Taking a Walk

*Disclaimer* I am a Christian.  I think most that read this blog on a regular basis have figured that out, but I wanted to be plain and clear about this.  This is not what I regularly post on the blog, but I wanted to share my experience so that others who might have a question about what I’m about to talk about could hear my thoughts and feelings.  If you have a problem with Christians, with Christianity, or God in general you are still welcome here!  I’m not here to judge.  I’m not here to force my religion on you.  I’m’ just here to share.  

The Monday after my walk, tired but happy 

This time two weeks ago I was on my way home from a 72 hour retreat with no phone, no watch, no tv, and no car.  I knew very little about what was going to happen and was told to just have faith that everything would work out.  I had been invited on a Walk to Emmaus.  

The Walk to Emmaus is a ministry through the Methodist church, but it is for anyone who is a believer of Jesus Christ.  It is intense.  It is three solid days of learning, reflection, and honestly was so overwhelming at times that I literally would have to stop and gather myself back together.  There are things I can tell you and things I’m not supposed to, since that would spoil some of the more meaningful experiences during the weekend but please feel free to send me an email and I’ll answer truthfully and honestly what I can.  

At the end of the weekend they asked us a two questions:
What did your Emmaus experience mean to you?
What are you going to do about it?  

I think that’s the best place to start.  

To start at the beginning my husband went on his walk in May of this year and came back lit up like a Christmas tree.  

To say he had a truly fulfilling experience is to say that the moon landing was sort of okay.  To say he was filled with God’s presence was an understatement  So I asked a few questions to try and find out what was so awesome about the weekend.    

What did you do?
Well I really can’t tell you.  

What happened?
Well I really can’t tell you.

What did you learn?
Well I really can’t tell you.

Every question was met with a vague answer and this beatific smile and pretty soon I was ready to hit him or drug him with truth serum so I could find out what the heck had happened to him.  All he would say was that I just had to go and experience it.  To say I was miffed was an understatement.   I’m a naturally curious girl.  Um hello?  Look at this blog.  I see a building I like and spend the next three months scouring books, the internet, and newspapers to find out  who built it, why they built it, the year built, what it was used for, etc.  And here’s my husband saying, you just have to go and experience it?  Not so Tonto.  I wanna know where I’m going, what I’m going for, and what I’m going to be doing.  If there’s people I don’t know, crying, and/or hugging I’m out.   

Guess what.  
I was thrown into situations where I had to talk with people I didn’t know all weekend.  
I cried a lot.  
I hugged a lot.  

We got there Thursday afternoon, had a little meet and greet, and then went off to our cabins for the night.  I was so uncomfortable.  I didn’t want to be there.  I wanted to go home.  I spend all week talking to people.  The girl that is not good at talking to people works in customer service.  

Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.  

I spend my weekends doing stuff where I don’t have to deal with a lot of people and recharging my battery so I can be nice and friendly and not go on a pillaging rampage after talking to the umteeth person that tests my patience.  I also spend my weekends spending time with my daughter.  I only get to see her for about three hours at night before she goes to bed so every extra minute I get to spend with her is special.  And my husband drives a truck so I don’t get to see him the majority of the week.  We try to spend time together on the weekends just doing little things together.  So here I was going off for a weekend to talk to a bunch of people I didn’t know.  I wasn’t going to get any quiet time.  I wasn’t going to get to see Allie.  I wasn’t going to get to see JJ.  All those ingredients make for a not so happy Lana.  I’ll be honest.  I didn’t sleep much Thursday night.  There was a lot of crying.  There was a lot of praying.  There was more crying and more praying and then I felt the Lord calming me down.  I felt God telling me to just calm the heck down.  It would be okay.  He had yet to bring me somewhere and not get me through, so I needed to just calm down and breathe.  After that I might not have slept but I was better.  

Friday we started our talks and got set up with the groups we would be sitting with the rest of the weekend.  I ended up loving the girls at my table!  Such a lovely diverse group of people with such very interesting stories.  I loved them all.  I hung back and observed for a long time.  I would participate in discussions but for those that know me I was in information gathering mode.  (Lesli if you’re reading this you know that face.)  Who.  What. When. Where. Why.  The presenters were all so genuine and interesting and I honestly learned a lot.  The discussions afterward were thought provoking and many times I got more out of that than anything.  

