Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

My rapid breathing quieted and the crunch of the snow under my boots softened as I slowed down…stopped. I took a deep inhale through my runny nostrils and I gazed at the wonderful appearance of the Winona bluffs. I was hiking through the switchbacks of the snow-encrusted woods when I decided to take a random pause to just listen. How quiet is it really?

The whooshing of my jacket was silenced; Instead, I heard the slight stir of the wind. I heard woodpeckers driving their beaks into the trees, and birds chirping above my head. My ears picked up on a crisp leaf that landed on the firm snow.

But then my ears focused in on something else- the subtle humming of the highway. Cars. “Really?”, I thought. “This is supposed to be a noiseless getaway!” I took a deep breath and told myself to simply turn my attention back to the serenity of nature. Ah, peaceful.


The cars aren’t going to go away. I hated to admit that I wouldn’t be able to control this distractive noise. As much as I wanted pure silence, this just isn’t that place. I wanted to be completely embraced by the outdoors…and the outdoors only. Was I really going to let the background sound disturb my tranquil state of mind?

I suddenly had an epiphany: How often do we let a tenuous whisper distract us from the illuminated path paved for us? How many times do we let doubt shroud our once-brilliant dreams? How easy it is for us to give these degrading and downsizing thoughts authority in our lives, right?

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

I am reminded of a song that states, “The night is dark, but I am not forsaken.” Oh, how comforting it is to know I have a Savior, an Almighty God, who doesn’t leave me when I get trapped in fear, doubt, and hopelessness. Even when all the strength in me isn’t enough to completely fix my eyes on His truths, I can rely on Him. I can trust the Lord to be stronger than me and stronger than the battle with the enemy.

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

As I embark on my journey of entering the military, I admit that these distractive thoughts make me second-guess this path. My mind rings, “But you have it so good right now… do you really want to lose this lifestyle?”. I even sense the enemy voice his opinion through other people when they jokingly say, “Gretchen, I can see you getting kicked out of the military”. All I can say is, you’re right, I am not strong enough. I do not have the physical or mental capability to commit to such a challenge…but my God does. My God calls me to trust Him beyond borders. My Savior says, “watch me prove my faithfulness; summon My empowerment, my beloved daughter”.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

What lies are you letting shade the Light? Who is keeping you from listening to the Truth? When will you submit to the victory of His sacrificial Life?

“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life.”



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