We left at 6:00 am Halloween morning, and from that point forward it was all hustle, bustle, and adventure. If you've ever been on a road trip with 5 20-something's, you know what I mean. We were going, going, going only stopping to eat, and even that was an adventure.
After lazing about at a coffee shop in San Antonio, going to the zoo, and eating at some hole-in-the-wall burger place I was super nervous about, we decided to make our way to Fredericksburg, and as we got there, we spontaneously decided that we definitely HAD to go to Enchanted Rock, I mean we were so close, right? Why not? So we went.
Once we saw this huge mountainous rock, we were hooked. We knew we had to climb it. We had to see what was at the top. Little did we know, the journey was going to be more intense than we were expecting. We made pit stops for pictures, and water, and to breathe because even though this was just a "rock," it was a 2,000 ft above sea level rock, and we were pretty sure it was getting hard to breathe (or maybe that's just what we told ourselves to make ourselves feel better.)
The last 100 yards were the worst. We had to talk each other up the rock, encourage each other, and lovingly push, if necessary. But at long last, we made it. And it was so worth it. Now, if you can't find the beautiful life metaphors in that, I don't know what to tell you. We can't get to the mountain top and the view without the journey. And that makes the journey so, so worth it. You need relationships that will encourage you, and push you, if necessary. Our relationship with Jesus is a constant battle between yourself, Jesus, and the devil. Reaching our God-given goals is a constant battle. Sometimes you'll want to turn back and give up, don't. The mountain top is just another 100 yards away, just another fight away. Push through it. You can do it.
Now, those are very important lessons and reminders that Jesus gave me during that uphill battle, but my favorite part was when we were at the top and it was getting dark. One of my friends I was with thought it would be a good idea to take some time to ourselves and go pray for a little bit before we made our way back down. Honestly, I was like 97% against this idea. I know, I'm the worst Christian ever. Such a sinner. But really, in my mind, I was watching the sunset, practically counting down the minutes until the sun had completely vanished, thinking about how many times we almost fell getting up there in broad day light, and just imagining how much worse it would be in the darkness.
Apparently, I'm the only one with this type-A, over-cautious, worrying personality (the struggle!) so I was over ruled, and I set off by myself to go find myself a nice, dark spot to "pray," even though I was not happy about it and I was really just contemplating our impending deaths. Again, sinner over here, and perhaps maybe a touch melodramatic! A couple minutes go by, I eventually get over myself, and I start reading a SheReadsTruth bible plan I have on my phone (download the app!! It's the best) and the study that day was about being raised from dead to life.
Now, I was in awe of Jesus because hello! It was Halloween. The next day was Dia De Los Muertos aka Day of the Dead. What perfect timing for this devotional. Instead of focusing on death and sin and our transgressions, I would much rather focus on life, and mercy, and grace, and Jesus' sacrifice and love that made this possible.
And just as I was contemplating this, another thought hit me that literally took my breath away. This day was my 11th anniversary of accepting Jesus into my life! And I didn't even remember til 7pm. All I was thinking was, I'M LITERALLY THE WORST. I was feeling so much guilt and shame and so unworthy to be loved so much by a God who never forgot me a day in my life, then I realized these are the things the devil wants me to be thinking. My chatterbox was going 100mph (see Crash the Chatterbox by Steven Furtick). All I had in my mind were dead thoughts. I needed life thoughts.
I needed that reminder of His love for us, His grace, His mercy, His life we have in Christ I had just read about literally 3 minutes ago. So I reread the devotional. I let His life-giving words wash over me, as I thanked Him for His forgiveness, and forgave myself. I prayed and celebrated with Jesus these past 11 years that have been full of life before I got up, wiped the dirt off me, and went back to find my friends confident that I was walking in His grace and mercy, no matter what transgressions I commit or have committed.
My prayer for you, is that you remember that no matter what you do, or what you've done, you know that you are walking in Jesus' love, mercy, and grace every day of your life. Even if you forget your 11 Year anniversary with the Creator of the Universe, which may not seem like a big deal to you, but I'm a dates person (I love birthdays, friendaversaries, anniversaries, etc.) So even if you, fill in the blank here, you are still worthy of God's love because of your relationship with Jesus. There is no need to feel guilt or shame, that's just the devils way of making you feel unworthy of a relationship with Jesus and helping you distance yourself from Him. Don't fall for it. He's tricky. Think life thoughts.