I am on a journey. This journey is long and confusing, and sometimes I am unsure if I have really started it, or am backtracking. My journey is where I am going, and how I’m going to get there.
This journey has many stops along the way. Some are stops to check my supplies, make sure everything is there. Sometimes things get dropped and I have to go back to find them, whether that was originally my intention or not. Sometimes my stops are to help those along the way. And while it feels like aiding others in their journey is slowing me up, I am often amazed that I am actually miles farther ahead than I was when I looked away from the path I was traveling on.
There are also times I get lost. The path is there, bright as can be, but sometimes I take that for granted. “It will be there when I get back. I’ll only be gone for a little bit.” And sometimes I have doubts that I am even on the right path. Dark whispers surround me, coaxing me away. “You don’t know where you’re going. The journey is pointless. You are a fool to believe this is the path to take. Everyone else is taking the other path because it’s more fun and exciting. Why exactly do you want to take this path when you have the freedom to have more fun on that other path?”
That last question tears at me all the time. Why? And I stare with longing at the world passing me by, laughing and carefree. And I hum along with their songs, edging closer and closer to the edge of my path until I soon find myself skipping, laughing, and singing their songs on their path. But I still see my path in the distance. And after a while I see that I do not matter on this path, only the songs and games matter. And through the laughter and the joy, I see hints of pain and confusion. I see demons laughing at me, playing hide and seek through the illusion of innocence. And I run back at my path with them clawing at my heels. “Come back! Be one of us!”
And once back on my path, I know I am safe. But I am also fragile. I know the pain of leaving, but I still feel the tempatations. And that scares me. I start sprinting on my path, wanting to make up for lost time, wanting to outrun my demons. And I am afraid that I will become winded and be forced to stop and rest….
And I do become winded. And I stop and sit at a tree. And I watch the other path, the laughing and singing. And I cry as I feel it is just hopeless.
But I am not alone. I feel Him approach me and sit beside me. I do not look up at Him, ashamed that I am not obedient to the One that created me, and suffered for me.
“I love you,” he says. Hot tears spill down my face.
“But why? Why would you care for someone who couldn’t possibly care for you?” I ask, still not looking at Him.
“Crissi, why are you here? Why did you come back?” He asks, ignoring my question.
“Because it was required of me,” I say indignantly. “You expected it of me.”
“No, my little one. You have the freedom to choose your path. I don’t expect you here. I want you here because I love you.”
“But how could you love me when I keep choosing to leave you?”
“Crissi, when you were away, you looked back over here. You knew where you wanted to go, and you knew that there was only one way to get there. But it took you leaving the path to realize that you really wanted to be here.”
“But the other path is still there. I can still see it.”
“Oh, my precious one, the other path will always be there. And you will always be able to choose if you stay here or go over there. But know this: I will always love you, and I will always welcome you back with open arms.”
“But why do you love me?” I whisper.
“Look at me.” I burst into tears.
“Look at me.” I wipe my eyes and lift them to meet his. His face was of comfort and grace, his smile warm and compassionate. But his eyes….his eyes were my own. “My precious child, I created you. I held you in my hands and breathed my life into you. And no one could ever love you more than I love you.” And as He fades from my sight, I feel him wrapped around me in the safest of embraces. And I know that I am where I belong, and that I was and always will be His child forever.