Overcome Fear. Inspire Hope. Empower Potential.

Many people ask how we determine where we will go on our adventures. The simple answer is – we pray, asking God for direction on when and where we should go. In Genesis 12:1 NIV, the Word says:

1The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

This year, God said go to Texas and so we set out, choosing waypoints within a 7-hour drive of our current location, and staying between 3 to 7 nights at each Airbnb. From Gulf Shores, AL, we looked for places around Beaumont, TX. We narrowed our choices to three properties in Livingston, TX due to its proximity to both Big Thicket National Preserve and Sam Houston National Forest. After discussing the properties available, we reserved our next Airbnb on 2/24/24, 2 days before our scheduled departure from Gulf Shores. (Oh, I almost forgot! We often don’t know where we are headed next until it’s almost time to leave.)

Now, I had concerns about the Airbnb we selected as the host was slow to respond to our inquiries and her responses were aloof and unhelpful. However, the property was considerably less per night than the other two options and the pictures showed the property to be in decent condition. So onward we went.

Upon arrival at the property located on Devils Road (not kidding), my concerns resurfaced with the lack of cellphone service and dilapidated front porch. Taking a deep breath and uttering a short prayer, I entered the house. While it looked like the pictures on the inside, there was an oppressive atmosphere and eerie presence, increasing my apprehension of staying overnight.

As I stood in the living room, feeling the pressure surrounding me, I was reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:7-9 NIV:

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

I felt like I was hard pressed on every side, yet I was not crushed and continued to stand, processing whether we should stay or go. I wondered to myself if I was making “a big deal out of nothing” or if I should trust my discernment. For the Word says in Ephesians 6:10-13 NIV‬:

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

It became clear to me that our motive for staying (this being the less expensive option in the area) was not aligned with God’s promises of provision or protection. I checked the availability of the other Airbnb and, finding it was still available (Praise God!), I asked Todd if we could switch properties.

From Devils Road to Old Israel Road, one cannot deny God’s presence in delivering us from darkness into the light of the promised land. I praised Him for His provision and protection! Our new “home” was a cute 2BD/1B farmhouse with a great back porch and the host was very responsive and friendly. Best of all, the house was filled with Jesus!

Learning to be at peace without a detailed plan and living in the flow of the Spirit, knowing only the direction in which we are headed, requires daily practice in trusting God for our provision and protection. Living in obscurity challenges my mind to focus my thoughts on God and I often meditate on these two scriptures:

Romans 12:2 NIV

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

My weapon against the fear, anxiety, and negative narratives that attempt to consume my mind is the Word of God. His promises give me a firm footing on which to stand and the courage to move through my discomfort towards what He has planned for us. Every day, I am given another opportunity to grow my trust in Him, and I am grateful for the practice.

Constantly being in unknown places has shown me that the familiarity of one’s daily surroundings often dulls one’s awareness of the spiritual battle that rages around and in us. We sleepwalk through our daily routines, disconnected from God’s creation, instead of being awake and aware of God’s presence in our everyday, ordinary lives. It’s time to wake up, people.

Romans 13:11 NIV

11And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.

Awakening to the presence of God in our everyday, ordinary lives takes practice. It requires us to set an intention to invite God into our lives daily by simply asking, “Hi, God, it’s me. Will you reveal yourself to me today?”

Ask Him to open your eyes to see, your ears to hear, your heart to receive, and your mind to obey His will for your life. As you practice inviting Him in and becoming aware of His Presence, day by day, moment by moment, God will reveal Himself to you and your life will begin to be transformed. Be patient in the process, releasing old thoughts and behaviors to make room for the new takes time. Set your intention, be disciplined, and practice, and, in time, you will experience your own unique and intimate relationship with God.

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