Trust The Path

topics:
Trust
20140925_AnnieDowns_thepath-001

I went walking last week around a lake here in Nashville and because I was feeling particularly inspired by the cooler weather, I followed a new sign I had never seen to a path I had never walked.

I looked at a map before heading out- even took a picture of it with my phone. I’m prone to getting lost, it’s practically a spiritual gift of mine, so I know better than to just jump off the road and onto a path without a map of some sort.

My earbuds in, I walked on the dirt path for ten to fifteen minutes, thinking, praying, processing.

Two particular situations were in my mind. Neither had a clear right and wrong answer to me- both were opportunities, options, chances that may be worth taking. I rolled them around in my head like marbles bouncing with each step I took.

I was worried, though. I was worried that I was going to miss what God had for me because I couldn’t see the RIGHT or WRONG of the situations. “Just show me, Lord,” I was saying, “and I’ll do what You want. I just don’t know where either of these are going.”

I suddenly looked down and realized that I did not know where I was and I was pretty sure I was going the wrong way.

Frustration crept up my back and pushed on my shoulders as I realized I was feeling that in lots of areas of my life- particularly those two situations that I couldn’t get out of my brain. A little lost, a little sure I was wrong, a little concerned that I was missing the right thing.

I also thought I may be lost in these woods.

When in a blink, God stamped a statement onto my heart.

TRUST THE PATH.

I looked down at my feet, at the path, and I realized what I knew was true- the path would take me back to the road eventually. I had seen it on the map, I knew I wasn’t the first to do it, and the way the path was created, it ended at the road, a few hundred yards from the parking lot.

TRUST THE PATH, I heard God say. And I knew He didn’t just mean the one at the lake.

He meant the questions in my heart, the things I wonder about, the worries that I am going to miss Him. I don’t have to know where things are going, I don’t have to know the destination, I just have to trust the path.

The path is going somewhere, and I haven’t stepped off it. So I’m choosing, in my life and in my walk around the lake, to trust the next step. To trust that the path I am on is going somewhere and wherever that is, God knows.

(And about 20 minutes later, I was back on the paved road, finished with the path, and headed back to my car. So don’t worry. I didn’t get lost forever. :) )

I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free.
Psalm 119:32

By Annie F. Downs

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  • http://walkingwellwithgod.blogspot.com Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    Annie,
    What a great reminder and analogy. We may only have a dim view of the grand scale, but we can trust God on the path with each step we take. Furthermore, we can gain wisdom in making choices by continually being in His word. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105). Not only does God tell us to trust the path, but He loves us so much to give us Light to mark the way. Thanks for this reminder of what a loving and directing God we have!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

  • http://www.homespunheartsongs.com Melissa Lu

    Thanks Annie! Love this! And I also love that instagram blog post you made the other day. From my perspective, I see God stamped all over your path. You look in the mirror every day and just see Annie, but from a distance I see someone that God has been guiding on an amazing journey. You have this career motivating and inspiring people, and that doesn’t just happen. It takes courage and faith and a host of other God-gifts to take your non-traditional path. It really does inspire me to read your writing and see that God is clearly in the driver’s seat of your life.

  • ro elliott

    Radnor Lake?? I love Radnor… I love the simple reminder… Truth the path… we have a wonderful internal compass… one that always points us to true North!!!

  • http://www.homespunheartsongs.com Melissa Lu

    Also – I just read this beautiful post and it seemed to be along the same lines as yours. Isn’t it interesting when God gives us the same message in many different ways? http://redemptionsbeauty.com/2014/04/29/on-trusting-our-work-to-god/

  • http://lifitngmyeyes.com Lisa D

    Perfect message for me, today! My husband and I recently felt led to step onto a new path with the Lord. And we, too, got a little ways in and wondered if we’d made a wrong turn somewhere. But we have been given the next step, and need to trust the path. Thank you!

