After a recent column about heading back to school, I received an e-mail from pastor. She had headed off to seminary at the ripe age of 54, and her e-mail was filled with encouraging words about the struggle ahead. Better than anyone, she knew that there will be hard times. She knew that self doubt would become my worst enemy.
Strangely enough, the previous night, I'd woken up in the middle of the night, my bones just aching something awful. I try hard to keep a good focus, but in the dark, when you're feeling like crap, well, sometimes your mind does wander off down the 'what if' trail. I found myself wondering what this pain means, and what if we've spent all this money for the first semester of school and find out that I've got problems again? Or what if I can't keep up with the studying? And my mind whirred away as my eyes stared off into the dark. I found myself getting scared and feeling overwhelmed. I took a deep breath, and I thought firmly to myself: 'You are keeping up. And the cancer? Who knows? God does. He's the only one who knows for certain what is going on. It is a time to put your best faith forward.' I felt better after talking to myself firmly. I fell asleep, and then woke up to Becky's e-mail, which closed with this: 'The Lord told me then that we are just to walk by faith and the end result is his. Whether we see the end or not is not the point. If we are called to the journey and are willing to take it--that is all he asks. I made a lot of friends on that journey and they touched my life, even as I touched theirs.' I love that someone I do not know took the time to send me encouragement. I saved that e-mail, because the day (or night) will come when I will need to read those words again. None of us know where the road ends, where the journey will take us. Becky's right on that.
Redlefty had a post about 'spiritual food'. I was surprised to read my name listed. The strange thing is that I always saw it the other way around. I thought that his blog was encouraging me. The idea that we are all feeding each other was immensely gratifying to me, and I think of all the blogs that I love, all those wise bloggers that I 'know', how lovely their words are to me, how encouraged I have been by them, and the thought that it works both ways brings tears of gladness to my eyes. And, thus nourished, I set out again, walking the walk, talking the talk, putting my best faith forward.