I promised myself I wouldn’t look back, but there I was, standing still in time. I was caught between embracing the moment and taking the drama-filled look back, or finishing strong with the click clack of my 4-inch heels proudly marching across the pavement.
I decided to compromise. Instead of looking back I fixed my gaze straight ahead and walked directly to my car. There I sat, sobbed, and regretted my choice of a double thick mascara that was not waterproof.
When I was finished balling my eyes out, I took a deep breath, hit the clutch, shifted into first gear and hit the gas just hard enough for a little burn out. It was the final mark I’d leave in a place I’d given 12+ years to. I couldn’t help but smile and feel the freedom in the uncertainty of the future.
That wasn’t the first time or the last that a great deal of strength was required to follow through on a decision, a decision to walk away. I frequently focus on an attitude of gratitude but with the recent Thanksgiving holiday and all of the events of 2020, I’ve found myself spending extra time thinking about what I am most grateful for. I have a long list, but there is one thing that starts the domino effect. That is, Strength.
There’s a shirt made by Shield Republic that I hope I find under the tree next month. It reads, “We Are Not Descended From Fearful Men.”
On my long list of things I am grateful for, this is one of them. I thank God every day that I was born in the USA and I am PROUD of the service given to this country by my father, grandfathers and great uncles. I come from a bloodline of men of great strength, and behind every one of those men, was a strong woman. I’ve learned strength doesn’t just come in the form of physical strength. Sometimes, intellectual and emotional strength are required even more.
The shirt refers to our forefathers and for some our immediate family, but I found the idea applicable in another sense as well. Regardless of my bloodline or the bloodline of anyone choosing to read this, we are all descended from one Father, who is God in heaven. Even though God is Spirit, his Son was made man, and He was not afraid to fight the battle of sin and death for us.
I imagine it took a great deal of strength for God to decide to send his Son to Earth, to become man and suffer an unimaginable death. I can’t even imagine the amount of strength it took for Jesus to execute his Father’s plan. We know Jesus wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about the path set before him. We know this from Matthew 26:39 when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying to God,
“And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
Jesus basically said, “I really don’t want to do this and I’m asking to be spared, but if it’s Your will, I will follow through.” To me, this is the greatest example of strength. To listen and obey, even when you don’t want to take the path shown to you.
How many times do we need to muster up the strength to do something we don’t want to do, especially when we know the decision is going to cause pain? I can’t think of a situation that would require more strength than this example in the Bible.
Jesus had full faith in His Father which aided in the strength required to follow through with the plan. He obeyed His Father, and ultimately won the biggest battle of all time.
I have learned that the path God paves for us, is often not the path of least resistance, however, if we have the faith and strength to travel down His trail, the destination is even better than anything we could have envisioned ourselves.
Exercising physical strength builds muscles, but exercising the strength to listen to God builds trust and strengthens our relationship with Him. Often, I have heard God but chose not to listen, because I thought my way was easier. As I slowly started listening more, even against my will, I have learned the paths I created for myself, were not best for me.
I can confidently say the best decisions I’ve made and the happiest outcomes I’ve experienced have come from the things that were the hardest to walk away from.
A great deal of strength is required to walk away from things that no longer serve us. For me, my list includes jobs, relationships, geographical locations and addictions. There was a level of pain associated with leaving each of these. There was a period of mourning and internal struggle with the temptation to stay with something familiar and take the path of least resistance. There was a great deal of strength required to leave people, places, and things that I had invested in. The hardest to walk away from has been my own thoughts and the death grip I’ve placed on my own desired outcomes.
I am thankful I am not a descendant of a fearful man. I’m thankful for the domino effect that we ALL come from one Creator, the strongest man to ever walk the Earth.
I am thankful that I was born and raised in the USA.
I am thankful for taking a chance on God and investing the time to understand Him and build a relationship with Him.
I am thankful for my strength to let go, walk away and not look back, even when I don’t understand the plan 100%.
I am thankful that these days I listen to the voice of God and hold Isaiah 30:21 close to my heart and closer to my ear,
“This is the way, walk in it.”
We are all descended from God the Father and Jesus Christ, the strongest man of all time. I have only walked away from things, but He walked away from His life, so we may have life everlasting.
I pray every person reading this has the strength to listen to Him.