For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Long Road

I have a friend who rarely finds time to write personal emails anymore. I understand that. Instead, she keeps us all updated via her blog site. Unfortunately, it may be weeks between updates, and sometimes her "last post" was an urgent prayer request about "later today" or "tomorrow", and three weeks later, we still don't know what has happened.

Then there is my friend Iona who is diligent about keeping her blog updated. I love it. Several times a week I can venture over and find out what is going on. It keeps us connected, and on days when I need someone to have coffee with, Iona's blog is there, and even if I've read it before, I read it again just because it feels good to my heart.

Iona actually schedules time to write several times a week, and she sticks to it unless a major thing prevents it. When I started this blog, I had hoped to be like Iona. I had concerns, but really, I hoped to be as dedicated to schedule as she is, and I am. Unlike Iona, my small children's schedule is the one that I have to be committed to, and lately, it has not allowed for much blog time or email time. In my inbox, I have emails over a month old that need attention, and now the embarrassment of having waited so long has set in, and I'm wondering if I can just ignore them and start over. :-) Some of you know what I mean.

Schedule is part of the prohibitive force that has kept me away from the keyboard. The other is personal....personal what? Mental state? Thought processes? Whatever the specific category, the general is "personal", and "personal" can be hard to put into a blog. At least it is for me. In fact, for me, personal is something I keep in the pages of my journal that I often consider having cremated with me when I exit this life. Well, I don't know that all those journals would fit into the crematorium with me, but there seems to be a bit of appropriateness in their ashes and my ashes all being heaped together. The remains of my body and my thoughts all put together in a large hole with a big oak tree planted on top. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, tree to tree. LOL If you find that morbid, I am sorry to offend, but it gave me a giggle. On the other hand, I like to think somewhere in those journals lies wisdom, revelation, healing, and truth, and the Lord does not desire for those things to die. After all, they came from Him. Who am I to be so selfish that I would take them with me. I brought nothing into this world, and I will take nothing out. Not even my journals, and who knows? Maybe someday someone will read them and find hope, an answer for where they are, or something that helps them see the Lord better. I like to think that is what would happen.

The truth is, I do believe there is wisdom and truth in my journals because I write about the Lord and what He has shown me in my life. However, along with the spiritual life, I've recorded my battle with the flesh, and sometimes I've lost huge. Granted, Jesus' blood and God's grace cover all the losses, but I'm still horribly ashamed at times. I'm ashamed that I was so stupid. I'm ashamed at being gullible. I'm ashamed of believing the lie...again. I'm ashamed that God loves me so much, and it seems that I am forever trampling on that love. And right along with that is pride. Pride and shame are conjoined twins in the emotional realm, I think. The truth is I don't know that I want people to know just how badly I blow it, and yet, the Bible says to confess our sins to one another, to pray for one another, to encourage one another. We are to lift each other up so we can gain victory over the flesh and our sins.

I'll tell you frankly that this is an area that the Lord is really dealing with me on right now. I won't go into details because they are long and as exciting as a Joseph Conrad book, but the simplified and concise version is this: there are levels of being real that just flat terrify me. I could explain why along with multiple examples, but the root is rejection by people, especially people who were important to me. Now, the frustrating part of this is that the Lord and I have dealt with this so many times! I really thought we were beyond this, and yet, here we are again staring at the same mountain. Except this time instead of running and hiding, I feeling like we are looking at the mountain together, both sipping on coffee, discussing our strategy for ascent.

See too often we stare at the mountain before us, especially the ones we've seen over and over again, and we just want passed the mountain. It's the simple question of, "How do I get out of this?" We like the K.I.S.S. philosophy-Keep It Short and Simple. However, I've seen the view from the top of a few other mountains I've climbed. The climb is exhausting and feels like it'll kill you--but that is the purpose, to kill you--but when you are at the top and can look out from where you are, the view is stunning. The air isn't full of gunk like it is on level ground. The sky isn't dirty, so the sun is clearer. One's Breath is purer, and the Light is brighter and clearer. It is amazing.

And that is where I am. I'm standing somewhere on this mountain, because I've climbed part of it before, and my Guide and I are devising strategy for the rest of the climb. I figure there will be points in the ascent when I whine and want to quit, but it is my heart's desire that He refuses to let me sit down or quit. I figure we'll take a rest here and there, but I don't want to make our temporary campsite into a lodge. I want the mountain top, and my Guide wants to get me there. Where two are in agreement, wondrous things happen--miraculous things....God things, and isn't that what this is about? Releasing the God things?

Hoping you stay on the path even when it strays from your comfort zone.....

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