Life. (Central Walk).
Crossroads has manifested many struggles into the lives of the walkers. We have experienced sunburns, blisters, bug bites, personality conflicts, headaches, sore feet, tired muscles, sleep depravity, worn spirits, exhaustion, cramps, and the list goes on and on.
For me personally, my motives are often challenged when I experience these trials. There have been times in which I genuinely wonder why I took a summer out of my life to walk hundreds and hundreds of miles. There are times of disappointment, discouragement, and doubt. Nonetheless, the Lord has used these opportunities to bless me with abundant grace. He has shown me that these sufferings are a very trying and difficult part of Crossroads; however, Crossroads would not be Crossroads without them. In as sense, suffering reminds me what I am doing. This is not a walk in the park; it is a walk across the country. It requires driven minds, dedicated hearts, and the prayers and support of countless, loving prayer warriors along the way. It is not a one-man show. We are all part of the body of Christ and I am learning more and more that Crossroads would essentially dissipate without the prayers, encouragement, and support of many devoted souls along the way. The Lord is opening my eyes to see that there is beauty in the midst of the suffering on the road (“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” ~James 1:2-3~).
Suffering has also opened my eyes to appreciate the beauty in the simple things in life. Air conditioning, bathrooms, and showers are not the only things I have come to treasure. I am more and more grateful for a stranger’s smile along the way, the beauty of a wildflower, the embrace of a child, the friendship of the fellow walkers, and the prayers and support of countless individuals along the way. So although life may be challenging at times, God’s abundant grace has enriched my soul with countless blessings.
PS. Sometimes these trials are blessings because they result in fits of laughter. For example, I have been baptized with countless water spills, a can of Vault, and my feet have been washed in the purity of sour cream. I am convinced that sometimes these things come our way because we need an excuse to realize the beauty of being doubled over in laughter.
~Central Walk, Jessica Graehler