Put yourself in that moment at the start of any anticipated trip when the car is all loaded, the course it set, you’ve locked the house door and you get in that driver’s seat… it’s that feeling of being in control of your path, eager to prove you can ‘get there’ on your own combined with that tinge of fear at not knowing what lies ahead.
Are you with me?
I had that thrilling/terrifying feeling as I began my trek to California in February. And, I’m happy to report that the journey was safe and without incident. Seeing my children was life-blood to my soul and being alone with God on much of the journey was renewing to my spirit. Again, I want to express my gratitude to the Staff-Parish Relations Team who encouraged me to embrace and embark on this renewal journey and to Pastor Andy for his excellent leadership in my absence.
It was thrilling to go away on my own! The sense of independence, freedom and space for personal reflection really smacked me in the face – I think I cried through 2 whole states the first day on the road and slept 15 hours (a new life experience) once I arrived in California, waking to a view of the Pacific Ocean that took my breath away. I filled the pages of my journal with wonderful memories of precious time with my kids and my smart phone is filled with photos that I will cherish.
As I share all of that, I also want you to know that the last, best gift of my journey was the thrill of having a home and ALL of you to come back to! As great as getting away was, the anticipation of returning to church and to work truly touched my heart! The thrill of the road continued from beginning to end and I have realized that life’s planned and unexpected road is best blessed when God is its guide!
Scripture tells us that God wants the best for ALL of creation and extends love through unmerited grace unconditionally and inclusively. Friends, when the Lenten disciplines of journey and renewal are taken seriously and with God intentionally, good fruit comes forth! New life comes! Renewal comes! Happy Easter! It’s good to be home!