So, with my phone disconnected from the internet for a couple of days, and my heart more connected to God, I went on a nature walk during our solitude time. We were staying in a home in the woods, so I decided to walk around the property. Early that morning, I had already shot the lake behind the house, and a little exploring seemed like a good fit.
While beautiful, I knew it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I decided to go on a drive in search of a nature trail that was in the area. After spending 45 minutes lost and finally giving up, I found the main road and decided to head back to the house. On my turn around, I saw a beautiful waterfall at the bottom of the hill, along with a pull off that seemed designed for viewing it, so I parked. But once out, there was no clear spot to see the waterfall. I decided that even though I felt God tell me to avoid the way I was trying to go, I knew better (God and my parents must both get such a chuckle out of me) and went anyway. Below is the hill I took to try and get me a closer and better spot to the waterfall. For scale, those trees at the bottom are probably 8-10 foot tall.
At the bottom, as you might suspect, there was nothing. My way ended up with no real scenery and a lot of ugly surrounding me (much like life sometimes). I was in the thick of entangled vines and trees without growth that I couldn't see past. I know God must shake His head at me like I do at my own children sometimes. I decided to leave and returned to my car. As I pulled out of the lot, I drove about 20 feet and saw the sign for the trail I searched for for an hour, hiding off in the trees. Right there under my nose the whole time, but because I was so set on my own way, I almost missed it. So much of this journey mirrored my life that I had to smile at how God was speaking to me.
Of course that trail led to the stream that fed the waterfall. Not just led to it, but allowed me to get in it. And while I never had a clear shot of the waterfall, I could hear the rushing water feet away. I sat beside it and talked with God. I let go of the things that were stopping me from resting - right beside that waterfall. I let go of the idea that I would be able to have what I wanted - both in my life right now and with getting that shot I was working so hard at - and moved along the trail. I kept looking back, hopeful that I would be able to see a clear shot, but I never did, which was no surprise.
I walked that trail with my heart more open. As I walked, I began to hear the slow stream of water. In the midst of my own desires, I realized that I had missed what I knew God was trying to do - quite literally lead me beside still waters. It was a beautiful gift to be reminded that God is always with us, even in the thick of things.
Indeed, He restored my soul during that morning. I pray that we can remember as we go about life and end up in the thick of things, God is always with us and comforts us in our darkest valleys.
Until next time,