Our youngest daughter, Tress, can confirm that in training our youngins’ basic safety guidelines, the phrase “never walk alone” was often repeated. She learned this truth for herself in recent years as God walked faithfully alongside us through a season of personal tragedy and hardship. Tress is godly and gutsy. She is redeemed and real. Our brave 20-somethin’ girl has traversed rough terrain in recent years but now lives to share important travel tips to those of us who are taking life one step at a time. As you step into this new season, take a short walk with our Tress (through this month’s Heart of Womanhood Blog). You are gonna love her style and her Spirit. These two minutes will infuse you and your own daughters with the confidence that God’s truths will triumph as you walk with your kiddos through life’s hard—becauseYou. Never. Walk. Alone.
Most mommas and daughters have their “thing” they do together. Whether that’s a show they watch, a game they play, a hobby they enjoy, a weekly phone date, or going to different coffee shops. Our thing? My mom and I have gone on walks together for a long time! And it’s become one of my most favorite things! Together we have enjoyed quite the wide array of walks and talks over the years- ranging from the neighborhood strolls with our cutie golden doodle pup, the long Sunday walks after church, the exploratory walks through the mountains on trips, and the casual, fun walks up and down beaches.
While the scenery may be different and the topics change-from silly things that happened that day or week, to needing advice about life or friends, to baring my broken heart from the soul-crushing circumstances of my life’s path these past few years -the company never does. Regardless of where we are or what we talk about, my mom continues to walk beside me, taking each step both physically and figuratively with me.
walking in unexpected places
We’ve had more walks and talks than I can even begin to try and count but there’s a couple that stick out to me- and they happen to be in an unexpected place.
A few years back, I found myself in a situation that no one ever wants to be in. Being barely 20, I sustained an injury as a D1 athlete to my spine that landed me in the hospital for 50+ days, 11 surgeries, days and weeks lying flat on my back. While I had many people in and out of that hospital room, there was one person who stayed by my side through it all. One person who was there to hold my hand, sit with me while I cried, when I couldn’t sleep from the pain, who helped me sit up for the first time in weeks. That same person walked by my side and held me up as I took my first, slow and painful steps. My momma. She stayed with me. She walked with me, talked to me while I struggled to put one foot in front of the other, helped me keep going even when I wanted to give up. I’ll always remember those slow, painful walks around the nurse’s station and down those hospital halls- watching as my yellow socked feet were accompanied by the familiar shoes of my mom- every step of the way.
every step of the way
But what I realize now as I continue to walk through this challenging season is that my mom has not only physically walked by my side in the literal sense but also the figurative, emotional, and spiritual senses as well. Every step forward, she’s been there to catch me and hold me up with each setback. I struggled a lot through this painful season. I wrestled with the Lord, questioning Him, his goodness and faithfulness, his love for me, his supposedly good plan for my life while my own current reality was a shell of what it used to be- what I wanted it to be. While my anger, my sadness, my questions may have made any other person take a step back from me, my mom pushed closer, held me closer, kept me moving forward. Sometimes it required her bearing my whole weight to keep us moving forward. But she just kept putting one foot in front of the other, for the both of us.
walk in step with Jesus
As I process all of this and have gotten to watch my mom as she’s been steadfast and patient with me, encouraged me, and consistently walked side by side with me, it’s given me a glimpse of what someone who is so in step with the Lord looks like. What Jesus looks like. He wants to walk with us. He wants us to lean on him, He wants us to walk with him, to trust him to bear our heavy, our hard, our dark, our pain. He can take it and invites us to do so. He wants us to walk so closely with him that it becomes second nature to talk to him- about anything- everything, to bare our souls and hearts to him, to ask those heavy questions, to tell him that we’ve run out of hope and energy and we can’t take another step, to surrender and let him carry us for a bit. When we learn to do that, our relationship with Jesus deepens and becomes something we crave and desire more than anything. Our conversations with him will become something we look forward to. It stops feeling like a chore when we stop with the pretenses and feel like we need to say the right things. All he asks is for us to trust him and walk next to him as he guides us through the journey of life!
walking through the valley
There’s a passage that I grew up hearing and memorizing. It’s psalm 23. I honestly have read it hundreds of times, but recently the words of psalm 23—read me. In verse 4, the author cries out,
“even though I walk through the darkest valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff they comfort me.”
For me, those words have proven unbelievably true. My Jesus walked side by side with me through one of the darkest seasons of my life. Even when it feels as if i’m walking it alone, he’s been there every step of the way.
So, while my mom and I have taken lots and lots of walks together during this season, I now see that God gave her to me as a physical reminder of how He walks with us, beside us, and carries us when we can’t take another step. Walking with my mom is our “thing”. It is a treasure. But walking with Jesus is triumph–because I now face the future knowing I will…
…never. walk. alone.
in His steps,
From Kim: 3 John 4 echoes the cry of this momma’s heart “I have no greater joy than to know that my children are walking in the truth.” Heart of Womanhood Bible Studies were a mom daughter “thing” we prioritized while our girls were growing up. Now, we are so thankful that Tress’ trials were painted upon that backdrop of faith. God honored our years of studying His Word together to prepare us to walk with Jesus through the expected twists and turns, the tragedies and triumphs of this life. What could be more important to prioritize this fall than to walk alongside the girls God has entrusted to your care through intergeneration Bible Study together this fall? Begin today @ www.heartofwomanhood.org!