each one perhaps for a reason that we do not understand. I understand that now. Looking back over the course of these years, I can see it. I can understand why the Lord led me in the ways that He did. I may not understand completely all of the reasons for everything, but I can see His faithfulness to me then and I rest in knowing that He is faithful always, that He will be faithful to me now.
And this, this is what I live for. This is WHO I live for. Sometimes I am just so blown away by this thought. I do not know exactly where in this life the Lord is leading me on this Journey... But I do know with a confident reassurance that the last step will leave me on the streets of gold, enjoying the presence of my Savior and my God all day, every day, for all of eternity. One step here on earth might be painful. It might be almost unbearingly hard. It may even seem impossible; it may BE impossible without God's supernatural strength and intervention. It may lead me to places that I never would have dreamed or imagined... And yet I know that at the end of it all, I will be able to fall at the feet of my God, and I will want to know that I lived this life doing all that I could for Him and for His Glory.
God has taken me to amazing, indescribable places in this Journey with Him. He has allowed me to meet the most precious, incredible people that anyone could ever have the pleasure of meeting. He has broken my heart in humility and humbleness through many circumstances... knowing that in order for Him to fulfill in my life what He knows is best, I must have a completely surrendered heart. Looking back and knowing all of this allows me to look forward to the future with a confidence that only comes from Christ.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
May I never, ever, ever forget this truth. There are no winding roads with the Lord. There may be stop signs; there may be flashing yellow lights and "yield" signs; there may be intersections of temptation where I must decide to stay on the straight and narrow, without turning to the right or to the left. Yet I know that the path is straight for the one who trusts in the Lord and not in her own understanding, the one who acknowledges Him... I look back and I see this now. I may not understand every step, but I understand that they are all for a reason and that I can trust Him.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
Yes, yes! I understand this now. I may not understand all of Him and all of His ways, but if I could He would not be a God worth following... He is too awesome and magnificent and incredible for mere human thought. I may not understand why certain things happen in my life and in the lives of ones that I love, but I understand that God loves me and that He is working together a far greater plan than anything I could come up with on my own.
And for this, I am forever grateful. To Him be the glory forever and ever and ever and ever...