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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)

TITLE: The Journey
By Amy Michelle Wiley


It arches against the horizon, the firm wooden slats giving slivered glimpses of the river below. The scent of cedar rises strong and heady in the breeze. He stands on the bank before it, waiting for me. He calls me by name, and we step together, He and I, onto the bridge. Onto the path of My Journey.

When we reach the middle, the tallest point, I gasp, jerking to a stop. The joy so nearly bubbling from within me dies, the creeping grasp of dread reaching to my throat.

On the other bank the smooth wood of the bridge abruptly meets a dirt trail, rocky and pitted with crevices. The dark path twists downward, emptying into a valley filled with fog so thick it allows only shifting glances of thorny hedges and jagged boulders.

“But Lord,” I turn to look at Him, tears already finding their way down my cheeks, “I do not understand.”

“This is your path, my child.” His eyes fill with empathy; something stronger yet than that, a knowing, an understanding beyond my own.

“But,” the word escapes me once more. I seem unable to stop it. “Why me? Why this path?”

He reaches out a hand, gentle, and yet strong, lifting my chin so slightly. “Because, child, within you is a faith strong enough to cross this bridge. You will cling to me, and grow stronger because of the trials. I will teach you, and you will learn. This is your path.”

I do cling to Him then, because my legs will not support me. My eyes leave His, drawn once again to the darkness of the trail. “Is that the good that will come of it, then? That I will draw closer to You?”

“Not only that.” He kneels, drawing me to His side and pointing into the charcoal smog. “Look.”

At first I see nothing, only the choking swirl of haze. Then I see a glimmer of light, far in the distance. It grows clearer until I can see a small house, lit only by a dim candle that seems one flicker from going out.

“You are the one I will use to brighten that light, encourage it and fan it into a flame so brilliant it will glow for miles around.” His voice rings with a timbre that fills me almost with excitement. “If you do not follow that path it will continue to grow dimmer, until it fades to only an ember.”

The fog closes once more, and I stand still, taking in the rocks that spike from the ground, the thorns leaning over the path, ready to shred any who pass by. Slowly, I take my gaze from them and turn back to Him, seeking assurance.

He lays an arm around my shoulder and points once more. The fog shifts in another area and this time I gasp in wonder. A meadow of emerald green shimmers in a gentle breeze, mingling with flowers blooming so brightly I can see them from the bridge, almost smell their sweetness. Birds swoop in gentle rhythm, playing among the limbs of the trees that circle the glen. It all flows in a dance of worship, of joy, of peace.

The Creator smiles. “This is a place of rest I have prepared for you along the way.”

My heart sings. He cares. He loves. He has created for me.

He turns and looks full into my face. Compassion fills His eyes. “The path will be difficult. You will fall. You will hurt. The journey will be long.”

He searches my face. I have no words to give Him. I can only grip Him tighter, and wait for Him to continue.

“But I will be with you. Every step of the way I will be there. I will raise you when you fall. I will mend your wounds. When your strength fails, I will lift you and carry you.” A tear drips down His face, filled with a rainbow of feelings… pain… empathy… strength… love… “All you have to do is reach out your hand and I will hold you up.”

There is a silence as our tears mingle.

At last He holds out His hand, scarred and mangled, strong and beautiful. “It is time.”

My hand is small and white as it slips into His. Strength flows from Him as we cross the span of the bridge. I cling to His hand and, together, we step onto the path.

This is my journey.

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This article has been read 3526 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Racheal Chand08/08/08
This is the best one I have read yet. I love how you described His feelings as a rainbow of emotions. I was touched, strengthened and inspired by this piece. You did such a wonderful job, thank you.
Loren T. Lowery08/08/08
Just beautiful. It called to mind many promises from the Bible, but in particular, the 23rd Pslams. And then, too something Martlin Luther King, Jr., once said - that you can not chase away darkness with darkness, it takes light. God has called this MC to be that light. Great job!
Sherry Wendling08/08/08
I'm moved to tears! This is exquisite--an absolutely authentic unveiling of spiritual intimacy with the Beloved, and the cost of discipleship. But oh! that "meadow of emerald green", and His eyes caressing, His hand outstretched. . . My eyes may be reading your piece, but my spirit and soul are inhaling! Wow.
Joanne Sher 08/09/08
Absolutely beautiful and masterful and lovely and anointed. Poetry in prose. Wonderful.
Joshua Janoski08/09/08
Wow. So many will be able to relate to this. He never promised us that we would not face hardships, but He did promise to help us along the way. Your title and your story perfectly illustrate this fact. Wonderful and very powerful writing!
Pat Guy 08/11/08
Wow is right my friend. Perfect in every way. This touches to the very soul of our lives so beautifully.
Joy Faire Stewart08/11/08
The emotions are so raw and beautiful. I read it through tears.
Shirley McClay 08/11/08
Amy... He is already using your journey to brighten the light of others. So glad you shared this with us. Absolutely gorgeous.
T. F. Chezum08/11/08
Add another WOW. Very well done ... very real ... very moving.
Mariane Holbrook 08/11/08
How very beautiful, Amy! And right out of a heart full of questions about your physical condition and the promise of the presence of God to be with you on the path He has chosen for you. God bless your sweet heart!
Gerald Shuler 08/13/08
I don't know how this will place in the judging (high, I hope) but it is certainly a winner in God's book. You are a light that has brightened lives you know nothing about. Well done.
Betty Castleberry08/13/08
This is beautiful, and filled with truth. Your pain management class will be blessed.
Betsy Markman08/14/08
Wow, this is a beautiful piece. So true...the path IS hard, and life DOES hurt...but He is the strength of our heart and our portion forever. Well done.
Carol Wiley08/15/08
Masterful writing! You have the ability to capture and convey emotion, faith and love and pass it on to others. A definite winner in my book!
Jan Ross12/27/08
Beautiful, Amy! It was as if I was there in your place when I first was diagnosed. So many times it was only His strength that carried me over the bridge, His arm holding me up, His face beckoning me to draw nearer. I understand all too well. My last 12 years have been a difficult journey as I travel the path laid before me, hopefully bringing Light to a dimming flame. But, I can testify that as the years pass, although the pain is always there, God's faithfulness never fails. When we are weak, He is strong ... His strength is perfected in our weakness. Therefore, as Paul said, if I must boast, I will boast in my weakness for therein my God is proven STRONG! God bless!
Helen Dowd05/10/09
Amy, you did a spectacular job of creating this story. Having read your bio about having fibromyalgia, this story was so fitting. You carried the reader along with you, in fear, in panic, in trust; then in fear, panic again, until you took Jesus' hand and felt His strength...Wonderful story telling. No wonder you are in Masters'....Helen
Carol Penhorwood 11/09/09
Amy, I too have fibro, have had it for 19 years, and know the price of pain and the journey you describe. This is such a beautiful piece of inspired writing that will minister to everyone, not just those of us with fibro. God always uses our trials to bless others if we trust Him with them and keep our focus on Him instead of our pain. Bless you!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/25/10
Wow! and Wow! This is incredible. I have tears, chills, and goosebumps. Thank you so much for being brave enough to write this. I can't help but wonder if it was possibly my candle that was flickering, about to go out because you and Jesus have certainly helped my inner candle take hold and glow. Again all I can say is Wow! And Thank you and I hope Jesus blesses you and eases some of your pain for a bit.