reminded of Your words to:
it hasn't been beautiful like we thought it'd be.
it's been a journey and so different than we imagined.
there wasn't a cascade of ribbons or pretty puffs of colorful clouds.
we didn't feel particularly better.
it was a journey we faced with uncertainty and trepidation.
being people who habitually pine for control, it seemed so impractical and stupid.
hope seems so crazy.
ridiculous and foolish.
we hear people say that process matters.
that the journey is almost more important than the arriving.
yet, it was a road we didn't know and that we weren't prepared for.
the view was unfamiliar and daunting in its length.
there weren't any signs of water or bread.
and even if there were, we would have to be careful.
the water could be tainted.
and some of us are allergic to wheat, anyway.
the road was threatening.
and we are natural defenders.
so it seemed smarter to pull out whatever weapon we could.
even to hide and take cover.
we were aware of the risks to our safety.
aware of how vulnerable hope leaves us.
we were in need but we didn't know of what.
so we grabbed anything that made us feel comfortable.
You allowed us to be in want.
You allowed us to sojourn in places that were idyllic in nature.
but we learned happiness isn't everything.
it leaves us feeling hollow.
You taught us there is joy in trudging through the mire.
experiencing grit again and again eventually makes us expert-like.
the fight trains us.
it specializes us in stick-with-it-ness.
we've wrangled and wagered.
and we've wandered and waited.
we've spun ourselves in circles and made a mess out of ourselves.
our tongue has even gotten all knotted up like the yarn we try to knit.
it's not fun doing this pursuing hope thing.
You use the battle to teach us who we are, though: beloved Warriors.
a Holy title.
You teach us that life isn't actually about what we'd been thinking all this time.
You tell us that living grows us stronger and that matters more than growing bigger.
we learn that maturing in strength is being mindful of our place.
it's listening and abiding.
we've thought it's about raising our hand first or being the expert.
and You've taught us that it's really about being a wise listener.
You teach us that being a warrior is about being wise.
it's choosing a soft voice and calling that success.
You teach us that being a warrior is about loosening our grip.
and loosing our dreams.
it's about loosing them and their fears.
and ours, too.
You teach us that being a warrior is being ourselves.
a Holy honor of service and a blessed offering to You.
might we encourage others through their sojourning.
bolsterers of courage, might we be.
warriors who wait.
warriors who walk.
but the kind of people who step anyway.
might we be warriors who work with our fear.
who give thanks for it.
might we know that even this brings us to You.
no matter who, what, when, where, why, or how . . .
might we warrior on.