Veterans Memorial Bridge Susquehanna River

Nature is beautiful, Nature is majestic.

Its vastness compels one to embark on a deep thoughtful journey of life and purpose. Nature has a way of anchoring me and recalibrating my faith. It teaches me to pace myself as I daily race against time, and it reminds me of how precious I am to God Himself.

It is no wonder that for Labor Day, I decided to visit the Susquehanna river by way of the Columbia Crossing river trail. I was most excited about FINALLY getting to see the infamous Veterans bridge in person and on my time. Little did I know that God was waiting for me with a precious collection of encouragements. I just love Him; His love for me gets potent with each passing day in my new normal.

the river softly crash against rocks reminded me that although some circumstances seem tumultuous as they crash against the peaceful times in our lives, they’re God’s way of smoothening and pruning us for His purpose.

Upon arrival at the trail, I took pictures of the beautiful Veterans Memorial Bridge overlooking the Susquehanna river, and then I decided to walk around.

Veterans Memorial Bridge

Something told me “go into the visitors center and grab some maps and guides.” I did, and within 5 minutes of me stepping in tears found their home on my cheeks. It was a beautiful art exhibition: Current Colors by Columbia, PA native Diana Thomas. God bless her heart on my behalf.

Diana decided to set and accomplish a goal of doing a painting a week for a year! Quite impressive! The intent of this project was to display the beautiful Susquehanna River over the course of changing seasons in 2016; however, it turned out to be a season of rediscovering herself and her faith through nature.

There were over 60 paintings in her current colors collection, each of which were accompanied by journal entries about the painting. What made it a refreshing collection to admire was the touch of faith in each entry; some had bible verses, some prayers, and others simple pep talks. Honestly, I felt like Diana was speaking directly to me…to this season.

In one entry, she’d had a challenging week prior to the week of the entry and she talked about how life has its ups and downs. How it throws its curves and brings its obstacles when we least expect them and creates heavy things on our minds. The comforting part of that entry resonated with me; she said watching and listening to the river flow calmed her thoughts and spirit. She ended the entry with an excerpt from an age old hymn: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrow like sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, thou hast thought me to say it is well, it is well, with my soul.” I tell you, great peace rushed through me! Nature has a way of calming my mental storms. Seeing the river softly crash against rocks reminded me that although some circumstances seem tumultuous as they crash against the peaceful times in our lives, they’re God’s way of smoothening and pruning us for His purpose.

In another entry, she talked about her excitement for a different kind of journey, a new road to travel, especially regarding her goal for the year. While reading it I thought “I too am on a journey and quite honestly, I couldn’t tell you north from south. I don’t know if what I’m doing is actually right or wrong,” and then it happened. I read her closing remarks on the entry: “Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying ‘this is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:18-21 JESUS, IF YOU DON’T COME THROUGH!!🙌🏾

I’m listening 👂🏾

Sometimes our instincts lead us to dance to the beat of a different drum. A drum that only we can hear, but then the voice of reason forces us to rationalize these atypical moves. We then allow the norm to creep in and throw off the rhythm. If we can just trust in our abilities to tune out the noise and hone in on the inherent cues, we’ll soon discover that our moves to our drums offer the world a unique memorable recital.

The drum is PURPOSE. I’ve found myself bombarded by that word a lot lately, and its catapulted me into moments of reflection about my own. Uncertainty loomed over this season so much that I began to worry/stress about my future, my career, my calling, my ministry, my purpose. I wondered if my moves were indeed led by God or simply led by my emotions. I pondered on how the people in the Bible felt when God told them to “pick up and go!” Were they scared? Were they confused? What made them so certain? What if they hadn’t obeyed? What if they failed?

For the past few weeks these questions have been on repeat in the record player of my subconscious. And I must admit, it’s kind of been a debilitating ordeal to navigate the unknown. You know, that moment when you feel like you have a deeper purpose and desire to explore it, but the voices in your head, and sometimes your heart, tell you “You can’t. Don’t bother. What if you fail? Are you sure?” I wasn’t surprised that Diana also had similar questions during her year long project, but I was surprised at her response to those questions. At a time, she didn’t think she had all she needed to create intricate, meaningful pieces of art for the project. After stalling to paint a few times she said to herself  “Go! pick up the brushes and quit stalling. You might like it first try, you might paint over it, or even leave it unfinished, but for Pete’s sake, GO TRY AND LEARN SOMETHING!”

WOW! What an encouragement to my spirit.

Fast forward a year later, here I stand awed and inspired by her 52 week doubting-belaboring-yet trying and succeeding-gallery of beauty. She tried and excelled. She tried, and for that I’m forever grateful.

You see, the first move to accomplishing or fulfilling anything, especially your purpose, is trying. Taking that leap of faith. Starting that process. The worse that could happen is you learn something new about yourself. Either something you never knew you could do, or something that helps you do better. Coincidentally, I decided to watch the movie SING after my Labor day adventure (yes, I’m a sucker for all things musical…see my bio lol). Anyway, there’s a character named Meena who wanted to audition for the show; however, she didn’t because she got nervous. Mr. Moon asked her “Last chance kid, you wanna join these guys?” to which she responded “I would, but I just get scared.” Mr. Moon then says “to get over it you just start singing! Don’t let fear stop you from doing the thing you love.” Needless to say….Menna KILT (over killed) the show lol.

When purpose beckons to you, when heaven tugs at your heart to “Go,” try it! While you may feel like it makes no sense, it’s unusual, it’s not ideal- no one has ever done it before- trust that with every move to the beat of your own drum “…you’ll hear a voice behind you saying ‘this is the way; walk in it!” Isaiah 30:18-21 Because only heaven knows how far you will get by writing that first paragraph, painting that first picture, or counseling that young boy or girl.

I sat still, at bay, and relished the serene moment. As the words and images made homes in mind, I felt peace. As I continue to type, I am at peace with not having the answers to the “what ifs.” I am reminded and confident that as I navigate the unknown, as I walk in an unknown season, as I step unto uncharted ground, The All Knowing walks with me whispering “this is the way; walk in it.” I’m excited to learn many things, I expect to face new challenges and demons, yet I look forward to what my “dance recital” {purpose} brings to the world.

Cheers to trying…to dancing…to new seasons!



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