Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: FERHOODLE (confuse or mix-up) (03/03/16)
TITLE: And Then What?
By Lisa Enqvist
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My service abroad was over. My debilitating illness needed care. Former friends and colleagues were lost in the confusion of change. Our four teenagers were choosing their personal paths of life.
This strange labyrinth closed in on me when I realized I had no place to go. Everything I had learned through life was tested in the dark valley of doubt. Did God still have a plan for me? Or was I just some trash to be thrown on the rubbish heap?
Many years earlier I had seen a closed wall, apparently hindering me from reaching a goal that was set before me. That wall stretched across a vast landscape. A Shepherd, leading a single lamb, walked toward that wall. As they reached the wall, a small crack opened, big enough for the Shepherd to lead the lamb through.
The goal for a particular period in my life was attainable. In reality, that closed wall involved a denied visa application as well as a lack of funds to travel to India. When the Shepherd’s time was right, the door opened, and I went in. When He wanted me elsewhere, that wall opened on another side, and my Shepherd led me out.
I remembered the words of Psalm 121.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— from where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
I had traveled over many mountains in my life, but now I needed to climb a new mountain. As I lifted my eyes above the maze of walls around me, I saw a mountain. I knew I had to reach it. A path opened before me, out of the closure. Wild flowers grew along the pathway. I picked some of them.
It began to rain. The path became stony and slippery, but I had to go on.
Suddenly I came to a full stop. There had been a landslide. There was no path ahead. Why had I come here? This situation was no different to the labyrinth.
I heard a voice call out my name. I saw my Shepherd standing in the cleft of a rock. He invited me to sit down on a bench inside a cave. He had set a table with bread and wine. He had also prepared a vase for my wilting flowers.
“Rest here awhile. We will eat and drink together. When you have regained strength, we can talk. Then I will show you another way out of this mountain. “
When He brought me out of the cave, I heard the sound of a waterfall. I saw a shining rainbow spread across the water. It was like a bridge I could walk on.
My Shepherd said, “Yes, you can walk safely over this bridge. Your enemy, the prince of darkness and despair, has tried to confuse your mind, wanting to destroy you. You have conquered him.”
I couldn’t understand how I could have conquered the enemy. I had been weak and helpless, and ready to give up many times.
“I have kept my eye on you throughout your wandering in the darkness and through the labyrinth of unanswered questions. When you chose to come to this mountain, you became a conqueror. You decided to find your way back to me. You chose life instead of destruction.”
The watercolors of the rainbow bridge became another reality. Soon, painting with real watercolors helped to relieve the pain of many unresolved questions. My confusion changed to contemplation. Contemplation brought inner healing. I was not heading for the trash dump.
"It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone." Ephesians 1:11-12 The Message (MSG)
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