It’s been awhile, once again, since I’ve been here, back to my little blog, my baby that I have let fly solo after monitoring it daily since it’s birth. Sometimes multiple times in a day. Loving the feedback; loving that you guys loved some of my stuff. And now, here we are, after those long months of getting established, pouring my heart and soul and silliness into it, we go our separate ways most days, turning into weeks. It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. We were supposed to be acknowledged by WordPress as blog of the month or week; Freshly Pressed it’s called.
But, really, our little venture has served its purpose: as a fulfillment for my desire to write (whether that’s good or bad writing) and as a catharsis for my troubled soul, helping me to overcome catastrophic events. Those events that change a person: our thoughts, actions, feelings, personalities, ability to relate to other people, affecting how we relate to other occurrences in our lives. It has helped shed some light, hopefully, on the anguish and devastation of mental illness as well as given honor to a good man who died way too young.
So to catch you up, all who have just today wondered by or to you good people who follow along in my meager efforts to express myself, you can go back here and here to read the previous blogs on this subject or continue reading.
The morning dawned with the beauty and the warmth of springtime. It was 60 degrees! What a surprise. A spring day right smack dab in the middle of January winter, melting the snow and creating a day for the outdoors. A beautiful day that did not lift the heavy foreboding I had that something was wrong; someone had died. My fear took hold, choking common sense. If someone had died, then I would have gotten a call. Of course, that call would have gone through Paul and Gretel for there were no phones capable of incoming calls nor televisions for aired programs in the housing where guests stayed. Just peace and quiet. I could call out on the phone that was there, and I could watch the movies they had for guests’ enjoyment, all G-rated, but there was no intrusion from the outside world to disturb those that stayed in this Eagle’s Nest.
That was also the day after my “send her to Thessalonica” dream. The day I rebelled against the Lord, telling Him there was no way I was reading the Thessalonians. He had not helped after all those prayers. Why should I do what I knew He was asking me to do? So instead I went for the walk that brought me to His feet, to sit and listen and envision His own pain and sorrow. The walk that brought comfort and encouragement and strength. The walk that said, “you can do this; go on back and make that phone call.” The walk that validated my foreboding that someone had died. And that someone, I just knew, was my son; the son who had struggled with drug addiction for years.
All day I had walked that 200-acre farm. There were trails to follow and benches to sit on, ponds to meditate beside, gullies to explore, embankments to climb. I had taken the map provided and thought I fairly well knew where I was, so when I noticed the storm clouds gathering that afternoon, I wasn’t too worried. At that point in my exploration I had been walking down an almost dry creek bed with woods on the left and a steep embankment on the right. I decided if I climbed the embankment, the farm should be right there to my right. When I finally got to the top, pulling myself up with tree limbs, and looked out over the field, there were no houses in sight. Just field and woods.
The thunder rumbled and the panic set in. I scurried back down to the creek bed, thinking that the only thing to do would be to backtrack my path, those hours worth of walking, and that I surely would not beat the storm brewing. My first encounter when I reached the creek bed was a big deer that ran out in front of me followed by a ‘possum. Where had all those animals been all day? They hadn’t been around earlier. Were they as frightened of the storm coming as I was? Would that cause them to fear me, thus causing them to attack me? I had heard of how vicious an opossum could be when threatened. As I stood and looked around, there was wildlife rushing around all over that piece of wooded area. How would they feel about me barging into their sanctuary as I raced the storm? And I was filled with dread and fright and uncertainty, knowing I would never beat the storm back to where I was staying.
How far back did the creek go? Now I couldn’t remember how long I had walked it. Would it fill quickly if the rain poured?
The storm within me was roiling and brewing more than the storm in the sky until I heard in the small rush of wind the voice speaking within my spirit, “Don’t go the familiar way. Step out and trust and go forward.”
As I looked up at the embankment and around at the wildlife and creek, I decided that’s what I would do. I wouldn’t follow the familiar, but I would go forward. I scrambled back up to the field, and as I stepped out of the woods and into that field, I could see that, yes, there was the farmhouse. I was right where I thought I had been according to the map.
And I pondered on the walk back to my “home” the lesson God was teaching me. I thought of all the people I see coming through the court system who fall right back into the familiar path of drugs or alcohol or bad relationships or circle of friends. I thought of all the children that didn’t want to leave abusive parents because that was “the familiar path,” all they knew. I thought of the way Christians don’t want to change church services or opinions or routines, staying in the rut that leads down the familiar path. The scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; and He will direct your path” came to mind.
In my walk with God that day, I knew that my foreboding had been for a real reason, one I dreaded hearing, one subconsciously I had been waiting to happen for a long time. When I finally called my sister and told her I knew that someone had died, she instantly began crying, sobbing.