Blue Arrows

A couple of days ago we visited an underground city called Derinkuyu. We bought our tickets and began the descent into this place that at one time could hold 30,000+ people as a refuge and place of safety. Refuge? Safety? Who doesn’t want that?

If you follow the red arrows, you will descend three stories, underground, through tunnels and stairwells and corridors carved out for people to live and move about. Ventilation systems kept the air clean and small tubes carved from one floor to the others served as a communication highway. If you follow the blue arrows, you will ascend to the surface; to the light.

As we continued to descend, down a narrow stairway, I could sense I was beginning to panic… just a little… so I thought. The walls were so close, our shoulders scraped the chiseled rock on each side of us. It was only wide enough for one person and I found myself saying, “I can’t see any blue arrows” “Where are the blue arrows?” I told the small group I was with I think I needed to turn back. But I couldn’t. I felt trapped. There was only one way to go. Forward. Down.

One of our team members squeezed passed me as I hugged the rock wall so he was in the lead, and another team member, a therapist, was right behind me coaching me to feel the ground under my feet – grounding me to the present. Bob from the back of the group of five encouraged me, “If we make it down the stairs, we will come to an open area and you will see a blue arrow.” I remember saying out loud, “I’m ok. Jesus is with me” and kept walking down one step at a time. I focused on my breathing – centering myself as best as I could.

Then, without any notification, we came to the end of the narrow stairwell into an opening, and… a glorious blue arrow! My body‘s response was immediate relief. There it is! There’s the way out!

As I reflect on this I can’t help but think, how many times do we desperately long for those blue arrows to show us the way out of somewhere we don’t want to be? We feel stuck, trapped and unable to move. But this I know – there is always a way. Our job is to keep moving forward, stay grounded in God and keep our eyes open for the blue arrows showing us the path to take. We will find them if we don’t give up.

“Through it all, my eyes are on you; and it is well, with me” ~It Is Well, Kristene DiMarco

Still Walking

Today I woke up in Turkey. Don’t worry, I planned to be here. 🙂 But if you would’ve asked me a few years ago? I would not have predicted this.

It’s been a while since I’ve written. This past season of life has been filled with ups and downs, sharp corners and surprises that weren’t welcomed or foreseen. I know I’m not alone in this. We, as humans, are not immune to these roller coaster rides of life. It’s something we all have in common.

Nicolas Herrmann was no stranger to this. But there was something that he figured out along the way. He figured out how to walk in peace. To have peace with you, whether you are washing dishes or in prayer, is something I want to learn. I drift away from it so often and have so much to learn about living this way. This man, also known as Brother Lawrence, “lived his life, as though he were a singing pilgrim on the march.” (The Practice of the Presence of God)

The purpose of this trip to Turkey is to go on a pilgrimage called the Footsteps of Paul. We will be traveling throughout Turkey and Greece to walk where the Apostle Paul has gone before. I hope our travels teach us to walk in the peace of His presence. To learn from those gone before us. I hope as I share the journey, you too will be inspired as we learn together.

Thanks for walking with me. For being on this life pilgrimage too. For not giving up. I wrote in my journal this morning:

Still wondering

Still hurting

Still healing

Still walking

As I sit in the courtyard of our hotel here in Turkey, I am hopeful that as we move along, we will learn how to settle into that place called peace as those who have gone before us have done. And we would know without hesitation, that everything is going to be worked out as long as we are still walking.