I have a friend who recently completed The Journey. She grew up in church and has a strong legacy of faith. Yet in the midst of The Journey, something happened – she began to see things from a new vantage point . . .
Just this week I grabbed a swanky paintbrush along with trendy milk paint and moved mountains on my outdoor patio. This life-changing milk paint requires no furniture prepping, no matter what foundational shape it is in. With each stroke and glide of the brush, the foamy and runny paint covered nicely and adequately over the dark, unfinished wood coating my Adirondack chairs. I was enthralled at how nicely the paint set, leaving no streaks or drips behind.
As a hurried, restless, somewhat overscheduled woman who would typically prefer to purchase a prefinished furniture piece, I was surrendering my past ways of laziness and stepping into a delightful journey of DIY initiatives. The tedious hours spent painting and creating stirred something in my soul to come up for some air and bask in the glory of completing a project.
While diving into The Journey, I felt like that raw wood Adirondack chair prior to the beautification process. I desired community with depth and sustenance to propel me and enrich my soul to walk out into new initiatives boldly and with reckless abandon. To put it simply, I craved the destination without the journey. The Lord showed up and began to reorder my desire for instantaneous community into intentional, authentic relational deposits into these nine peoples’ lives. I, like the broken-down chair, did not need to be perfect to have Jesus’ love covering me and beginning a new work in my heart.
One significant way the Lord showed Himself to me throughout The Journey was manifested in an email sent by one of our facilitators, simply stating that this is the season for marital breakthrough in our lives and for strongholds of addiction, busyness and pride to crumble. Experiencing the insightful word from a leader propelled me into the Word, clinging to the promises that when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight. He shall come as a redeemer to those who turn from transgression.” (Isaiah 59:19-20)
Establishing and cultivating a mentor relationship is another way the Lord weaved beautiful shimmers into my soul. Baring my heart and soul to a lovely friend over these past eight months has initiated depth-filled, poignant and convicting dialogue saturated in grace. Sweet confessions over a hot cup of winter tea, discerning responses over a summer spinach strawberry salad, and sharing life with espresso are all deposits into my love language. My mentor’s timely relevant inquiries have challenged me to process issues of my own heart. C.S. Lewis spoke about the nature of spiritual friendship as “kindred souls,” two persons who care about the same truth.
Fashioning my life narrative was a humbling, awakening initiative that revealed some apparent and some repressed deep realities that have encompassed my life. Recognizing my self-sufficient, controlling tendencies along with my pursuit of perfection was humbling, yet necessary. This noise of anxiety is calling me to lean on the everlasting arms of Jesus. Bob Goff reminds me that “we are all deeply flawed and yet even more loved by God.”
Like the perfection of the milk paint coverage on my Adirondack chair, Jesus’ love is available without us having to do prep work and he imparts his grace-covering effortlessly and without streaky residue. The Journey process has been a pivotal advantage in my spiritual march, giving me a heightened awareness of the vastness of who He is and how He desires to move in and through me.
Cortney from Indiana