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A Walk Through the Wilderness

Y’all ever been lost in the wilderness before?

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I’m not referring to the act of walking into a new Publix or Target and feeling a slight stiffening in your spine because the layout of the store is different than the one you normally go to. And if you haven’t auditioned to be a part of the Netflix hit series, “Alone”, do you even know how to survive in the real wilderness?

Let’s go deeper. Journey with me for a minute.

The wilderness I am referring to is the holy moment when you realize “Oh goodness, I am lost.” This is typically a place of isolation. A place of chaos. A place where we’ve lost the signal, not sure what’s next, and feel desperate for resources.

As someone who has been rescued out of the wilderness (on more than one occasion), it felt imperative that I offer my doodle-covered road map. Make a copy, tuck it away for later when you take the wrong turn, and don’t come after me if it doesn’t work for you.

It’s important to talk about the wilderness seasons in our lives. The Bible makes nearly 300 mentions of the word, and if the text is a living, breathing, map that God designed for us, then I’m going to trust that God has a purpose in it.

No, I haven’t dove into all 300 mentions, and I’m sure it will take a lifetime to truly unpack each one. However, I have grown in familiarity with the darker places in life and feel more equipped to manage my walk through them. I’d like to thank people like Adam & Eve, Moses, Jesus, and the spiritual mentors I’ve met along the way.

Reception is weak in the wild:

When we find ourselves realizing we are lost, our connection is typically already spotty. We let our pride get in the way, thinking we know where we are headed, before realizing we are in too deep. In reality, we are lost, and there is no cell service “here”. God’s voice is hard to hear over all the critters of the wild. We start hearing unfamiliar noises that raise our hair with fear and develop concerns that dampen our hope.

An unknown fate lies before us:

Whatever lies ahead while in the wilderness feels unknown and out of our control. Thanks to the media we consume and the deception of the enemy, our own interpretation of the wilderness can be a bit dramatic. Like the song “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”, we can’t go under it, we can’t go over it, we’ve got to go through it.

Desperate for resources:

You and I are blessed to have amenities, utilities, clean water, and Dollar Generals on every corner to supply us with beyond what we need. The feeling of desperation for our consumer-based culture is evident in our spiritual and emotional health the most. We are desperate for direction, lacking in love, and crumbling beneath comparison; just to name a few. Belonging is a resource that our lives depend on.

Thankfully, good things wait on the other side of the wilderness you are walking through. Those of you who have been rescued, or have successfully reached the other side; you know what I am talking about. May this be an encouragement for you to be quicker to listen, slower to anger, and patient when speaking with others. (James 1: 19-20)

Below is my personal road map. Since letting Jesus take the wheel of my life, I’ve been commissioned to be a warrior in the wilderness. Despite the call sounding cool, it comes with its fair share of bumps and bruises. If Jesus would leave the 99 to come find me out there, I know he is interested in finding you too.

  • Savor the moments of solitude as a time to talk with God.
  • Surrender, let out praise, and change your attitude.
  • Open up your bible. Don’t feel pressured to read, just open it.
  • Seek a spiritual mentor who has walked before you. Talk to them. Write to them. Call them.
  • REST. A body running on empty isn’t doing much running.
  • See trial as strength training. This grows your trust, patience, and dependence on God’s plan.
  • Jot it down. Note the process and prayers so you can look back on what got you through the last hard time.

The beauty of the wilderness is that no view is ever the same. We all have different perspectives from where we stand. Though a road map may be helpful, we must all trust in God’s master plan. This includes all of His children, you and me.

May we all walk through the wilderness together, thanking Jesus for the power of his blood that set us free.

May our time in the wilderness grow us, reveal truth to us, and shape us into the warriors God intended for us to be.

Till next time my warrior friends,

Local Pulse Staff Writer & Holy Moments Columnist, Makenna Curtis 

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Makenna Curtis is a Pensacola local with a BIG heart for her hometown. Motherhood, storytelling, helping others, and celebrating the small things in life are just a few of her favorite things. Makenna graduated the University of West Florida with a degree in Communications and Advertising in 2017. Her passion for living life to the fullest and connecting with others makes having a conversation or reading her work easy!