All Ramblin Roads Lead Home {An Abstraction on the Road}

There are ramblin roads that run over into the deep, wild blue yonder somewhere, the soft washed-out denim stretching out too taut over an expanse above me, going on and on across fields forever in the distance and how do we know where roads lead?

I’m somewhat of a roving rebel, my heart twisted in knots. I’m a tattoo wearing, face-pierced non-conformist. But it’s all in my head. So far I’ve been afraid. Can you see me? Can you see me hurting? I don’t mean to kick and scream while God is carrying me, angry child, but life’s experiences have made me hard and tough and my heart wounded and painful to the touch underneath. I’m still stubborn, unwilling to break quite all the way.

I’m always afraid of what I can’t see comin’ and I tend to hide out in my own little corner of the world, knees up to my chin, bare feet sort of turned in, tears running down my cheeks, glistening as they fall.

But the other side of me loves being the dare devil. A seventeen year old me liked the idea of cutting class for Mardi-Gra and smoking a cigarette even though it was bad for my body. Sometimes I still feel seventeen.

My sister and I walk into a beauty store after a workout and my tennis shoes squeak on the tile floor. I scan all of the colors, pick up a few–eggplant, smoky grey, and teal–roll their cold glass round in my hand. I tell her I’m buying black fingernail polish because I’m feeling the need to be rebellious. She laughs at my straight-shooting.

I love daring to be brave, climbing and running hills, throwing myself against elements and earth.

I love those trails that run deep into woods and make me take in breath sharp, my feet right on the edge  where it goes straight down, dirt crumbling from underneath my rubber tread, and falling far below.

When I’m alone like this, I am ready to tackle anything. But with people, I’m stumbling to find my way.

I never in a million years would have thought that by taking a plane and my friends taking roads and planes from all across the country to meet in one central point, that my life could be changed.

Oh, but it was.

All of us weary travellers, either by car, on long highways or because of the baggage we’ve carried with us through life, we came together. Some of us more jaded because of experience, some of us more rebel without a cause, some of bible-carrying fierce warriors pushing back darkness, some of us more quieted by age. {I bet you guessed which category I see myself in}.

In that place I was refreshed by seeing another weary traveller’s silhouette, the reflection of my pain caught in their eyes, in a spark of a moment, in a pouring out of a soul.

I knew I wasn’t alone, travelling on roads which I knew not where they led.

Because when you’re in the company of others, the light pouring in from a window, illuminating their face and hair, fire crackling in a fireplace, so much Son in a room, in so many different faces, you realize something and it’s a life-changing moment in your story.

You realize this: that we are all travelling different roads and God has given us all different paths to take. Jesus said narrow is the gate, but he meant the way by which we enter, which is He, The Word made flesh.

When Jesus stepped into skin, pulled it on taut, he became the gate for us.

He never meant for our stories, our journey along the road to look the same, and all of us together as a collective are showing the many facets of a great, expansive God. You are the face of God, and I am the face of God, and we two are completely different.

All of us are coming to that one gate, and our roads and paths are hard and soft places, sediment rocks falling far below where we tread, some of us trudging through muddy swamp that tries to engulf us. There are highs and lows, some of us tend to stay in valleys more than mountains, some of us sure of our beliefs and some of us doubting Thomases, and we intersect one another along our journey, sometimes meeting for a beautiful, but brief moment as we glimpse into one another’s lives and we do the stuff that makes us brave.

Even though it is scary to go out on that limb and pull you in, and say walk with me, somehow I know all the roads lead home, and we’re helping walk one another there.

Gratitude: {#1083-1094}

Friends, my tribe, my people–whatever you want to call it–I have it now amongst the body::A weekend to breath, without social media, out in the open country::little girls in cowgirl boots::Ivy exclaiming when he said he was finally going to the barn, her hands over her chest “Oh, I hoped with all my heart you would say that!!”::My littlest cowgirl in piggy tails::Sunshine and warmth::A beautiful fire under a starry sky on a chilly night::Peanut m&m’s::Talks with my mother, feeling like maybe we’re friends and not knowing when or how this happened::Playing I-spy with my girls and family–no one being able to guess mine::Husband watching baby girl go down the slide and playing ball with girls after months of having to work so hard

Friends, I am also at today, where they are featuring my first story ever to be published with an online magazine! Excited doesn’t begin to cover it. I hope you’ll come over and hang out? I’ll pour the bubbly (cider, juice) or even sweet tea, and meet you in the comments.

