Last week, I wrote about walking. Walking up the mountain of God in the paths of God and the ways of God even when, and especially when, walking is hard. Sometimes walking is hard because of grief. We are grieving because we’ve lost someone we loved, or a certain season of life is over, or a certain relationship has ended. Sometimes walking is hard because we’re weary, drained from the circumstances of life, feeling like we can’t go another step. Sometimes walking is hard because fog has settled in our souls and we can’t see the way or where to take the next step. And sometimes walking is hard because we feel forgotten on the mountain. We started off our journey with traveling companions and now they are nowhere to be found. It’s just you, on the mountain, in the fog, wondering if anyone knows where you are and which way to go from here.
I would venture to guess for most of us, life isn’t this glorious ascension up. Instead, it’s a simple decision to walk one mundane Monday morning after the next. It’s the decision to keep putting one foot in front of the other. And it’s the continual rousing of the will to walk instead of laying down on the path to sleep, or numb, or just quit walking altogether.
So here’s the thing: in the mundane of your Monday, in your list of errands and food items from the grocery store, in the dull aches you carry in the recesses of your heart, know this – you are not alone. Many people around you are having to choose to ascend into the glorious when everything around them looks or feels a little grey.
To encourage us in our walks, including yours truly, I pulled out some poems I wrote years ago, and then stuck in a folder and forgot about their existence…until last week’s post when I vaguely remembered writing something else about walking and the ascension up.
I wrote these poems after spending several weeks in the Idaho mountains over six years ago when I was knee deep in mundane ascension through pregnancy, nursing, toddlers, tears, and diapers. I wrote them for myself as a needed reminder of what my walk upwards actually looked like instead of what I felt it looked like, and I wrote them for a friend of mine who loves on and ministers to college-aged girls around the country and sees and speaks into all kinds of broken, hurting hearts. I thought they might be appropriate now, in this season of my life, in learning how to walk through a season of grief, our whatever season of strength and strain each of us finds ourselves in.
There are six poems in all, and each one speaks to a different aspect of walking with God, heeding His call, and choosing to journey on, even when the way is hard and our hearts are broken. So each Monday and Wednesday for the next three weeks, I will post one of the poems and provide a few questions for you to ponder through prayer with pen and paper in your hand or simply in your heart. My prayer is that each of us is encouraged and strengthened in the journey God has called us to walk, up His paths, in His ways, ascending His mountain, straight to His heart and eternal home, even on, and especially on, mundane Monday mornings.
Here is the first poem in a series of six entitled “Clothed.”
I was far off
Tossed in a corner
Battered, bruised, forsaken, scorned
I was lied to, told I was nothing
Only an object
To be tried on, worn –
But Your Arms
Gave me garments
Ones that fit my nakedness
Ones that transformed
Into Something all my nothing
So your Light it
Calls me, beckons
To a life well-worn with Love
When I’m fit
Clothed for the Journey
Upwards to my Glorious Home.
- Are there any ways in which you feel forgotten, battered, bruised, or forsaken in this season of your life? Be as honest as you can with the Lord.
- Instead of using inadequate coverings of shame, guilt, fear, or control to cover your wounds, put on the garments of love, forgiveness, and acceptance that only Christ can give. Consider Paul’s words in Colossians 3:12-14: “So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Pause before each item in the list above and ask God where it is needed in your life and how He wants you to put it on.
- Lastly, read Colossians 3:15-16: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” Ask the Lord for the peace of Christ to rule over your heart and your head and for His Word to dwell richly within you, strengthening you for the journey ahead.