Off the Beaten Path
When God told me to follow Him through the Aspen trees before packing up to follow this path with Him, it was much like this picture. It was a “zig zag” kind of path that would weave through the trees. I knew by the little “vision map” that God had given me that there would be a lot of moving around during the path.
Since we left it has been exactly like that picture. We have stayed in different little towns and hotels for only a couple of days at a time. So many times it looked like we wouldn’t survive and I could literally see no way that it could be possible.
However, God would show up and fulfill His promise to be our Home and our endless well of support. Sometimes I had to step out in different directions and follow His lead of where to go and what to do.
Yesterday started out horrible but ended very sweetly. We were in a much more humble place than normal and God was showing me that He was going to move us into a better place.
However, because it was the weekend, I decided to try to extend the place where we were and snag the room with what I had left from what God had provided for that day.
That is where everything went wrong, because it was not where God wanted me and I stepped out of line from the path God had been leading me on. Instead of being ready to pack up and follow Jesus to the next place, I paid for another night at the less than desirable place.
But then the hotel clerk made a mistake and claimed that my payment didn’t go through, and yet it DID. I ended up losing what I had in my own failure to follow the path exactly as Jesus shown me, and the hotel took what I had used to cover the room. Then they made us leave.
It was like a nightmare and I was in so much pain over the whole thing. I decided to turn the day into a way to worship God, so I went to a library nearby and wrote and received the love letter from God called, “Flourishing at time when it doesn’t seem like you will”
After I published that letter from the midst of the hottest fire I have ever known, I followed Jesus to a room that was much nicer. I didn’t have the repayment from my losses and I didn’t know how God was going to save us. I only had my hope that God would support us as He promised, but with no physical evidence of it.
But then the Lord told me to just “order the room” from my app. So I followed Jesus and God made it work. God ended up opening up the loveliest room for us to find rest and shelter for the night and in a town that is my new favorite so far.
We were supposed to pay a room deposit as well, but when they tried to have me pay for it, their card reader mysteriously “broke” and we didn’t have to pay a deposit either. God–in His magnificence–gave us the room for free–completely.
The room was like the breath of Heaven, it was so comfortable and every one of us was given a sweet little slice of comfort.
Then last night God was showing me what was next and we ended up leaving the room, but I believe that God is going to be sending us support from His heart to go back there again tonight.
My biggest lesson on this was to “trust in the Lord in all of our ways, and not lean on our own understanding”.
To try to understand how this can ever work only creates more doubt and confusion. God promised to provide where He guides and we just have to trust His footsteps and follow Him.
I have never had my faith tested in such an intense way, but I believe that it is going to bring so much rewards and fruit. I have never leaned so close to Jesus in all of my life.
So far, since we left a week ago, it has been one miracle after another. It has also been one lesson after another and often I have failed several of them. But the thing about me is, I learn best by my mistakes.
I think that is why I have always cherished Bob Ross, because they are not mistakes, just a new place to paint a little bird into the portrait.
Another thing that I have been learning is that there is always a blessing beyond the pressing. This morning as I was driving away from the room to wait on the next love rescue from God, He showed me a sign that said “Fresh Oil”.
It is not enjoyable to be pressed by faith and to face such difficulties and pressures, but there is gold that comes from it all, like the rich golden oil pressed out to fill us again and again with more tangible love from God.
The truth is, I have not been sharing how gruesome and vigorous this testing has been. Every couple of days I have moved and I have often had to sit in places, like a library and press into the promises from God.
I had to believe that God would show up like He promised to supply what we needed for our room, for food, for fuel. It has been so scary and I have bitterly cried myself to sleep more times than I can even count.
I have had only a few hours of sleep a night because I have had to wake up early to pray, fast, and pack. I have had to narrow all of my attention on where Jesus is leading me to and what He needs me to do to access the next miracle.
Most of the time, I have had to do something, whether that has been following a peculiar leading from God, writing on this blog, or something totally different.
God has also been teaching me to trust Him each day for our needs and to open my hands without resistance to pay for whatever place He opens to us. It has been a roller coaster and there has not been a single day that I have not bitterly wept and also rejoiced in the salvation that God sends.
It is hard. It is exhausting. It is also so rich and priceless to encounter Jesus in such an intimate way. I believe that these steps that God is having me take will make this next book so unbelievably beautiful and breathtaking to read.
It was off the beaten path that God has taken me during this time and He has promised that it is a shortcut into the immense blessings that He has promised. It is unusual, uncommon, uncomfortable and so very unimaginable with personal comforts from His heart.
For every difficulty, there has been twice the blessing. For every loss, there was twice the reward. For every moment of pain, there was double the beauty of God revealed.
It has cost me everything and I have had to learn to not think about myself, but to think about all that God has promised. I have had to make His promises to the ruler over my own fears, doubts, and thoughts.
I am still learning and still making mistakes. But the beauty of it all is that God has given us the grace to be human and imperfect. If I was perfect then there would be no glory of God revealed, because His power flows from out of my weakness and need.
So I can celebrate in my needs, because that is the place where the support and love from God is received. You just never know what God has up His sleeve to deliver you into all He has promised.
I had to learn that first hand yesterday. The moment that I was feeling lost, Jesus took me by the hand and brought me back on the path that He has made for us. During this time, expect the unexpected and don’t pay attention to how hopeless or impossible it looks to see your dreams come true.
Before God rescued me yesterday with the “breath of Heaven” room, He said that to move by faith is to “Let go and trust”. May we all have the courage to move in such faith, as God brings the most impossible situations into a victory from His ever-present love.