This week the “Polar Vortex” reached its peak in my neck of the woods. The snow and cold that arrived reminded me of the long ago “Blizzard of 78” which will remain forever in my memory. This time however, I am an adult and forced to return to my responsibilities much faster; thus Wednesday morning found me driving first to my moms to deliver my son for the day and then to work on roads that were quite treacherous. As I drove the roads my concentration was necessarily on the task in front of me; arriving safely at my destination. As I looked out over the roads and gauged the capabilities of my little Escape I became more and more anxious. The roads were horrid with ice, snow and drifting everywhere; visibility was limited at times and I found myself with white knuckles on the steering wheel, holding my breath and keeping my eyes locked on the path in front of me. After our safe arrival at moms I then faced going back on those roads for the 15 mile trip to work, a drive which normally takes 15 minutes I knew would be much longer and the anxiety quickly returned. As I pulled out of town and onto the highway I noticed the wind had calmed down and the sun was beginning to make its way over the horizon revealing the bluest of skies. With improved visibility I began to relax and that’s when I noticed it; the entire landscape surrounding me was covered in the most beautiful white I have ever seen, each and every tree looked as if God had reached down from the sky and painted them with diamond infused white paint. The roads were still terrible, treacherous and requiring careful attention but as I carefully surveyed the landscape God began speaking deeply to my heart.
You see, I’m no stranger to treacherous roads, those roads in life which are covered in anxiety, depression and fear are an all too familiar part of my journey; many were trips forced upon me by the lies planted in my heart by others however many of them admittedly were trips I chose when the lies were told by me to my own heart. Lies such as you are not worthy, you are not good enough planted themselves in my heart at a young age. The biggest lie of all with its basis in those lies was the one I have told myself; whenever bad things happen it must be my fault in some way. I have taken responsibility for way too much; the good news however is the lies that have caused me to take that responsibility are slowly being replaced with the truth of God’s word. Nearly four years ago I began to study His Word in earnest; with the help of a trusted friend and Pastor I began the most important trip of my life, slowly allowing His Word to seep into my heart and to replace those treacherous lies with the beauty of His Truth. The trip has been the most pain filled and most beautiful trip I have ever taken, it has been filled with slick, ice covered areas that make me slide off the road and into a pit. In these pits God reveals himself in ways I could never imagine; in these pits He provides friends who show me how important it is to have prayer warriors. This trip has been full of depression so heavy my visibility was reduced to mere inches. During the times of low visibility it was prayer and the intervention of His Holy Spirit that provided me with enough guiding light to hesitatingly navigate the road. This trip included obstacles; obstacles deeper than the snow drifts waiting to bog down my car and bring my trip to a grinding halt. Yet, the obstacles were also met with the tools of God’s Word; trust in Me, keep pushing forward, if the drift is too deep let Me show you a detour are the words God spoke into my heart. Frankly, this is one trip I don’t want to end and I pray it doesn’t end until its final stop at the feet of my Father’s throne.
I have always believed in God as my Father, but father is a term I use loosely, for my experience of father’s was not always a pleasant one. This summer I was blessed beyond my wildest imagination when God led me down yet another treacherous road and then infused His beauty into the surroundings. I attended a seminar in Ashland OH led by Dr. Terry Wardle; it was the one of the most painful trips of my life, but without a doubt it was the most beautiful trip of my life thus far. It was a seminar on healing prayer and though it is designed to equip professional and laypersons alike in the process of using healing prayer it also tends to take participants down their own treacherous roads. Dr. Wardle’s unique gift of sharing the treacherous highways of his own life touched the hearts of many; myself included. The treacherous trip for me began in earnest as he shared anecdotes of the relationship he shared with his children. With each anecdote my own trip became more and more treacherous until by the end of the seminar I was clinging white knuckled to my own steering wheel. That’s when the beauty arrived; first in the form of a small group I was privileged to be a part of, and next in my own opportunity to experience healing prayer. The most beautiful part of my treacherous trip however lay at the end of the seminar; having endured the anecdotes and stories of his relationship with his children all week long I was ready to go home, process and cry. Instead as I readied to leave I looked up and saw my opportunity to thank Dr. Wardle once more for his amazing insights. Though I had endured pain throughout the seminar due to my own issues I had also found it to be the most beautiful time of learning and basking in the Holy Spirit I have ever experienced. I approached Dr. Wardle slightly shy but earnestly wanting to thank him for the opportunity; we chatted briefly and then as I turned to leave he touched my shoulder and said to me “wait, Amy I want to give you something, I want to give you The Father’s blessing”, with that he held me close, his hand upon my face, we were touching cheek to cheek and he whispered the most beautiful words I have ever heard in my entire life into my ear. He told me of the love the Father has for me in a way that penetrated deep into my soul. His touch and words were not his own; I know without a doubt the touch and words I felt that day were the hands and voice of The Father, those five days were a time of treacherous roads and dangerous territory for my heart, yet the beauty that arose out of those five days is worth more to me than my heart could ever explain.
My dear friends I bless you today with the love of The Father who knows all about your treacherous trips but whose only desire is that the road brings you closer and closer to Him. I pray that as you navigate these roads you are able to lift your eyes to above, lift them up and look at the beauty that surrounds you, the pure snow white gift of His love and the diamonds He places within that snow. Those diamonds are His Word, friends who support and pray, family who loves and the brightest diamond of all; Christ Jesus who bowed to the will of His Father, allowed His own road to be stained with blood and then was fully resurrected in order that we may be granted the greatest gift of all. My love to each of you this day…..Amen