This story is about how I found the path to walk on water.
It wouldn’t surprise me if every kid hears the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water, and then imagines what that experience would be like. It’s like flying – those few things that we humans just can’t do.
But then you read the Bible, and suddenly, you see that Jesus can.
I know I wondered what it would be like to walk on water. But I didn’t realize that it would take me a cross country move to become a Water Walker.
That sounds really cryptic I know. Let me explain.
One week ago today, my honey and I set out to begin our new life. We packed the trailer. Installed our Mini’s tow hitch. Cleaned the apartment. Picked up an audio book. Then set out on the road to drive through the night where we would stop in St. Louis after the first leg of our journey. It didn’t go as smoothly as we expected – we were almost to St. Louis and then found out that our trailer was smoking. No kidding. As it turns out, U-Haul had to give us a new trailer. Something had broke and by the grace of God did not cause a major accident. We spent hours getting the situation under control; unpacking one trailer, repacking the other. I never in my life thought I’d be sitting on a curb with all my junk surrounding me on display for the world to see. What can we say. It didn’t rain. It didn’t storm. So we dealt with the trailer and moved on.
After a night in St. Louis, we set out at 10am the next morning. It would be another 22 hours of driving straight before we got into Davenport Florida, where we would stay with a friend. It was a long drive, but with so much anticipation I think we hardly noticed it.
Our journey was about 38 hours total.
Let me tell you, that car smelled as it never has before.
What happened on that drive was something that I didn’t expect. Through the countless hours, and miles and miles and m.i.l.e.s. of flat open road, something took place in my heart. I didn’t know this needed to happen, and I didn’t know that it could:
I walked on water.
I did. I promise.
In the most literal-figural sense of the word, I walked on water.
In preparation for a crazy long drive, I picked up several resources to pass the time. I got started on my new obsession – the TV Show Dexter (I promise once you get past the initial morbid nature it is actually incredibly fascinating). I also purchased the new Ted Dekker book called Water Walker. I had heard really amazing things about this book, including this incredible review , and thought a 9 hour audiobook would be a great way to pass the time on the road.
I won’t go into the storyline too much, but ultimately, the book is about how to become a Water Walker. I know you’ll be skeptical about this until you read the book yourself, but basically, the process of becoming a Water Walker is the process of taking responsibility of the way we respond and react to the situations in our lives. It is the acknowledgement that no one dictates how you live, except yourself. It is the acceptance that even when we are abused or wronged, we have a choice to “walk on water”. In no uncertain terms, this book explains that we have the power to let our faith control our life, or let our circumstances control our life.
As I listened to the book, something profound happened to me. I learned what it was to be a Water Walker – for myself.
1. Water Walkers “Let Go” of the past. I promise I’m not being cute here by quoting the song lyrics. I’m completely serious. Through this drive, I became acutely aware that, if I was honest with myself, my move was me running away from the reminders of a very painful season of my life. It was a season that was the fault of no one but my own. Deep down inside, I felt like Denver wouldn’t ever free me from my mistakes. I was constantly reminded by fractured relationships, or awkward meetings, or reminders from places. I didn’t feel at home in Denver, because it hadn’t been a “safe place” for me. But those things that pained and bothered me, they weren’t just in Denver. They were still in my heart. Moving from one place to the next became a very tangible process of actually letting go of the last residual affects of what I had subjected myself to in the recent past.
2. Water Walkers move on through life because they forgive. Forgiveness holds profound power. Did not the Pharisees tell Jesus that no one had the power to forgive sins except God? But yet, the cross gave us that power – through Christ. We can forgive the sins done against us. We can also forgive the sins we commit against ourselves. I have gone though countless forgiveness prayers in the last several years, but some things seemed to remain. I have had a very difficult time forgiving myself for my choices. I have never said to myself, “It’s ok. You made mistakes. And the mistakes are ok. It’s time to forget.” In that long drive, I whispered those words to myself. And I felt a load of immense burden release from my soul. It was a burden I didn’t even know was there.
3. Water Walkers chose a life of Peace. I am not being symbolic here. I am talking about inner peace that completely controls. The wind and the waves of life don’t ruffle them, because it is as if the wind and waves don’t exist. I realized that my life wasn’t according to this. If someone doesn’t like me, or doesn’t want to be my friend, or holds my past against me, it causes tumultuous wind and waves in my soul. If I was sitting in a figurative boat, those situations would capsize my heart. So long as I didn’t chose this peace, so long as I couldn’t forgive myself, I couldn’t move on. I felt inhibited by my previous life; held captive from walking out of my prison into the light. Driving in the quiet and the stillness of my little Mini Cooper, I chose peace. And I promised myself that from that day and every day thereafter, I would continue choosing peace.
Thanks to my Lord Jesus that I can.
Moving across the country from Denver to Florida didn’t provide an escape. But somehow, the journey provided a release. The Lord used a story to lead my spirit to where it really needed to go. As it turns out, that wasn’t an escape from Denver after all.
I’m not saying I wished I hadn’t moved – to be honest I was sitting in the sun on a beach when I found out Denver was getting 8 inches of snow. I won’t miss that at all. I do believe that our new life in Florida has the capacity to be better than I imagined. But this new life won’t be amazing because I am now away from the reminders of my former shame. This new life will be amazing because the journey here made me a Water Walker.
[Have you experienced a time of deep pain and found it difficult to move on? Share a comment below how you were able to get out of that place. Are you currently having difficulty moving on? Maybe Ted Dekkers Water Walker will touch you as much as it touched me. Know someone who needs to hear my story? Share here:]