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  • Writer's pictureSue Dawkes

The Journey is the Destination

I am sure most of us have been on a journey with a small child, or maybe even young enough to remember being on a journey as a small (or not so small!) child, and either the boredom of the journey or anticipation of arriving leads them to say "Are we there yet?" "How much longer?" "When WILL we get there?"

I have the words "The Journey is the Destination" on a T-shirt. I bought it because in my latter years I have become a bit of an explorer. In fact I suspect it has always been there but came to fruition after my husband died and I bought a 1973 orange VW camper van. Since then we have had some exciting and frustrating journeys together with my two chocolate labradors and occasionally a grandchild or two. There was always a destination in mind but the fun was in the journey. Sometimes we didn't reach our destination at the appointed time for various reasons such as traffic or Aussie (the camper's name) deciding he didn't want to go any further (or "breaking down" in technical terms!). Of course "fun' was not how we always saw it at the time but hours waiting to be rescued on the side of the road was also part of the journey. Just as in our journey with Father, Son and Holy Spirit we have a vision of eventually spending eternity with them, the journey to get there can teach us so much. The journey can be scary, exciting, dark, joyful, depressing or peaceful. We may not always feel the Father's presence with us or acknowledge it when we are in the depths of despair and we may be angry that He is not responding to our cries. Just like David in the Psalms how many times have we cried out to God asking Him to take the burden away or proclaiming all the things we will do for Him if he would just make our suffering less? Thank goodness He doesn't always rescue us for we would be nothing less than robots controlled by an inventor.

I always used to say I was a slow learner in this ministry because I didn't always feel that I "got it". Of course it has nothing to do with "getting it" like you would suddenly understand Einstein's theory of relativity, it's about receiving it in your heart. When I first realised that God was my perfect father and I was His daughter I was so excited I just craved more teaching and more of Him. I went to many schools and conferences, travelled to New Zealand three times to get more teaching from James and Denise, but I still experienced many dry times. I tried immersing myself in scripture, surrounding myself with knowledgable people or finding quiet desolate places but nothing worked. Even after I heard Him say to me that I was His pearl of great price and He would move mountains for me, I somehow could not believe it was true. Then in 2018 whilst sitting under a tree in the Peak District in England, I was talking to Father and said, "There is something about this place, I feel such peace here, I am wondering whether I should move here?" His reply was, "My child, the reason you feel such peace is because at last you have realised for certain that I live in you. I am your father and you are my precious child, where ever I am is home, therefore where ever you go is home. You do not need to search the world to find me, I have made my home in your heart." Although I thought I "knew" it, it wasn't until that moment I truly experienced it and have lived "knowing" it ever since. It's not that He wasn't there all the time but something shifted that day, it was as if the eyes of my heart had been opened. And looking back, I could have only got to that place through the journey He took me on beforehand, where barriers, doubts and suspicion had been broken down and my heart was healed of past traumas. But even that is not the destination, I am sure the journey will continue until I see Him face to face.

In 2019 I went on a road trip across Arizona and Utah. I had some time-share points I needed to use up so all the accommodation was free. I tried to persuade friends to come with me but no-one was available. As the time drew near I got a little anxious about two weeks travelling on my own and even asked a few people who were't particularly close friends to come with me. What a disaster that could have been! I needn't have worried, I now refer to it as my road trip with Jesus! Not once did I feel alone, not once was I worried or anxious and we just had a whale of a time! Every now and then, because it was quite a busy season, Father would suggest a little detour & we'd take a different road, only to find even better and more amazing views all to ourselves! I also met some amazing people, some whom I was able to share my faith with. So I'm sure there are more amazing journeys to come and more lessons to be learned. I believe Father has this for everyone if we just let go of the reins and let Him take the steering wheel. May you too experience Him living in your heart, loving you, and taking you on the journey of your life!

On the last day of my trip I had a tattoo of an eagle engraved on my shoulder (if you can't do it at 69 when can you!) with the scripture from Isaiah 40:31 "..those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint". It was my declaration of His presence with me at all times.

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