An adventure is an exciting or unusual experience, as opposed to the humdrum of ordinary life. I’m not really the adventurous sort, but I love living vicariously by watching mountain climbing and survival movies. That’s enough earthly adventure for me.
Heavenly adventures are something else. Heavenly adventures get the “plodding horse” moving. Heavenly adventures make the old horse perk up and step higher. They inspire, bring purpose, and make the ordinary extraordinary. That’s because they are God directed. Life often does plod along and nothing much seems to be happening, but once in awhile an adventure comes along that reminds me I’m not just living an earthly life. I’m living a heavenly life, right now.
For years, whispers in my inner ear about a backyard prayer garden and writing have stirred in my soul. The prayer garden is now real, but I’ve never been sure of its purpose. A childhood dream of writing was buried under the debris of a problematic life until, in 2014, on a whim, I sent a story to A Bundle of Thyme magazine. As God would have it, there was a vacancy, and I’ve been writing a monthly story ever since. But I still didn’t consider myself “a writer.” When a dear friend sent me a poem he had written, my buried love of poetry was resurrected, and I began writing poetry again. We shared and discussed our poems and stories, and his encouragement suggested that maybe writing was something I should pursue.
It’s hard to pinpoint the beginning of this adventure story. Was it twelve years ago when I began the prayer garden? Eight years ago when I began writing for Thyme magazine? Or was it more recent: when I was encouraged by my friend, Jack, or decided to go on the SOULWELL Journey? You can decide after reading the rest of the story.
The last two years, the question of purpose became heavier on my heart. Why the prayer garden? Did God really give me a desire and ability to write? These two things continually called to me, and I became more serious in seeking God for direction and confirmation. Sometimes I’m a little slow to hear, and then doubt what I’m hearing. Then small, yet extraordinary things happened.
First, I began reading a book called Emotionally Healthy Christianity by Peter Scazzero. It pointed me toward being my true self. Soon after, a post on social media about a retreat called “The SOULWELL Journey” popped up on my feed. Because of the questions I was wrestling with, all was not well with my soul. It got my attention! The website described exactly what I was looking for! I still remember the moment: sitting in my yellow velvet Goodwill chair, the exciting words about the journey on my laptop in front of me, I turned toward the nearby bookcase. The title Courage and Calling by Gordon T. Smith jumped out at me. There it was, summing up in two words what my heart was crying for, waiting for just the right time to be read. Was this a signpost on my Path?
I applied to go on this Journey and was accepted. The first email arrived with the first weekend’s reading list. What a surprise to find Emotionally Healthy Christianity on the list. There was no doubt that God was in this.
The Journey was comprised of three powerful, love-filled, healing weekends. Through the Enneagram work we did (I’m a 9 with a 1 wing), I learned to appreciate my strengths and identify some things that were holding me back. By the end of the Journey, God confirmed that I was hearing rightly: the prayer garden and writing are gifts I would be amiss not to use. I came away committed to move forward, perhaps join a writer’s group.
About one month later, my friend Jeannie and I took a day trip to Belton. In line to pay for our treasures at an antique shop, Jeannie pointed to a flyer taped to the front of the counter. “Is that something you’d be interested in?” I had totally missed it, but I’m glad she didn’t!
Thee Writerly House Fellowship--Email for more information
The response to my inquiry confirmed it was God moving again. Jeannie’s invitation, the trip, the antique store…all these little pieces came together to point me to this wonderful group of fellow writers, who now encourage, inspire, and motivate me.
The adventurous path isn’t always so clear, but this particular season of my life God has graciously and definitely pointed the way. The story is still unfolding. I have an idea for a book that incorporates my prayer garden with “God stories.” Now it’s up to me to write it.
Originally written and published August 2022