And though where the road then takes me,
I cannot tell
The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd
We all travel paths, roads, in our lives. Some may be rocky, others even. The paths may lead through rough terrain, or a small forest. We may have friends with us on our walk, or we may walk alone.
But sometimes we walk through a Mirkwood.
A forest of deceit, of darkness, of loneliness.
We tell ourselves to stay on the path, that this will end soon, but still we wander.
And become lost.
There seems to be no end to the far-reaching forest of Mirkwood.
The Road Through was the theme at the OYAN Winter Workshop, and I’ve been thinking for days what I would blog about. What did I learn exactly? Last year’s workshop helped me reclaim my lost joy. But nothing this year hit me in the face with, “this is what you learned, or needed.”
I had to dig deep, and as I write this, I think I know what it was I learned.
My life has been a hurting mess since August. Yes, I had joy in my writing, but it never completely eased the ache. When I stepped away from my computer, away from my fantasy world, reality hit me like a punch in the gut.
A giant crack of Mt. Doom that had my heart bleeding down the middle. And I just wanted it to be over.
I share Thorin’s sentiment when he screamed “Is there no end to this accursed forest?”
But I was reminded at this workshop that I’m not only loved by friends, but by Jesus.
Mr. and Mrs. Schwabauer and Mark and Teckla Wilson make Jesus seem so real, like He’s right there beside me, holding me in my physical and emotional pain. Letting me cry on His shoulder. The night of the questions and answers the four of them made me feel like He was in the chair beside me, holding my hand, squeezing it tight.
I know people have problems more drastic than I do, and I’ve wanted to reach out, but my pain had left me feeling numb. My well of compassion was dry and rocky.
Jesus is pictured as Aslan in Narnia, a large lion who gave directions, advice, and wisdom. When I was nine and saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, that is what I thought Jesus must be like.
That large lion whose mane I can cling to, who will shield me and protect me from the dangers of Mirkwood.
Who can guide me back to the path.
A path that will lead out of Mirkwood.
His paws will walk beside me, His gentle voice talking to me.
If we run into giant spiders He won’t let them touch me.
If we meet Smaug He won’t let him touch me.
Till we reach the other side, to the sunshine and green hills. To the shining stars that no darkness can touch.
I traveled many roads to get to the Winter Workshop and I learned that my road through Mirkwood will end.
Because I have friends who love and pray for me.
Because I have Frodo’s journey to inspire me.
Because I have Aslan.
Because I have Jesus.
And that is how, one day, I can step through my round green door and say,
Well. I’m back.