Riding on camels in deserts

If you’re coming back after yesterday’s depress-fest to make sure that I didn’t land at the bottom of the crevasse in a poof of dust, I thank you.  Your encouragement yesterday was refreshing water that made a little twig grow in the side of the canyon wall and I caught it on the way down.  You can find me today hanging back on the ledge as usual.

My fingers feel strong.

My language is still a little strong, too, and I am once again amazed at my mother and grateful that she didn’t make me wash my mouth out with soap after I had a nice long talk with her on the phone yesterday.  She amazes me, my mother.  I love the way she listens well, speaks truth plainly, and how she encourages me to put on my big girl britches in a way that isn’t insulting, but in a way that gives perspective to see that new developments are a turn in the road of the journey to which my God has called me.

The truth is, God has called me to journey in the desert.  I thought He had called me to the desert ten years ago with a life-altering diagnosis of disability in a child.  But when I think about the whole of my life and the situations in which He has placed me, the desert has been a constant.  He called my family away from our tribe in Texas to go to Guatemala and minister to people who were not our people.  He had me live away from my family to live in a boarding school for the majority of my growing up years.  In college, He told me to leave my comfort zone and move to another state.  After graduate school, He told me to leave everyone I knew and move to the East Coast.  After my babies were born, He directed us to leave everyone we knew and move to North Carolina.

Do you see a pattern?

I sure do.

I see a lifetime of moving away from the familiar and into the unknown.  Every place I’ve moved to, I’ve moved alone (with the exception of college and that was because of a boy, and THERE’s a story for you that’ll have to wait for another day), and every time I’ve moved into the unfamiliar, there’s been that time of adjustment, of questioning, of unsurety (which may or may not be a word) and instability.

But the one constant?

My travel companion.

There are times that I’ve wondered where He is, but I think I’ve been looking in the wrong direction.  I’ve been looking at the horizon for a scrap of green, for the tell-tale sign that I’m leaving the desert and that “better” times are ahead.  I’ve looked to each side to see if companions are there or if marauders are coming.  I’ve looked up and all I’ve seen is the relentless sun.

But this morning?  This morning at 3:45 when I was up getting two giggling boys back to bed and confiscating flashlights, I ran through some of the thoughts that arrived in my comments section and email in-box and realized something.

I realized that I had forgotten my camel.

I spent some time this morning reading up on camels.  Did you know that entire tribes to this day continue to survive on camels?  That camels provide milk, meat, transportation, wool, leather, and that you can even use the hair to make materials for a yurt?  It was not a stretch for me to think of my Jesus who carries me to the place He has called me, who gives me milk, who feeds me, who clothes me, who shelters me, and most importantly, who bears my burdens.

I am not alone in this desert.  He gives me oases for rest, He gives me “well moments” like yesterday and Sunday mornings with my class at church to refresh my spirit in the company of friends.  He takes away the distractions of scenery to remind me to commune with him.

My constant and faithful companion.

Deserts don’t have to be scary places.

Besides, I’ve always looked good in camel.

Have a nice day.


30 responses to “Riding on camels in deserts

  1. Loved reading your thoughts this morning. Big hug for you and your camel.

  2. I am exceedingly proud of you. YOU CAN DO IT, AS YOU ALWAYS HAVE BEFORE!

  3. Does your mom want another daughter. ;)Because I’m ready for one of those talks, too.

    Sus…this is perhaps my favorite of your posts. The picture of your journey could be so desolate, but for God. With Him, I’m starting to see the texture and beauty. And I can’t wait to see how it all turns out in the end when we’re up in heaven having our coffee together.

    A wise woman with 3 beautiful sons (i think they might have been platernal) once told me something that brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it, by the power of its truth: “These days will be redeemed.”

    Indeed. Because our Redeemer lives!

  4. Just catching up here today and read yesterdays post as well. I think you’ve said it all beautifully today. Amen.

  5. You just described my adult life. Even the North Carolina part.
    Thank you, friend for reminding me about my camel.

  6. Ahhh…what a nice post. It reminds me to let go of the anxiety that I always endure on some level and allow Jesus to bear my burdens. He asks me to let Him do that, you know. I, too, have a camel…thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  7. missed your blog yesterday so skipped down to catch up…glad your fingers are feeling strong again! And I appreciated your conclusion…deserts don’t have to be scary places.

  8. Beautiful.

    Simply beautiful.

    I’m so honored to call you friend.

  9. Thanks for the reminder that God journeys this road with us.

  10. I’ve been thinking about a quote since I read it four days ago:

    “The world wants us to believe that its the grass on ‘the other side’ that is the greenest. But that is not the truth.