By Saturday we had hit our groove and I was feeling better.  Not well rested, but better emotionally.  I’ll tell ya, if you’re not ready to cry get ready.  Every day was full of so many emotions.  Happy, sad, mad, disgusted, fulfilled, thankful, you name it.  And by Saturday I began to get more out of the weekend.  There was one part with a lot of hugging - a LOT - of hugging and crying that made me happy yet uncomfortable but it was all part of the process.  Saturday night we finally had some time to just sit quietly and process what the heck was going on.  I must have looked so drained and out of it one of the camp directors came to check on me.  I told her I was okay, I just was so tapped out I needed a little time to just get away from everyone and think.  This weekend taxed me on every level.  Spiritually.  Emotionally.  Physically.  

After the emotion of Saturday I was totally tapped out Sunday morning.  Bless those last five speakers hearts.  I hate to say the only one I sort of remember was my table leaders talk.  I was just empty and my brain had melted down at that point.  I do not do well with that much emotion, and self reflection, and pushing myself outside my boundaries.  I had pushed myself and pushed myself and pushed myself to a point I had never been before. After our lunch I was a better.  The marbles had rolled back to their correct position and my bubble was just about plumb again.  We walked down to the chapel and there they were!  Our friends and family had returned!

They asked for closing statements and everyone that got up and spoke did so good!  It was so nice to hear that ladies that had come there at such a low point in their lives were refreshed and refilled with some hope and happiness.  As I sat there listening it was like when I got saved, that little push to the back that says get up!  Get up and say something!  I resisted but when God gives you the words he gives you the words.  

I haven’t spoken in front of a group that big in years.  (I did public speaking in 4-H and was successful at it.). But when the perfect words drop in your head you either write them down or speak them aloud.  If you were there that day, thank you so much!  I had more fun than I’ve had in years.  I had the entire building rolling.  I did tear up at the beginning but after that it was all good.  I so wish I had a transcript from that talk.  The Lord blessed me that day with a confidence and presentation I haven’t felt in a long time.  So thank you God for that.  I had perfect strangers tell me how good I did and I was able to tell them thank you and not blush too badly.  Hey I’m a weirdo.  The part that most people hate to think about I enjoyed.    

I’ll admit.  I was a grumpy girl about going.  I needed that push from my husband to go.  To even contemplate spending my entire weekend with a bunch of people I don’t know fills me with such a sense of childlike dread it’s hysterical.  I do admit I let my fear get the better of me.  I should have trusted JJ more to not send me off to a place I wouldn’t like. So I’ll say it publicly and on the internet I’m sorry for my attitude.  Cause I had ‘tude galore when he left Thursday night.    

Did I get something out of it?  Yes!  Most definitely.  The good Lord works in ways that always leave me either frustrated, blown away, or completely confused about how he even got it to work out in the first place.  I worked through a lot of personal issues in the quiet time we had.  Our Saturday chapel service gave us a lot of time to pray and meditate and looking out the big windows behind the altar I felt my second tug that weekend. It was a feeling that said plainly in my heart to look outside.  To really look.  To see the sunshine on the leaves of the trees.  To see the wind move the leaves in the sunshine.  God was truly there.  He was taking care of me and would continue to take care of me.  My God was there and he gave me a measure of peace and happiness that was overwhelming in that chapel that day.  And then I felt an old familiar presence, my great-grandmother, the immortal Ethel Pepper.  She reminded me of a verse from Joshua. 

I shared this with my table-mates and it sort of became the unofficial theme of our table.  It was the right words in the right situation.  

To answer the second question, “What are you going to do about it?”

Stop letting myself, situations, or other people make me so darn mad!  I can be a truly angry, angry person.  I know that.  I accept it and I embrace it.  You can’t fix what you don’t know is broken.  Country wisdom if ever there was.  I don’t want to not care, I want to not let that anger control me.  

I also have to learn to trust.  I’m so used to taking care of myself and those around me I’m not willing to let go and just trust someone else to take care of me.  So yes, I’m going to learn to let go and trust and not get mad when I don’t feel in control of every single molecule of my life. 

I love you my lovelies.  And especially the lovely ladies at the table of Rockin’ Rachel.  Thanks for reading and hopefully I’ll have my brain back and operating at its full or what I assume is it’s full capacity next week.  De Colores.


  1. Thank you for sharing, Lana. For me, learning that he water flows around the rocks, not through them, was my metaphor for knowing when to let go of control in order to have it.


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