  • Amanda

    Wow. The timing of this post is so perfect. I am in stage of my life where I have been challenged to really trust God in big areas of my life (as opposed to concocting schemes as I seem to have done in the past). I am very much a fixer and a person who wants to be in control. Trusting the path is difficult for me, for the same reasons you’ve said in your post. Despite this, I am choosing to find rest in knowing the path God has for me is better than anything I can dream up. Thank you for this, Annie! You’re amazing!

  • http://www.laurareimer.net Laura

    This was perfect and affirms the words of God to me this morning in my prayer and quiet time with Him. Thank you. Beautifully worded picture of His guidance and assurance <3

  • Jackie Hurley

    Thank you so much for your devotional. I really needed that today.

    Thank you.

  • SarahPeppel

    Very lovely post. And, timely for me too as I embark on a new career next week. You always have such thoughtful words. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    • http://www.bethcoulton.com Beth

      I am embarking on a new career next week too! I start Monday morning. YIKES! This post was completely appropriate for me. Best wishes to you! What will you be doing, and what were you doing before??

    • http://agirlwhoisageek.com Deborah

      oh how awesome, I’m starting a new job in a new field on monday too!!! Ya for all of us!

  • http://www.MOPS.org Liz S.

    Thank you for this encouragement for my day, and for every member of the {in}Courage team who had a part in bringing this post to life, from writer to web experts.

    My husband and I just moved nearly 500 miles (we’ve been here a little more than two months) and are planning to move yet again to a more affordable town an hour away, uprooting our young children a second time in the process.

    I know the desires of my heart, but after clear signals from God again and again that this initial move was part of his good plan for us, I feel like I’ve nudged the radio dial a notch or two off the God channel. We are paying twice what we can afford for a temporary rental home, and I want to buy our own home in this nearby small town, but I don’t want to force things to happen to a degree that I am ignoring God’s plan for us. It’s a tough spot to be in. At this point I am moving forward in my usual go-getter way, making an offer on a home and believing that God will make his presence known and guide our footsteps either toward, or if necessary away from, this next move.

    TRUST. I’ve been rewarded every time I do that, but it’s still a challenging concept for my feeble human mind to embrace whole heartedly.

  • Mary T

    Annie, I am inspired by your post today…so many times I am not sure which way the Lord wants me to go…I pray for discernment and guidance and still I feel like I may make the wrong choice. You remind me that the only choice is to trust God, in faith, hope and confidence that He will make the way for me to go in patience and trust…today I will choose to stay His course and wait on the Lord. God bless!

  • https://kidscommunicate.net Hillary

    I haven’t commented before, but Annie, this spoke to me this morning. Thank you for your words and reminding all of us to look at our feet, trust the path, and to also not forget to look up and enjoy the view sometimes.

  • http://www.trippingovertypeset.com Rachel Q

    Thank you, Annie. This is something I have been dealing with myself. There are a few different things I could be doing and I know I don’t have time to do them all and each one would change my emphasis. I am feeling that same way…trust the path. He knows what He’s doing. I’m learning to just be faithful to take the next step and then see how He unfolds that. I can’t see the whole path or where it will lead but I have to trust Him…the One who goes before me that He knows what He is doing and I can trust Him in it. Thank you for your encouraging words today! :)

  • http://carynchristensen.com Caryn Christensen

    What wonderful encouragement this morning for me Annie, “I don’t have to know where things are going, I don’t have to know the destination, I just have to trust the path.”
    Thank you!!

  • Caroline

    Love this Annie! And Ro Elliott’s comment: “We have a wonderful internal compass… one that always points us to true North!!!” YES! Great reminder.

  • http://dancingonthedash.com Lorretta

    Annie, Annie….oh Annie. This is for me too. Thanks.

  • http://freedtofly.me Trudy Den Hoed

    Thank you for such an enlightening and encouraging analogy, Annie. Sometimes I think I would like to KNOW for sure, but I guess we wouldn’t learn about trust then, would we? God shines like a lamp unto our feet to keep our feet in the right direction, but that doesn’t mean we won’t see darkness ahead of us. I’m trying to learn to TRUST Him more, even in the dark.

