From Here to There

I am standing at the corner of the street.

There is a path ahead which I know I am to travel.

There are benches where I sit and wait.

I see the arrows pointing forward, yet,

I stand at the corner, afraid to move.

I watch as others move down the pathway;

Their steps moving them forward–closer.

They advance, step by step, as I watch in envy.

Confidently they pursue their dream.

Yet I watch and wonder if ever I will move.

I look at the branches off this path;

Diversions from the journey.

The excuses that keep me from moving.

The fear of failure and criticism.

Frozen, I wait for divine assurance.

Like a drifting boat, rudderless on the path;

I reach for the horizon ahead.

I pray, I calculate, I question.

I must move; I must heed the call.

He is waiting…HE is waiting.

One small step on the path is all I need

One move from here.

Then another, and another to there.

Trust, belief, faith.

We can do this. HE and I.

http://www.maggiemarcum.com

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Blank Pages

There are days when I read the words and nothing seems to be there for me. I keep searching for some grand revelation, but there is no “ah ha” moment to be found. I try to take apart the phrases and find new meaning, but I can’t seem to find the inspiration I am seeking. And then, just when I think God is silent today, I turn the page and find that little passage that speaks to my emptiness.

Mustard Seed.

I am like an empty field waiting to have my soil turned over, a seed to germinate, and new growth to begin. Some days I need to keep watering the field and waiting to see what will happen. Those blank words are the seeds that fill my mind and heart. They are the words that prepare me for what lies ahead. Some days, the seeds just sit on the surface, waiting to be pushed deeper into the soil. And there are days when the soil is ready to absorb and suck in the nutrients that will spring forth new life.

Keep planting. Keep feeding. Keep preparing.

I have found that the more I take in, the better prepared I am when life twists me up. I am better prepared to face the unpredictability of life because the resources are growing inside me. I have a greater reservoir from which I can draw strength and courage when I need it. The good days outnumber the bad days because I have fed my faith with words of encouragement and love.

Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? It is like a tiny mustard seed planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds come and find shelter among its branches.” Luke 13: 18-19 New Living Translation

I pray that your faith today will be like a mustard seed growing into a tree that provides comfort for others. I pray that the words you read encourage you and motivate you to action. Keep planting and keep growing.

Stuck

There are days when the mud seems to rise too high for us to fight it back. Maybe we have become entangled in a net and can’t get loose. Stuck, trapped, snared, and unable to move. We have forgotten what light looks like anymore and we fear we may never see it again; if we ever really saw the light in the first place. It is a hard place to be and even harder to explain it to another.

I can remember those times all too well in my life. I would lie curled up in my bed and ask myself: “how on earth did I ever get into this mess?” Sometimes I knew it was because of the decisions I had made, other times I wasn’t as sure. You know that feeling: your stomach churns and the tears flow and you hide from your family and friends because you don’t want to be a burden? Those are the days when we don’t even want to see our counselor or hit a meeting because we are so sure that even they would never get it.

What if you could see just a sliver of light? Would you be willing to take advantage of that sliver of light and believe that maybe, just maybe there was more where that came from? For me it started with a prayer. Oh, I couldn’t pray it. I had to ask someone else to pray it until I could. Yes, that meant I actually had to answer the phone or the text!!

I needed a rescue. No one I knew could give it to me; however, there were people who would help me to find it. I didn’t want to feel the way I was feeling forever and the only way out was to send a distress signal out to a friend. That friend needed to be someone I could trust and someone who I knew would send up prayers on my behalf. I knew my eyes needed to be on God to get out of the mess, but I just didn’t have it in me.

Slowly, I was able to look forward because looking back did no good. I couldn’t change what had happened but I could change the present and thus the future. Those prayers eventually became my prayer. Psalm 25 became my strength. I couldn’t read it all but I kept asking God to show me what to do next, even if next was only getting up and going to work. Hours became days became weeks became months became years.

My ability to stand up and let go of the pain did not come overnight. It came by having someone else help me cut the net from my feet and pull me out of the mud. And once out, it took my commitment and motivation to change. It is a daily struggle, because life is a daily struggle. Today I get out of the mud a lot faster. I tell others quicker. I pray before I slip into the mud bath and I don’t get tangled up like I used to.

Please, please; reach out today if this is your story. If there is no one you know, look up a church with a prayer line and call them. Just tell them you hurt and you need prayer. Get up and find a counselor whose name you like and give them a try. Go to a Celebrate Recovery meeting or other 12 step and meet people who have walked where you have walked. Look up. God is there and you will find his love and his strength until you have your own.

“My eyes are always looking to the Lord for help, for he alone can rescue me from the traps of my enemies.” Psalm 25: 15

Seeing the Right Path

I think we all have times in our lives when no matter what we do we just can’t seem to find the right fit or we think we are stuck in some life situation and we will never find our way out. Fear sets in. Despair takes over. A dark cloud seems to be our only friend. No matter what we do; we just can’t find the right direction to head and all we do seems for naught. We may see the future but something seems to be in the way of getting to it.

Finding the way out can be difficult. We hear that God is “fair and just” and “does what is right” for us, yet we struggle to believe those words apply to us. And yet, if we can take the first step forward, we might come to believe that God will lead us step-by-step in a new direction and place us back on the path of success.

It is helpful if we can develop an attitude of moving toward something rather than away from something. Ask yourself what it is that you love to do and what makes you smile when you think about it. Develop an image of what you would look like if all the pieces fell in place and you were where you would like to be. Now walk back from that ideal situation and ask yourself how you got to that place. Write the story of your success all the way back to where you are today. What steps did it take to reach your goal? Which people did you need to stop listening to? Did you need to go to school? Did you need to network with others in the field? Did you need to stop doing something so you had time to focus on your goal? What did you need to do first?

This method may seem unrealistic to you, but if you have a dream that you have been holding in your heart and not acting on, it may be that God placed that dream in your heart and is waiting for you to take the first step on the path. You may need to take a risk and step forward in a way you have never done before. I am doing that today. I know where God wants me—I have seen the end goal—and today I am taking the first step by writing this blog and getting a new degree to support me.

There is a path for you. God is with you. He will lead you there if you spend some time in prayer with him. Ask someone you trust to help you sort out your journey. Find a spiritual guide or a coach that can help you learn how to see God’s plan for you. Start today by taking one small step, even if that step is just getting out of bed or turning the TV off!!

“The Lord is god and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in what is right, teaching them his way.”
Psalm 25: 8-9