“Sometimes He calls us to go where our friends do not follow,” she said to me.
It was six years ago last week that someone’s prayer for me shed new light on my walk with Jesus. We were on our women’s retreat and the speaker had just sent everyone out for some alone time with God. But, I did not want to go. I stayed in my seat, with my head down, afraid to press on.
I was not surprised by my reaction to this invitation. I had been running scared for about three months and was finally asked to do the one thing I had been avoiding. Only now, it was in front of all of my peers. I knew I could go outside and just pretend. But, slowly that art was being taken from me as well.
I got up and sat beside the speaker, Kim. “I’m afraid,” I said.
She was kind and asked a few questions. But, really all she needed to know was that He was calling me to go into a place I did not want to go. He was pressing on some deep hurts that I did not want to feel.
Avoiding them though had brought no peace. Only fear and angst. And loneliness.
My friends had walked with me for a long time, and yet this felt different. I knew that I would never be above needing their encouragement, but I was being called to go into a darkness without them beside me.
Kim prayed a simple prayer, and gave me a vision to help me on my way out the door that day. She spoke of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, and how He absolutely did not want to go. He did not want to press on into the final chapter of His life here on earth.
But, for the joy set before Him, He did, she prayed. And He did it by himself. He agonized in those dark hours before His death alone, so that we would not have to go into our darkness without Him.
Her last words were, “Please Heavenly Father, let Carrie get a glimpse of your love for her, because she was the joy set before Him.”
I thought to myself, “I think He just did.”