  • http://highheartedly.wordpress.com Beth Werner Lee

    I LOVE this verse! I also had a creative idea I call road faith when I don’t know exactly the route I’m driving: there will be a sign when I need it. I know the general direction, I follow the road attentively and wait for the sign (like, exit to New Haven on the 95 by New York City!) and it’s there! Trust the path.
    Now, applying it to the parenting of my one and only daughter who, at 13 is facing so much. I also recently figured out that the Deuteronomy quote everyone loves about whether you turn to the right or to the left you will hear a voice behind you saying this is the way…means you’re off the path, turn back to the right way. He’ll call me back! Correction not in terms of wrath or shame but calling me to good.

  • http://www.bethcoulton.com Beth

    Annie- this helped me greatly – “The path is going somewhere, and I haven’t stepped off it. So I’m choosing, in my life and in my walk around the lake, to trust the next step. To trust that the path I am on is going somewhere and wherever that is, God knows.” This is my life right now.

    I’ve been looking for a new job for two years, and after countless interviews and plenty of you’re-almost-right-for-the-job rejections, I will finally be starting a new job on Monday. I agonized about this decision the closer it came to actually needing to make it- because leaving my current, secure, I-know-what-to-expect job is quite a leap, but a necessary one. Nonetheless, it feels a bit like jumping off a cliff. I have wondered what on earth I’m doing, trading my 30 second commute for a 45 minute one, heading into the financial field when I hold a degree in education, and the list goes on. I’ve prayed, sought God, asked for wisdom, received counsel, and discussed it with my husband a hundred times. In the end, I accepted the job offer, but part of me still wonders if I made the right decision.

    Then I read what you said, and I know it is true of me – ” The path is going somewhere, and I have not stepped off of it.” That is very reassuring to me. My path IS going somewhere, and I have NOT stepped off of it. It’s just taken an unexpected turn! Thanks for writing words that comforted my heart when I was doubting. Can’t wait til Monday!

  • http://agirlwhoisageek.com Deborah

    Oh wow. I haven’t been on Incourage in a while, mainly because 1) I forgot to check every day 2) I’ve been busy and 3) I hadn’t felt connected to any of the posts when I had been checking. And then today, I decided to finally come back and there’s a post from Annie, my favorite. And the post is SPOT ON to what I needed to read TODAY. There’s been some things going on in my mind/heart that I’ve been worried/wondering if this is still what God wants me to do and this post reminded me that yes, I need to just trust Him. Thank you Lord for this reminder.

  • Ann Jorgensen

    Great message with a great visual. I have been “lost” like that in both those aspects. “Trust the path.” That will stick with me and encourage me.

  • http://www.nancyaruegg.com Nancy Ruegg

    God rarely shows us the whole path he has planned for us. It is by faith we walk–one step at a time. Thank you, Annie, for the perfect analogy–a marked, but unfamiliar pathway through the woods.

  • Beth Williams

    Annie,

    We’ve had twists and turns in job this year. My hubby got thrown back into the ER at hospital 11 AM to 7:30PM with 1 hr commute-mind you he was working in a doctor’s office 6:30/7AM – 2:30-3:30 PM-they were both the same company. We know he is lucky to still be employed, but prayed for wisdom. He went on a job interview-for the same company-for an urgent care position much closer to home (30 min commute) working 7:30-4PM–maybe a little later-if needed.

    He was hesitant at first to apply for the job& I urged him saying that I had prayed for a different door to open & this may be it. Now he’s worried that if he takes this job he might lose it in a year or so due to mergers, etc. I told him to trust God and follow the path He is leading you on!

  • Susie Morris

    What a beautiful post and just the loving reminder we all need to hear. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and for encouraging our hearts to heed His path.

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  • http://www.childrencount.wordpress.com Sarah

    This post totally resonated with me. I want to keep trusting God’s path for my life and not step off it.