With the airplane tickets purchased and the rent a car scheduled we were ready to set off as a family to discover the inner us. For me this was important I have struggled all of my life with truly being happy with who I was. But before I could fly off to Eugene, Oregon I needed to have a talk with a friend of mine to get some guidance. I knew that I needed to come clean with the fact that I was not truly happy in life and not really knowing me. I like a lot of people have faced many struggles in life make several mistakes and along the way lost who I was. Honestly, I’m not for sure that I really knew who I was or what I truly enjoyed in life. So, the day before our trip I met Joy at the funeral home and we sat outside under the carport and vented to one another. We would talk for hours and finally right before it was time for us to part she asked me to come with her to the field that was behind the funeral home. As we walked to the field I was uncertain of what exactly we would be doing. Once we arrived she said okay take your shoes off. With a look of concern on my face I went ahead and did what she asked. Then she said now close your eyes. Eyes closed shoes off toes naked on the grass she then instructed me to start walking and only focus on what I can hear. This might sound like an easy task but for me it was a task that caused high anxiety. I’m guessing Joy could sense my anxiety because it wasn’t long before she asked what I was thinking. My response “I’m praying that there is not a snake anywhere close to my feet!” Of everything else I could have been thinking I had to be thinking of the one thing that sends fear to me. Joy stopped me and asked “what is it that you are so fearful of? Why are you not trusting God to take care of you and why do you not realize that there is nothing you can do to stop anything from happening if it’s supposed to happen? As she spoke the words to me I thought to myself she is right I honestly have no control over anything but yet I am wearing myself out trying to make sure I keep everything in my life balanced and in what I would consider perfect order. Which ultimately led me to being exhausted, tired, irritable and a woman who was not having fun in life. With our meeting wrapped up I went back into the office to finish up the day and get ready to go home and pack up our bags to begin our journey to Oregon. I was still uncertain as to why God was leading me back to Oakridge, Oregon where I spent some time as a child but one thing had become very clear after my meeting with Joy. I came to realize I needed to face and admit what my fears were and why I was allowing them to control my journey here on earth. Now I want to warn you that in the blogs that I write they will be very open and honest. I’ve come to realize during our journey I’m ready to be me and I’m okay with me being me and you being you. So, what were some of my fears that I discovered? The first fear that came to my mind was being alone, the thought of Jason leaving me or one of our kids getting sick or passing away. This fear ultimately was keeping me from allowing Ryan and Addison from enjoying being kids. Every time they went outside or were doing anything I would find myself always saying “Be careful”. I know that Jason loves me but because I truly didn’t know myself and love myself one hundred percent I was very insecure in this area of my life. Once again, the point Joy made about “if it’s supposed to happen it will happen don’t be fearful” came to my mind. What a true point of interest she has made no matter how much I try to control any part of my life or anyone else’s if it’s supposed to happen then it will. As I continued to search myself the list of fears continued to grow from gaining all the weight back that I had worked hard to lose, not being accepted, not being a good mom, losing everything in life that we have, not being able to complete my calling God has placed on my life, not knowing who I really am, my husband’s driving, snakes, becoming sick again, drowning in a big body of water and I believe the one most of all was not truly being loved. As I looked over the list I soon realized that I was living a life controlled of fear and not of God which left me feeling tired and worn out. I now began to realize why God was leading us on this trip and I was quite certain that after riding with my husband for over thirty hours on the road and him driving I would be delivered from the fear of him killing us in a car wreck. Not that he’s a bad driver it was more of the fact that I didn’t like other people to be in control of where I was going. With Friday, May 19th, 2017 here I realized this was going to be a trip that would forever change not only my life but Jason, Ryan and Addison’s life as well. We needed to be changed and draw closer to God in a way we had never been but I knew I needed to allow God to change me so that I would not hinder what He wanted to do in them. This was going to be a trip of faith the only parts of the trip that were planned was the airplane tickets and the rental car. We had no idea yet where we would be spending the night, what highways we were going to travel home on. I have learned during this trip of faith is that it’s okay to not be in control but to set back relax and allow God to have the steering wheel to the life that He has blessed you with. The next upcoming blog will guide us down the street where I was raised as a young child where I was blessed to meet our old neighbor Bill who at eighty-one years of age still remembered our family after more than twenty years of us being gone.
Written By: Anita J. Shipman