I’m flying far away Friday. Off to Alaska to an island surrounded by ocean teeming with fin whales and sea lions, salmon and otters. Flying off to write and to learn to write better. Flying off to take a breaths under expansive sky, to visit dear friends, to meet and make new friends. Flying off to the edge of a continent and eating the fish pulled from the sea each day. I am thankful for all this, God’s gifts.
I’m looking forward to basking in the gorgeous poetry of Jeanne Murray Walker and Luci Shaw. Hopefully, I’ll hold an advanced copy of my friend Leslie’s latest book releasing October 1 and I’ll read about her fantastic journey on foot around the Sea of Galilee, gleaning some of the insights she gained. (You can pre-order Leslie’s Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt, and the Seas by clicking here!)
More than anything, I’m flying far away to give thanks to God in the very place where I began the book I hope to finish this year. It’s time. The dust has settled a bit here on the farm to the point where I have greater perspective and a deeper knowledge of the greatness of God’s faithfulness in the midst of trying times.
And so I go. And I will look for those smooth, black stones on the beach—the ones I placed on a log with my friend Vina. This time, I won’t throw them back to sea as we did then, hurling our writing insecurities with each one, watching them disappear into the deep.
This time, I want to take those stones and build an altar of remembrance, an altar of gratitude to our God who is eternally good and faithful—who leads us step-by-step as we seek as best we can, even in our fears, even in our fogs where we simply can’t see even the next step sometimes, where we just step out into the misty unknown, not knowing where our foot will land. Trusting God will pull something out of us that’s good and use it to nourish not only ourselves but others.
I’m not the woman I was four years ago when I didn’t even know what Creative Non-Fiction (CNF) was—when I didn’t even know if I could write. I didn’t know the dear new friends I would make, the precious puppy I’d bring home, the marvelous, spirit-giving words I’d read from people I now know. I found like-minded souls on the farthest edge of a continent, some whom I know will be friends for life.
Lesson learned, again? Sometimes God must take us through our fears to bless us best. But bless He will, when we follow Him, even if feebly, into the wilderness of His choosing.
Great is Thy Faithfulness, O God!