The trips I took this year weren’t meant to be a spiritual journey but, as I look back on all of the places I’ve been and the people I’ve interacted with, I realize it has been.

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I’ve labored through the pain of depression since I was a teenager. Most days I do just fine — now. It hasn’t always been that easy. I’ve always tried to do everything on my own and avoided asking for help unless I was already ten feet deep in poo. For most of the ten years I was parenting on my own, I was overwhelmed. I didn’t know who I was, and I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. I made decisions based solely on my emotions at the time.

It wasn’t until I was an adult — a mom — that I started searching for God as my Daddy. I realized that it was him I had been missing from my life, even though he was with me all the time. I had not seen it as clearly as I should have. Learning more about him and being open to the message he was trying to convey helped me to have hope that I would make it another day. Ahead of me, I could see a bright light of grace and mercy. I wanted my kids to have that too, so it was then that we began our faith journey. Thankfully, my husband is right there alongside me now.

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So, this faith journey. Where was I when I started feeling the earth move under my feet? After a long, memorable trip to Seward, Alaska with Chuck and my brother, Chuck was driving toward Anchorage, Alaska. I sat in the back seat of the rental car, gazing at the craggy, snow-capped mountains and I felt my being transform. I felt a rush of love come over me, which I didn’t fully understand at the time.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. – Psalm 51:10-12

Over the past several years, I’ve heard so many times that we are supposed to relinquish of our life. Jesus take the wheel, right? This is something I’m trying to overcome. That said, I believe with every trip we took this year, I gave away that need for control a little bit at a time.

I still need reminders from him that it’s OK to give it all to him. Even still, I pray that my family and friends will recognize this awakening in me and know that I had no other choice but to follow God’s perfectly paved path.

Desiree Townsend

Desiree is a Christ follower, wife and mom. #WakeUpAndLive