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When you don’t know the way

into the woods

Running is the way I make sense of life.

If you’ve been here for any amount of time you know that I don’t know much for sure anymore, but there are still a few things. One is that I need to MOVE if I’m going to do anything well. I shared my story with you – my running to faith – and the truth is I’m still running. I’m still seeking and desiring after the woman God made me to be. The one free of the insecurities, confusions, questions and fears that are so tethered to this world.

I don’t know what He is doing in my heart and my life but there is no question about it: He is doing His work. For the last fifteen years He’s been all up in my business, sorting and sifting and pruning and literally ripping things from my tightly clenched fist. Things that didn’t matter. Relationships that were sucking the very life and breath out of me. Old patterns of thinking that we’re holding me back.

I see now He was teaching me how to die to myself. How to let go of my worldly desires. To relinquish my stubborn wants and needs and expectations and learn to surrender to His. It’s not easy. It’s never easy to sit in the silence of the unwritten story and find comfort in that space. I’ve come to believe it’s the intimate juncture where we find our faith.

Faith is the belief in something for which there is no proof. And it proves itself genuine by obedience. Our faith is found when we’re called to step out of our flimsy shelters of security and into the vastness of the unknown, and we do it. When we say yes even though we cannot see where or why or how it is even possible. It’s when we surrender to the belief that no matter what is happening around us, or to us, He will make a way.

The other morning I went for a trail run and the entire mountain was engulfed in a deep, dense fog.

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As I approached I wondered if I should turn back. It could be dangerous. I literally could not see what lay ahead of me.

But then I realized the question life was presenting me this morning: How different is that from any single thing we face in this life? How different is that from the dream and the fears currently hammering on the inside of my heart?

If we are leaning into God and truly desiring to follow where He leads, then the truth is WE WILL NEVER KNOW THE WAY. And even if we think we know, we do not understand. Our vision is so short-sighted. So small. We cannot see anything behind the fog.

And just like my run, so often we are tempted to turn back. To play it safe and put our trust in something we can see. But when we decide to go anyway, when we choose to run straight into the hovering fog, we find the next step appears before us. And then the next.

How much of life is the same? Finding the courage to take that one, brave, giant step and start? No matter what blocks our vision or impedes our path, we only need to take the next step. It’s how I start following God when I don’t know the way. Every single time it’s just one step.

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And as you round the corner and head up into the hill you realize: had you never started, you would never have seen this. His glory. The mystery that is found when you head into the woods, beyond the veil of the fog, and find there is so much light.

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This life will never be easy and I’ve learned there are no shortcuts or detours worth taking. Believe me, I’ve tried. But despite it all – and through it all – and, perhaps, mostly because of it all…it is good. It’s in the difficult miles and the leaps of faith where we find our faith, and discover He is all we need.

How do you follow God when you don’t know the way? What step of faith do you need to take today? 


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{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Crystal February 13, 2015, 5:39 am

    I LOVE your post today Tammy. So beautifully written and it so easily resonates with people as this is something we all go through and it’s also currently something I am going through. To answer your question; following God when I don’t know the way is difficult. It takes trust and faith. Sometimes I take a look at my past and the times I have wholeheartedly trusted God before, it gives me peace to know He CAN be trusted.

    Crystal

    • Tammy February 18, 2015, 9:43 pm

      Mmmmm. Yes. We can be faithful to a faithful God. Amen.

  • Valerie Sisco February 13, 2015, 6:24 am

    Tammy,
    I so appreciated these words today. God is stirring up my life and although I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing, he’s asked me to follow him and take the next step even though I can’t see through the fog. Loved reading this today!

    • Tammy February 18, 2015, 9:42 pm

      It’s scary and yet such a beautiful journey of faith, depending on God. Praying for your courage to step into the fog.

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