I’ve loved traveling for as long as I can remember!! Since my parents were missionaries to India when I was a kid, I got to experience more travel than most of my friends. I loved new experiences. I loved seeing different climates, people, cultures etc. I loved airplanes… of course I was a lot smaller back then and fit in the airplane seats more comfortably ;). I remember thinking the airports themselves were fascinating!!
In all my travels, I never knew that my greatest adventure would be 5 years of illness that caused me to be bedridden and live in a dark, quiet room. God was faithful, He always is, and this would be my greatest travel experience yet.
Instead of experiencing cultures and scenery I experienced heavenly realms and lessons of long-suffering. Long suffering is one of the fruits of the spirits listed in the Bible (Galatians 5). “Long suffering” is not one we often talk about. Talking about the other fruits are more pleasant “Love, joy, peace, etc.” But for me I’ve often learned the lessons of love, joy, and peace from the longsuffering in my life.
When my family went through persecution and had to flee my home in India in the middle of the night, I learned from my parents that we had to “love” our enemies. We had to love and pray for those who persecuted us. When I went through lonely, or boring times of life, the Lord taught me to appreciate everything, to find my joy in Him (a long story for another time). Through 5 years of longsuffering illness He taught me that peace is only found in Him. He taught me to be grateful for the trials because of what they can produce within us… that is IF we run to God through them and give Him our broken hearts day by day.
When I was 16 and got my driver’s license it was one of the most exciting, freeing experiences!! I loved driving and I loved the freedom it gave me. The first road trip I took where I was old enough to drive was the best!! I was quick to volunteer to drive for as many of the hours as my family could stand. I enjoyed driving on those loooong highways with cornfields and blue skies all around. The windows down, the wind in my hair, the beat of the happy music playing on the stereo, the prayers/conversations with Jesus I’d have while driving. The jokes I’d make with my family along the way. I loved it all.
I’m grateful for those experiences. Especially since I’m in my twenties and can no longer drive. Due to my health and permanent vision damage I can’t drive anymore. But maybe it was time for me to get out of the driver’s seat and let Jesus take the wheel. It was time for me to get in the passenger’s seat and let Him teach me whatever was on His heart. It was time to let Him take my spirit, my soul, to places untraveled. It was time to let go. It was time to “let God”.
My stubbornness and pride were roadblocks from the journey Jesus was taking me on. But He so kindly works with our hearts, heals us, and moves those roadblocks aside. My unforgiveness and bitterness were from brokenness and hurt. A broken road that Jesus was willing to take me through and repair, one piece at a time. My independence and ambition, were characteristics God made me with, they were good characteristics. But slowly I had let them become so important to me that I found some of my value from what I could accomplish instead of from who I am (God’s kid).
Through those years of pain, suffering, difficulty breathing, complete dependence on others, God took me to so many beautiful places with Him. He changed my heart, softened me, healed me. He changed my view on so many things. He gave me peace. He deepened my love for Him and for others. He helped me give more grace to myself and to others. He helped me lose control, which helped free my heart.
Understanding God’s love for us in a new way was and is amazing. It’s life changing. Though my body and organs weren’t functioning, one organ (my heart) felt like it was functioning in the way God intended it to (metaphorically speaking). My body was dying from the Lyme Disease, but my spirit was more alive and aware of God’s love than ever before.
I was very aware of Heaven. I longed for Heaven… mostly because I longed for more of God, for more of His presence, I just wanted to be with Him. Yes, my body was miserable and it would’ve been nice to leave the suffering of this world and live in Heaven, the most beautiful place ever!! But that’s not what drove me to crave going there. I just wanted to be with my Lord. This life is so short, whether I would’ve died at age 22 or whether I live to be 100, it is a blink of an eye. And our eternity, with Jesus in Heaven, in complete beauty and utter joy, is something I can’t even convey in words. But the joy we experience there will erase every hurt we ever experienced on Earth.
Now that my health is improving I still have the hope to travel this beautiful world one day. I still desire to meet people in every nation and share Jesus with the hurting and broken around the world. But even if I never have the ability to travel the way I dream, I know that the travel we do with our bodies in this world vs the travel we do in our souls with Jesus, have no comparison. As Isaiah 55:9 says, “His ways our higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.” To me that means that the things He desires for us are way more fulfilling than the things we desire for ourselves. The thoughts He wants to share with us in the secret place, are more incredible than the thoughts we think on our daily basis
In that dark, quiet room, in that place of contentment and peace was an outer shell (my body) of severe pain, and horrible weakness. I was a body failing but a soul thriving. There is no explanation for that except one- Jesus. He is the only one that can take something as horrible as losing everything and make it into an experience where you gain everything. I didn’t gain health or riches or fame or success, but I gained a spirit that was more in-tuned with our Heavenly Father’s spirit. I gained a heart freed from insecurities and hurts. A broken spirit turned into a resting ground.
I don’t know how to put into words the journey the Lord has taken me on. But I know I would choose this journey over a hundred travels on this Earth. I would choose knowing Jesus in a deeper way than “all my dreams coming true.” Now I have many desires, but really just one dream- To know and love Jesus all the days of my life (here on earth and in Heaven). Because He really is that good, that awesome, that incredible!! If you don’t know Him, or you want to know Him better, take the time to spend with Him. His hand is reached out to us, so reach back. Grab His hand, and let Him take you on the incredible journey He has planned for you.
“The Lord bless you my friends and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you.”
Numbers 6:24-25 “If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.”
Psalm 139:8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
As always if you need prayer or someone to talk to you can reach me at my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/RadicalRoad/
Due to my health I sometimes take a long time to respond, but in the meantime I will be praying for you my dear friends. Thank you for your support and for following me.
Photo by NIC photography: https://www.facebook.com/NIC-Photography-553186744732014/
I’ve recently started posting videos at my youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOIG3k9tTrzzw0gybOa-4Yg
Or you can find videos on my facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/pg/RadicalRoad/videos/?ref=page_internal