It was a beautiful morning and I was happy to go on my 4-mile run in the woods. We live near a lovely State Park, with a lake and several trails. Today was going to be the blue trail for me. My husband was going to sit this one out, just relax by the lake and work on his tan. The sun was warm, the breeze was mild and the clouds clustered to break up the rays. Running shoes on, music selected and the trail beckoned. My husband and I spoke of the splendor of the day and all it had to offer. We arrived at the blue trail and I gathered my things, got out the car and said, “See you soon hon.” He replied, “Are you sure you’ll be ok? You’re not scared?” I smiled, turned to him and said, ” I’ve done this trail a bunch of times, why would I be scared now?” Unbeknownst to him…a seed of fear was planted. “Just be careful,” he said.
Strange, he never said that to me before, why now? As I warmed up, little creepy thoughts began to build up. Maybe I should turn back? Maybe he’s right? Maybe there is something lurking out there? MAYBE? MAYBE? MAYBE??!?!?!??! What was supposed to be a great day for a run, turned into a face off with the enemy between my ears…my mind. How quickly a seed of fear was planted, watered and took root?! As I ran deeper and deeper into the woods I grew more and more fearful. This was silly, I’ve run this trail before but this time it was different, there was a battle I had to fight and into the woods I went, running, panting, afraid. I wanted to turn back but I HAD TO MOVE FORWARD.
The enemy of our soul is a master at using his most potent tool…fear. It starts off subliminal, almost unrecognizable but slowly and surely grows, then before you know it has taken hold. This vice grip can destroy the very essences of who you are and what you were created to do in life, essentially your purpose is drowned out by the maybe’s, what if’s, and I can’ts. You see, this run was more than just a silly little exercise moment, it was my reality. I have put off so much in my life because of the fear of failure, the thoughts of never making things work out. As I went deeper into the woods my fear grew and thoughts of the evil lurking behind the trees preparing to destroy me seemed imminent. However, the evil was NOT a physical, tangible danger, it was a spiritual one. If you can set aside your God-given destiny, then you set aside your purpose as well as your calling…and the enemy of our soul wins.
So I continued to run, however, this time I began to pray out loud, calling out my Savior’s name, claiming, in the name of Jesus I will not turn back, I will move forward and even if I am afraid, I will take each step afraid but I will move forward. Suddenly, as if on cue, the breeze began to push against my back. I realized that I am not alone and have never been alone. I remembered, God sent me His comforter, my guide. John 14:26, “But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Companion, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.”
Photography Credit: Copyright 2013@Samuel Gonzalez Photography
I heard a rustling on the side of the trail and my heart nearly jumped out of my chest! I slowed down and moved quietly. Once again fear gripped me, but instead of running back, I moved toward the sound. Had I turned and run back to where I came from I would’ve missed a Doe and her fawn. It was so amazing, they turned their heads up at me and never moved. They watched me as I walked by and even followed me a few feet. I know that was unusual because deer usually avoid people but they didn’t run away, they continued on my journey, if only for a few yards. My pace began to gain momentum and then, monarch butterflies encircled me, I couldn’t wrap my head around this beautiful moment. Continuing my pace, they led the way, it had to be about 20 of them, dancing, floating, playing and this, all for me. I focused on their majesty and God helped me realize that if I put my trust in Him, my eyes will see ALL OF HIS GLORY. The trees swayed in the breeze, the scent of lavender engulfed my senses, the blue sky was clear and the Son’s rays shone on my face. At a distance, I saw the trail was coming to its end and so was my life’s lesson.
Life Lesson: Fear is a thought, not a reality. I learned, fear takes the same amount of energy as faith. Fear actually takes faith because it is the belief or the thought that something bad is going to happen. While on the other hand, faith is the belief or the thought that something good is going to happen. If you’re going to spend the same amount of energy thinking about something…WHY NOT CHOOSE FAITH?!?!?!
Keeping It Simple & Straightforward