Wilderness experiences may show up looking different for different people, at different times. But the commonality in all Wilderness experiences is that they challenge our capacity to be joyful, to maintain our hope, to be of sound mind, and to dream with God in spite and above circumstances. In his book, GOD WHERE ARE YOU, John Bevere adds that it may also be a time when we can’t hear God. However, I like another descriptive quote from his book on page 33
“Just as the Lord led the children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness, so He leads you. The devil did not lead you here, God did. And there is a purpose – a divine plan – for this dry time.”
I have been widowed twice. Both were times of Wilderness for me. Harold, my husband, of 16 years passed away in 2000 after 7 years of battling cancer. I was his caregiver. I was inconsolable for years after his passing! In March of 2017, I married Walter after nearly 17 years spent as a widow, re-inventing myself by learning the truth about the nature of God, drawing closer to Jesus and allowing Holy Spirit to be my Comforter and Coach. On September 1, 2018, Walter died suddenly at home after a joyful day spent hanging out together and making future plans for our joint ministries. I kept all of my speaking and teaching engagements through it all in spite of clients offering to cancel for my sake and continued a robust Coaching practice. What was different about my grieving experiences? I loved them both very deeply and shared a faith in God and joyful times with both. The difference was who I had become in 17 years through intentionality. I continue to hurt deeply, but I am not bereft or lost anymore. Going into this Wilderness, I asked God what He needed me to learn and where did He want me to land on the other side of it. I miss Walter with every fiber of my being and wish for his company every day, BUT I am moving into a deeper relationship with the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit and excitedly watching the ‘new thing’ that has begun in me, for me and for others.
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