desert tidings


The desert will remind you who you oughta be / It’ll show you who you are / There’s nothing to protect what you’re hiding – from Like New Years Day by Sara Watkins.

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This picture was taken in the Judean wilderness in 2011 when I visited Israel on a fun trip with a large group of South African women and 6 American women. It’s where Jesus is said to have spent 40 days fasting. I had heard the wilderness in the Bible was more accurately translated as desert but I didn’t anticipate this scene. It’s nothing. There’s no place to be covered, no trees for shade. Nothing to offer any relief from exposure. It’s hostile. The idea of Jesus fasting here is ego disrupting. It’s humble, like so much of who he was, but it’s strong and intense and frightening, too. It was a time of testing for him as he experienced the limitations of his humanity. It’s an amazing, dumbfounding, beautiful story that I relate to. I’m aware that there are times of life that are hauntingly lonely. Especially in media-rich culture that forces life measuring and, I think, especially in early adulthood, to attain any goals of good living there are constant hills to climb, struggles to face, painful realizations that you’re still a ways off from where you want to be, and lessons to learn that develop from refining victories and defeats. There is a lot of lonely and it can be an immense lonely. It has to be that way. How else can you discover you? There is opportunity to fail, fall, settle, distract the lonely away, succumb to temptation of not being the you that you are meant to be.

My twenties have been a struggle for becoming Taylor. They are marked with enjoyed surprises and harsh losses. They are made of undeserved opportunity and hard work. They are a story of successes and failures. They’ve been lonely as I’ve struggled to find who I am and be true to that. In a strange way it’s been a good lonely, though in the midst of it I felt so very weak. Enduring those moments made me strong. I think the word glueing the years of my twenties together is endurance which is a testimony of faith. So here I go, finishing up my twenties, keeping the faith that there’s an oasis out there with my name on it 😉😅. I’m finally starting to see the real connection between some of the lessons learned and a bright, hopeful future for having learned them. Cheers to the desert.

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Isaiah 41:19: I will make trees grow in the desert.

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