It’s the Journey

©Takami Ibara “the first steps of a thousand miles”

As I wrote a couple of weeks ago about my ten year anniversary of coming to Christ, I began a reflection of my journey so far, and my discipleship by the Spirit. I am continually amazed at how much He has transformed my heart and mind in order to mold me into His image.

When I took my first baby steps, I had many concerns. I felt invisible and wanted to be noticed. I was single and longed for a husband. I lived with other people and yearned for a place of my own. I needed control in every area of my life, even though it felt as though everything was in chaos. I demanded independence. I hungered for peace.

Within six months of accepting Jesus, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Rather than being overcome with fear, I prayed. I did not ask God, “why” but, “why now?” I recognized this was my first real opportunity to allow Him to mature my faith by transforming my need for control.

I did not ask God, “why” but, “why now?”

He began to do so almost immediately. When I began chemotherapy, I had no energy and had to take off work for three months. At the time, I was teaching at an elementary Catholic school. The teachers and moms organized to provide meals and housekeeping for the 90-day duration. In addition, during weekly assemblies, the entire school prayed for my recovery. Beyond that, an unknown angel paid my rent for six months.

Not only did God take away my control, He removed my independence as well.

As He continued to work in me over these past several years, my longing for a husband reversed into a recognition that I am His bride. My concern for visibility disappeared completely into a desire for solace. I now have a place of my own – the “desired haven” I prayed to Him for so many years. (Psalm 107:28-30)

After ten years, I no longer have to stand out or be better than anyone else. I no longer have anything to prove, nor am I preoccupied with accumulating things. And even though I still slip back into my own, limited perception, I am more often able to see situations and people through God’s generous and gracious eyesight.

©susanirenefox

Because He made this clay jar substantial and abundant enough to hold His unlimited love and radical grace, I am able to amply distribute it to others. Most important, while I know I am on the right path, I clearly understand He is not done with my transformation.

 

 

On this Passover, I acknowledge this is a lifelong journey of many spiritual miles. It is the difference between calling myself a Christian and a follower of Jesus. And I have many years and many steps to travel here before I experience the joy of meeting Him face to face.

 

(I want to add a special “Thank you” to Takami Ibara for giving permission to use her photograph for this post. Her nature photography is breathtaking, and I encourage visits to her blog and purchases of her art postcards, stationery and posters.)

24 comments

  1. candidlycarmen2018 · ·

    Thank you so much for sharing. I have a similar blog on enjoying the journey that this life is to me. I am a single 24 year old law student and this year the Lord has shown me how much I DO NOT have a chance without total dependance on Him. This was a true confirmation of that lesson I am continuing to learn. – Carmen

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    1. Hey, Carmen, thanks for visiting. Yes, He does show us those lessons along the way. Thank you for visiting. I’d like to return the favor; what’s your url?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. candidlycarmen · ·

        Candidlycarmen18.wordpress.com, love for you to visit

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      2. I will. Thank you for the link!

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  2. Susan, I love your testimony of God’s more than enough provision and love. ❤
    Blessings ~ Wendy

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    1. Always more than enough to spread around, Wendy. Love to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. […] relationship with the Lord has matured over time; I have written of my own journey earlier this week and last […]

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  4. Wonderful testimony, Susan. Blessings to you.

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    1. Thank you, Mel. And to you as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Praise God for you Susan!!

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    1. 🙂 Thank you, Vincent.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome Susan 😍

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  6. Susan as I read your story my heart warmed and I had a sense of peace about me. This statement brought that peace to me. After ten years, I no longer have to stand out or be better than anyone else. I no longer have anything to prove, nor am I preoccupied with accumulating things.

    It is mine and God’s desire that you would always remain where you hear with such clarity his voice of love and reconciliation. For the pure in heart will see God and hear his voice. I know no greater thing I desire than to have peace with God.

    Much love Tom

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    1. Thank you so much, Tom. Your words mean a lot to me, for you are my brother in Christ. I know there are times we disagree as brothers and sisters do, but at our very core, I also know we have deep love for each other that comes from our Father. I know we extend His grace toward each others because we are family. And I pray you experience that extraordinary peace which only He gives.
      Much love, Susan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awwww thank you Susan.

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  7. Beautiful truthful words, thank you 🙂

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    1. You’re welcome. Thank you for taking the time to read.

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  8. Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m honored you used my photo for something so important.

    Best wishes,
    Takami

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    1. Your photo inspired the post, Takami. And thank you again. We are all connected by something greater than ourselves.
      I am happy you are pleased with the way your photo was used. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Susan, you’re testimony is so inspiring. Through life’s battles you allowed God to shape you the way He wanted too, and that has resulted in someone with His heart. It can be seen in everything you write. May God continue to grow and mature you in His grace and love. You and your writings are a blessing to me.

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    1. I’m so glad my heart touches yours, Pete. After all, that is what He desired for us, and His desire has become mine. May He continue to heal you and bring you peace.

      Liked by 1 person

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