***Dear readers, I had a conversation with the ever-sweet Amber Haines, and her handing over Concrete Words to me was and is meant to be a permanent deal. sixinthesticks will now be it’s home for good. Amber has a lot of commitments and will no longer be doing it on her blog. She has asked me to take it and run with it, change it up, make it my own. I hope those of you who have been with Amber the whole time will be along for this wild, fun ride! I’ve never had so much fun with writing!! ***

What this link-up is about: We “write out spirit” by practicing writing about the invisible using concrete words. In case you are going “what in the world is a concrete word?!“–this just means (using the prompt to inspire) write out what’s around us–concrete words make the senses come alive, gives place. In every story, there is always an above and beneath, a beside, something tucked away, aromas in the air, something calling in the trees or from the street, notes in our pocket, rocks in our shoes, sand between our toes. Go here to see Amber’s take on this. It was very helpful to me–I think it will be beneficial for you, too. When you share this post on twitter, be sure to use the hashtag #concretewords.

A few simple guidelines:       1. Be sure you link up the URL to your Concrete Words
                                             post and not just your blog home page URL.
                                         2. Put a link to this post on your blog so that others
                                             can find their way back here.
                                         3. Try to visit one or two others and encourage their efforts
                                         4. Please write along with us, using concrete words–
                                             Please no entries with how-to’s, advertising, or
                                             sponsored posts
                                         5. Consider sharing via social media to help get word out!
                                         6. Please leave a comment–I love getting to know you!
**Today’s prompt is the Road

Next week, our Concrete Words prompt is the Frame {I’ll highlight a beautiful post on Friday (and announce it on social media), so come back here to see whose post is highlighted and encourage them!}

Which road do you think you’re on? In what way does the road before you seem mysterious and hidden? How do you discern that others cross your path, on their own journey, but heading the same direction all the same? How are you trusting God when the path seems unsure? Tell me in the comments! 

{This post shared with Laura, Ann, Jen, Heather for the EO, Jennifer for #TellHisStory, Emily at IP}

12 thoughts on “All Ramblin Roads Lead Home {An Abstraction on the Road}”

  1. Nacole I love this post. No matter how very different our journeys and how individual the travellers, we're all headed in the same direction and I love when our paths run parallel with others.
    How exciting that you've got a story published today – well done! Shall click over now!
    Hmm, as for prompts for next week.. that's tough! The door? The clock? The… I'm going to stop there, as I'm just looking round the room and naming things I see!

  2. I scanned your blog and saw that you were at the Jumping Tandem retreat … Is that right, Nacole? It sounds as if it is still impacting you deeply. I wish I could've gone, but I had a conflict that I couldn't rearrange. I'm certain God used it to stir in you many great things that I hope we'll hear about in the days, weeks and months to come. Thanks for being so real and vulnerable about your journey too. That's a gift to yourself and definitely to us, my friend. Hugs to you!

  3. Ruth, you know I love seeing your sweet face. You've been such a supporter and friend in this little fun, wild ride. You make me laugh, too. These (and some I got on facebook) are all very good ideas. Thank you! And thanks for clicking over to Bibledude, too! Love to you.

  4. Yes, Beth, I did go to the retreat. It. was. amazing. God really healed some community issues in me, but I have a long ways to go, still. It's a journey, a path that only I can walk. God's grace is sufficient. I'm sad you didn't get to be there! Maybe next time. It would be so much fun to meet you! Here is the post I wrote about what happened to me at the retreat, if you're interested. Love to you, sweet lady. {And thank you for your encouraging words here. It's not easy to be this open, but I can be nothing else}.

  5. I read your post and I feel privileged. Your words are such an elixir of truth and honesty mixed with the perfect touch of grace. To read it is to step in with you, match your cadence for a spell and then to step away knowing my heart is touched by your story, and ultimately by His story. I do not know that I will ever be brave enough to do the prompts, but I will eagerly read your heart as you share it with us. Thanks.

  6. There's something liberating, that pushes back insecurities, the unsureness – when we meet someone, someone who knows Him and knows the same fears and insecurities – and they're fighting, too – 2 steps forward one step back – so glad you were blessed to meet those women:) I love your prompts – sometimes I need to be pulled outside of myself, re-examine something indirectly to see it clearly:) Be blessed sweet friend!

  7. I, too, have been afraid of what I can't see coming. And yet, for now, it seems I'm walking down a road where I can see only a single step ahead of me. And it has to be enough. Because I know who walks with me along the way.

    Thanks so much for continuing to coax me to link up here. So excited to see where your words have been taking you. Blessings, my friend.

  8. I am so thankful for the way that retreat made an impact on you. I can hear it in your words Nacole. God is good. I haven't seen this photo. Was surprised to see myself here and the way you've captured such a warm memory I shall never forget.

  9. This is good, Nacole, real good. I've always, always been afraid of what's around the bend. That's why it took me so, so long to leap into faith, I think – I wanted to see the road all mapped out in front of me. But that's not really faith then, is it?

  10. oh, I recognized my own profile in so many of your descriptions (quieted by age–feeling so old today next to your freshness :)). This is so beautiful, Nacole, and the vulnerability just opens me up. Such a lovely description.

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