Today I spent some time in a labyrinth behind a Methodist church in my hometown. Debra, a pastor, has been a faithful confidante, mentor, and friend since I found my best friend and partner, Laura dead in our home January 18, 2018. I had never visited a labyrinth before, and Debra wanted to offer me a time of reflection and solitude as she guided me in how to walk the labyrinth as a way to purposely meditate and listen for God’s voice.
Since I found Laura, the only words I’ve been able to pray to God are “Please help me,” and I haven’t had words to ask or say anything else beyond that. I’m still trying to process what has happened, and how my life fits into both the old and new spaces I find myself in.
As I entered the Labyrinth, I paused and read the suggested prayer. As I began slowly walking, I was overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude. I thanked God for everything I could think of that was good in my life. It was like a water faucet had been turned on inside me, which allowed me to finally pray something besides “help.”
Once the thankful prayers began to subside, I felt God inviting me to bring all of my fears and anxiety to Him. I named them one by one and didn’t hold back even what I would consider to be the silliest of fears.
Then as those prayers subsided, scripture flooded my heart and mind, scriptures about God being my Provider and Protector and the plans He had for me which were for my good, not harm. He was my strength, and He was going before me and behind me and on either side of me. He loved me with an everlasting love and He would be faithful to complete the work He had begun in me. And the list continued…
I met Debra in the center and felt compelled to share my experience thus far. We both stood to begin the exit walk, and as I slowly made my way back around, getting closer and closer to the exit, I began to see the Labyrinth a bit clearer. The pathway was beaten and worn, and even though it was narrow, there was enough room to comfortably stay within the lines.
It reminded me of the narrow path we are all called to walk if we are to enter into an eternal relationship with our Creator. He has provided the boundaries of His path with us in mind. He wants to care for us and give us abundant life. I noticed there were patches of beauty along the tattered path, and I realized much of life brings it’s own heartache and pain, but we can still find the moments of joy and love and beauty if we will only slow down and look and participate.
I couldn’t help but think how much Laura would have loved being in the labyrinth, listening to the birds calling and the rustling of leaves, and the solitude of feeling safe and at peace within that place.
Thank you, Debra for being there with me and for sharing your own experiences of labyrinths you’ve walked. And thank you Lord for meeting me where I was.