"No matter how many good friends I had, there were aspects of my life I needed to deal with alone - heart issues and attitudes that could not be wrestled with in a Bible study...They had to be confronted by the Holy Spirit in the privacy of my own soul."
~ "A Glimpse of Grace" by Mary Forsythe (with Beth Clark)~
Typical journey tales follow a pattern - the hero or heroine receives their calling or mission. Then they band together with one or more traveling companions who share the ups and downs of the journey toward the goal.
But ultimately, in every journey tale I've ever read, the main character reaches a point in the story where he or she must make the next leg of the journey on his own.There are no mentors, no companions to walk the path with him. He is brought face to face with his inner dragons of fear and doubt; he must overcome them or forfeit the cause.
As the Author of my life story writes each chapter, I see the same thing.He has given me friends who will walk with me and pray. As a teenager, there were Debbie and Gail. We were inseparable - singing, playing and praying together. We even did concerts, radio appearances and made a record with four songs on it.
But there came a dark moment in my teenage years when I was forbidden to see them. My spiritual support system had collapsed and I had to weather the storm alone. Through it, the Holy Spirit walked with me and worked with me, helping me wrestle my teenaged demons.
As an adult, I wrestled new demons - depression and despair. Though my pastor husband walked with me, though Christian friends supported and prayed, the ultimate battle was mine.
I had to put on the spiritual armor and walk into the battle for my soul. I had to make the final decision about whether I wanted to overcome the depression or continue to wallow in it.
No one can change my heart - not even God unless I am willing to be changed. These alone-time battles are the ones I must fight myself - when I wrestle with my own will . Am I willing to change? Am I willing to allow Him to change me?
As my life journey continues, I find it is a cycle of these events - I walk with friends and together we win spiritual coups. But the Holy Spirit always leads me back to that place where I must defeat my attitudes and intentions before I can go any farther.
But that is as it should be. Even the Son of God walked with his friends into the garden of Gethsemane where they fell asleep while He struggled with his own will. He rose from his struggle with renewed purpose, ready to complete his journey at the cost of his own life. That struggle preceded the most glorious part of the story - His resurrection.
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