For Everything That Matters, Carry On

SecondJourneyLogo250x217“I think I shall always remember this black period with a kind of joy, with a pride and faith and deep affection that I could not at the time have believed possible, for it was during this time that somehow I survived the defeat and lived my life through to a first completion, and through the struggle, suffering, and labor of my own life came to share some of those qualities in the lives of people all around me.” ~ Thomas Wolfe

I don’t analyze moments of grace. Just recognize ’em. In times of turmoil, they lift me like the rising sun over sultry skies. Grace enters in beautifully, carefully, and gives hope. Always hope.

These are missionary moments, full of divine intent. Like the time God sent a courier-with-skin-on to pluck me from the sewer of depression. That He pierced my heart and hung me out to dry is not mixing only metaphor, but love and mercy. The memory swells unforgettably.

Like today.

Dusting my bookshelf, a certain book hit the floor. Not just any book. But a very gift from years ago – before my 42nd birthday.  Today I bent low to swoop up frayed, underlined pages. I re-read the handwritten inscription inside and burst into tears.

These words may not hit you the same way. But trust me when I say that re-discovering this note 18 years later is like yesterday’s sorrow kissing today’s wounds:

Dear Vicki,

The great traveled that way.  David wandered there sometimes, his voiceless harp under his arm, all the strings hanging broken and mute.

Jeremiah was there, and the stones of the way were flooded with his tears.

Mighty Elijah spent time in the shadowy vale in full retreat from an angry woman.

Luther was down that dark road at least once, led back by a woman to sunshine again.

It is characteristic of the God-intoxicated, the dreamers, the mystics of the Kingdom.

You are not on a side road or a back road or on a dead-end.  You are on the main road.

For everything that matters, carry on.

For everything that matters, carry on.

Written words can come back to haunt you in a beautiful, much-needed way.  I just want you to know that, whatever you’re facing today, you’re not on a side road or a back road or a forgotten road. All our detours have been factored in.

Think of it this way. We’re on the main road as crazy as it sometimes feels.
For all that matters, le’s carry on.

Your sister sojourner,

Victoria

You Can’t Go Back the Way You Came

“How do you move on? You move on when your heart finally understands that there is no turning back.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

So you’ve stumbled into the Second Journey. Uh oh. What now?

TravelMercies2Should you go East? West? North or South? Right now it doesn’t matter. You’re not really lost, you see. You’ve just turned an incredible corner.

Unsettling? Yes. Earth-shattering? Sometimes it really is. You realize things you never knew before, and quite frankly, you’re not sure what to do with the information. Or maybe you know what to do, but your heart hurts. The pain of feeling stuck feels worse than any pain it’ll take you to change.

Two things are certain: 1) You’re not alone, and 2) You can’t go back the way you came.

Welcome to the Second Journey. 

Now watch for red flags and low-flying monkeys. If you’re wading through a little brain fog, that’s quite all right. But that rear view mirror? Pfft! It’s gotta go. “Objects in the rear view mirror may appear larger than they are.” So use the mirror sparingly when gauging how far you’ve come. Otherwise, we’ll bump into signposts, campsites, noisy distractions, and wooly little varmints trying to snatch our joy. Don’t let ’em. Keep checking here for soul food, spiritual first aid, and little heart gifts coming our way.

Because life’s a trip. The second half is nothing like the first. Not at all what we expected, but more than we imagined. It’s  about the buried treasure which is Christ IN you, my friend.

Vicki176x200My name is Vicki.

I’m not a sherpa, guide, hobbit, or sage. I can’t even read a map. I’m just a fellow wanderer tapping out thoughts on a broken keyboard – a gray-haired scribe with way too many adjectives. I should eat those adjectives; I’ve certainly eaten crow. Now don’t take me too seriously. I love a little humor. And if I go all mystical or melancholy on you, just reel me in. ‘Cause I do stuff like that.

The road feels long, but life is short.

I dream of us growing into the men and women we truly are, gathering here to tell our stories.  Takes courage to speak the truth; to admit where we ache, to share in the art of overcoming. When grace dispels the myths that pummeled our identity in the first place, we start seeing what lay hidden on the former journey. The story of who we really are is setting us free. . . free to flex these courage muscles, drop the debilitating mask, and lay our baggage down.

May I ask, where are you on the map of life?

Maybe you don’t trust maps; you’ve been hit too often with unexpected detours. The journey’s not been kind, and you’re annoyed I’d even ask. I get it. If you need a kind word, encouragement, companionship, or hope – please join me.

No weigh-station here – just a place of reckoning.

The Second Journey is teaching me to let go, reach forward, and stop looking back. It’s a beautiful place. Not easier, but far more authentic. We might wear makeup, but not the mask. Transparency is sometimes misunderstood, and not always appreciated. Expect to lose a few friends. But like someone told me, “When you realize some love your mask more than they love the real you, something has to change.”

To that end:

• We accept the detours that led us here.  Acceptance is key.

* We stop wrestling over things we can’t change, and rest in the God-mystery.

* We see ourselves “accepted in the Beloved” and stop beating ourselves up.

* We embrace personal scars, and on a good day, we might even risk showing them to someone.

Telling our stories can be transformative.  I struggle, still, but I’m all about the healing.

“I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.”

Beautiful Sojourner, welcome to your one and only Second Journey.

Your sister scribe,
Victoria