STEPPING INTO YOUR PROMISED LAND
(Excerpt from Beyond Religion, The Adventures of A. Soul)
“Finally, my Soul stepped into her promise land. Indeed, there was a new landscape, one in which every one of her senses was awakened to new possibilities. In this place, she heard a big, “Yes” and “Amen” to every one of the Author’s promises. (2 Corinthians 1:20) Falling to her knees, she lifted her arms and worshipped. She stayed in that posture for some time, then moved forward. Within a short time of crossing over into her promise land, my Soul pulled out her journal and wrote:
“There was indescribable joy stepping into the promise land.
Finally, the fulfillment of beauty for ashes and dancing for mourning was at hand.
The wide-open space tickled and excited my senses
I could see only success through rose-colored lenses.
There was a confidence that settled deep inside
The Author’s gifts and talents, I could no longer hide.
Liberty and Faith were twin companions I met along the way.
They journeyed with me and promised to always stay.
Possibilities married Potential without reservation.
Inspired by the Author, I wrote my first book, without distraction.
I knew my family and friends would cheer with encouragement and delight,
Knowing the price paid that enabled my faith to become sight.
‘Surely there are no giants in the promise land,’ I thought with relief;
Until in a moment, a missile fueled by Envy and Hatred, fell at my feet.
They snarled, ‘Who does she think she is?’ and ‘We know who you are;
Just another ordinary soul who won’t go very far.’
Spuriously sincere sounding voices taunted and criticized.
They exposed perceived limitations and decided to ostracize.
These giants I did not see coming,
for these friends and family members who were once consoling.
I plugged my ears to drown out their discouraging voices;
and added blinders to protect my sight and my choices.
The farther I ventured into this new promise land,
The distance between them and me became like sinking sand.
Instead of cheerleaders along the way,
Giants of doubt, fear and loneliness encroached and threatened to stay.
BUT for the Author’s voice that resonated within my soul saying persistently,
‘My child, press on, you will end victoriously.’
I believed His words.
Then my eyes were opened and I saw the giants as stepping stones.
Each one leading me closer to fulfill my divine destination.
Unknown to them, they became the fuel the Author used to provide additional inspiration.
Surprising, but true, the promise land had its challenges, temptations and testings too.
The difference now is that I know nothing happens by chance,
for I know the Author is in control and has purpose in every circumstance.”
My Soul put down her pen and reflected on her journey that led her to this place and this time. In a moment, her life flashed before her as the Author’s words to, ‘Press On’ reverberated through her soul. She remained in that reflective posture of rest and contentment for some time and then picked up her pen and wrote the following rhyme:
The seed was planted and took root, in pleasure, pain, joy or sorrow
Delight of new life, regret or despair for tomorrow
In the secret place where darkness prevails
God whispered, ‘My child, press on, I will be with you always.
Hold on though life is threatened, and the passage to light is dim and narrow.
Do not fear breaking through, I am the God who holds all of your tomorrows.
For I know the plans I have for you.’
And He gave this weakling strength to pass through.
Another girl, a voice said as they carried me away.
No tears or laughter, congrats were not in anyone’s thoughts that day.
Another mouth to feed, ‘Oh, God, help me,’ my mother prayed.
Then I heard the whisper, ‘You are fearfully and wonderfully made.’
Days to months and months to years.
Times of hunger, rejection, disappointment, abuse, moments of joy, laughter and plenty of tears.
No expectations of anything good, while longing for something no one understood.
Except that inner voice reminding me, ‘I have a plan and it is good.’
Childhood, adolescence, adulthood, innocence lost, mourned and forgotten;
A broken path followed that is travelled all too often.
Mistakes and regrets imprint the soul while the cycle of experience circles the sun.
His voice gets louder; I hear again, ‘My prize, the race has already been won.’
So, I press on, though narrow, uphill, lonely, cloudy and treacherous the path,
Reaching for something that God has planned for me from the start;
Pressing on, pressing in, to attain the goal
That my Lord already attained when He exchanged His life for this wretched soul.”
My soul paused from her reflections. When she did, the Gardener gently nudged her and asked,
“You seem downcast my Soul?
Now that you’re traveling in your promise land you must be courageous and bold.
The Author has given you the desires of your heart,
so, press on, as you did from the start.
I see your disappointment with family and friends.
Those whom you thought would be there to the end.
Sad to say, but it is true;
few are those who remain when you follow the Author’s plan for you.
Don’t look to man for cheers and encouragement.
It will only lead to disappointment.
Encourage yourself as King David did;
and know that the Author can use even the stones to cheer you on if no one will.
There are more giants in the promise land that you will face.
Remember, they are only stepping stones to quicken your pace.
Forge forward with resolute determination,
in following Him and Him only, is your eternal destination.
Your race has already been won.
Do not be dismayed or discouraged, the promise is yours.
God said it. It is therefore done.”
My Soul continued leaning into her Companion, Comforter and Closest Friend. She picked up her pen and started writing again. Her BIG dream becoming sight in each word she began to write. A new landscape, a new beginning, a new season emerged, when she journeyed beyond religion to know the Author and Finisher of her faith, and her new life converged.
(Reference from W.A.Vega ~ Beyond Religion, The Adventure of A. Soul)