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Finding the trail begins with facing your fears

Turtle Head Peak, Red Rock Conservation Area

I am on a journey of healing. And healing can be an exciting adventure. It can be something that I think is full of rest, becoming better than I was before, no longer dealing with the pain of the past. But it can also be a difficult and extremely long journey. When I look at my healing in this light, I think of a hike I did with friends called “Turtle Head Peak.” It sounded like a cute name for a trail, particularly because I like turtles. My friends told me it would fun and we would spend the morning conquering it together.

It was a difficult hike. We set out in the early morning before the desert sun got hot and we’re already sweating. I thought it would be a good idea to bring a gigantic water bottle filled to capacity, as well as other necessities, such as my bible, a journal, sunscreen, snacks to last me a week, pens, a first aide kit, and about 17 other things, just in case. All shoved into a backpack that weighed me down. We had a long path to follow to the base of the mountain that took us about 45 minutes to walk. And once we got to base, the real work began.

To say that I was unprepared was an understatement. I had hiked before. On nice, cleared trails clearly marked with stones that were there to tell you exactly where the path was. The deserts of southern Nevada are filled with amazing trails that exhibit a raw beauty only a desert can offer for those that take the time to look for it. But never had I climbed a mountain that didn’t have a trail. In fact, the majority of what we did was scramble. Seriously, that is a real hiking term. We would make our way up portions of this mountain and get to a point of loose dirt and rock, and the only way we could get up was to “scramble” up. Which basically means getting on your hands and feet and going as fast as you can so as not to disturb the loose dirt and rock too much that you slide down instead of going up. Not an easy feat with a heavy backpack. I continually asked myself why I was doing this through out the course of my hike. My hands were dirty, and then they started to bleed from cuts given by the rocks.

This is how my healing journey has been. I have spent a large portion of my adult life on the nice, cleared paths, marked with big rocks that tell me where to stay and where to go. And the past few years has been spent in the midst of growing my family with more children, working on a career, taking a break, and then returning back to work; of the Lord reminding me of the buried dream I had of being a writer. When I finally decided to be obedient to the continuous calls of this resurrected dream, I constantly asked the Lord, “What am I going to write about?” Seriously. Every Christian, American 30-something woman wants to start a blog and feels the call to be a writer (probably because we ALL have a story to tell); so what am I going to write about that is going to be intriguing and worthwhile to people bombarded with blogs and posts every day, all day long? My conversation looked something like this:

“Jesus, what am I going to write about?!??!??! :whine whine whine whine whine whine::

“Emotions – you’re a counselor, and maybe you can intertwine your treatment knowledge with biblical knowledge to encourage and challenge people.”

“I can do that! Wait. Maybe I can’t. I’m not a psychologist. Or a researcher. I’m just, a girl who wanted to help people with drug addiction. How am I going to do this? I don’t have the credentials to do this!” ::whine whine whine whine whine whine::

“Oh, you have the credentials. Because I want you to share about your own emotions. And I’m going to take you on a journey of processing, growing, and healing, in regards to your own emotions. And your going to share you testimony of what I (God) did, by connecting it to the truths of My word, and the relevancy of the counseling world.”

::awkward pause::

::whine whine whine whine whine whine::

I am in a position of having to obedient to the call that the Lord has given me. If I don’t write, I am awake at night thinking about writing, and I am a grumpy, horrible, human being when I don’t sleep. So here I am, finding my trail, facing my biggest fear of rejection by laying my brokenness, junk, pain, and things I've learned all on the table.

When we got to the top of the mountain on our hike, it was an exhilarating experience. The view was spectacular and I was so excited and energized, and thankful to have been able to accomplish such a difficult hike. Little did I know that the hike down would be way worse than the hike up. If you think scrambling up a mountain is difficult, try scrambling down. Gravity does not work well in your favor. I actually lost my footing on the way down and landed on my tail bone on a jagged rock. I still have pain years later from that un-graceful landing.

Maybe it’s like that in our lives. The things we have experienced, survived, endured; we get to the top, thinking it’s over and we have conquered it—only to come to the realization that the healing journey afterwards is way more difficult and painful than the things we have overcome. And we can find ourselves grasping to people that are just as lost as we are. While hiking down, we would track other hikers climbing up, and attempt to find a trail to follow to where they were. When we came to the place of crossing paths, they would ask us, “Where is the trail?!”, to which we would respond, “We were following you to get down, show us where your trail was!” The reality is that we can’t depend on someone else’s trail to find our way to healing. I have to acknowledge my fears to be able to find my trail to healing.

So here I am, about to embark on this journey of diving head first into the transparency of sharing my healing journey as I am experiencing it. I’d love for you to embark on this journey with me.

Megan's Messy Memoirs

I may be a counselor and "trained" in how to help others overcome their emotional mountains and find their trails; but don't let that career title fool you. I am broken, have lot of soul searching to do, room to grow, and need a Savior every mili-second of the day.

Points to Ponder:

Grab a cup of coffee and spend a minute thinking about these questions:

What are you fearful of?

What was the scariest moment of your life?

What does fear mean to you?

How do you overcome fear?

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