    The grass that is greenest is the one that is Watered.”

    Gretchen’s comment, using your very own words, makes me weepy. And thankful. Because someday we will finding ourselves removing our dry, dusty sandals, and experiencing the freedom of bare feet in the grass of the best of all Gardens.


  11. You have the right perspective! 🙂

  12. I LOVE your words, but more so the heart they came from.

    You have many similarities to Abraham, don’t you think? Asked to leave your country, asked to do the difficult, asked to have faith in the midst of the unseen and unknown. But God’s promises and blessings were great. It wasn’t always easy or fun, he was molded and changed along the way, but God never left him, always provided for him, and blessed him (YOU!) greatly!!

    “Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” Gen. 12:1-3

    “After these things the word of the Lord came….”Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great.” Gen. 15:1

    “Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.” Gen. 15:6

    He is the same yesterday (for Abraham), today (for You!), and forever (for your children). Now THAT’S a promise.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful encouragment this morning!

  13. So glad the new day brings better perspective! It’s amazing how a good talk with a good Mom, kind words from friends, some rest, and time to ponder the situation revitalizes us isn’t it? Thanks for the image of the camel and your story – it is one I will use as I need to be reminded to “cast my burdens upon Him” as I pray. Also, as I begin to put out the Nativity scenes in the next few weeks, it will make me smile to see the camels and the 3 Kings and remind me of all these “beasts of burden” can do for us! What a Friend we have in Jesus! Glad you are back on the Ledge CPQ!!!

  14. Thank you for the reminder.
    I was in need of a perspective check.

  15. Yurt.


    Yurt, yurty, yurt, yurt.

    Sorry, I just enjoy saying that word.

    Carry on.

  16. This might be one of my favorite CPQ posts ever.

  17. I have been in the Desert for quiet some time and it is getting more desolate…so I thank you for your sweet reminders!

  18. I have a special place in my heart for camels because my grandmother who rescued me from my wretched childhood has been sober for 29 years…she’s amazing and do you not what she collects?! CAMELS. Because he goes forever without a drink and goes to his knees when he needs rest….seriously, her collection is NUTS! But in a good way, of course!

    Isn’t God awesome in that?! That He uses His creation whether the season of a tree or a precious animal to reveal Himself or teach us something…just cool, I say.

    So thankful He’s given you perspective and hope

  19. You are an amazing great writer, full of expressions and emotions. I really know that you are more than prepared to do the task and role that God has given you. I remember how you grew up so very independent, with a strong will. You are blessed with a whole “tribe” of us who think you are so special. You have been prayed for so many times, in so many situations. God knows you and you are becoming more Christ like in all of these “difficult” circumstances. You are LOVED!

  20. Beautiful words!

    Except for “yurt.” That just sounds funky. What’s a yurt?

  21. You are so very cool!

    The camel…the redeemed days…Jesus.

    Always a blessing to visit with you!

  22. You always blow me away!! I love that about you.

  23. Crying … AGAIN!
    You put my thoughts into words. I’m sorry for your desert, but feel comforted that I’m not the only one on a sandy journey. Thank you for the great reminder! I will never look at a camel the same way!

  24. Beautifully said. What a great reminder to all of us. You are a witness of faith.

  25. Susan, thank you for sharing those thoughts. I love the mental picture of the camel in a desert. It also made me think of the lyrics to the mark Schultz song He Will Carry Me. You probably know it – but here are the lyrics. http://www.christianlyricsonline.com/artists/mark-schultz/he-will-carry-me.html

  26. You are precious. . . just simply precious!!! I love this analogy and I love your perspective. Sending a BIG cyber hug your way!

  27. This is one of the best posts you’ve ever written. I love it. I’ve been praying for you all week . Know that I will continue to do so.

    I have no idea what a yurt is, but I’ll be sure to look it up.

    I love the quote Kellie gave in her comment.

  28. Your post today is just beautiful. What an encouragement, and thank-you for being willing to go through the desert to serve and love others.

    This is totally unrelated and a little off-color perhaps given your analogy, but we took Jayci to the zoo and saw some camels there. One of them had a very flaccid, floppy hump (um it was weird!) and I couldn’t help but get that mental picture . . .

  29. *big, deep breath*


    just phenomenal.

    exactly. exactly. exactly what I needed to read today.

  30. Awesome post and reminder. Love this comparison with the camel – love it love it love it!

    I’m sorry you had a yucky beginning to your week. Glad you have company and sunshine this weekend to lift your spirits.

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