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Tag: unknown

Hero embarking on a journey

Into the Unknown

Hero embarking on a journey

The Hero’s Journey

What do Froto Baggin’s from Lord of the Rings, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, Marlin from Finding Nemo, and Luke Skywalker from Star Wars all have in common, besides being movie characters? They’ve all experienced the Hero’s journey. I’m in the plotting process of book six of the Leeward Island series (The Marquis’s Pursuit is off to the editor), so my brain is focused on character arcs or what’s also called the Hero’s journey. It got me thinking about how God plots a similar path for us.

The Hero’s journey is a cycle where the Hero starts in the known world, journeys into the unknown, and returns changed into a new known. It’s comprised of three acts: 1. the separation or call to adventure, 2. initiation or death/rebirth, and 3. the return or resolution. For example, in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy’s separation is physically done by the tornado that drops her house into Oz, where her adventure begins. Her initiation follows as she follows the yellow brick road, and she meets the scarecrow, lion, and tin man. Through trials and triumphs, she discovers a way to defeat The Wicked Witch of the West and return to Kansas. However, Dorothy goes back a changed woman. As part of the resolution or new normal, she holds a new appreciation for her family and friends.

We relate to the Hero’s journey so well because God propels us on our own journey to better walk in His purpose. He coaxes us out of our comfort zone to step into the unknown, where He uses trials and triumphs to mold us more and more into his image. In 2 Corinthians 3:18, Paul says, “We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” To become more like Christ and reflect Him more and more, we must allow ourselves to be refined. Sometimes it’s a quick journey, but other times it takes multiple trips around the mountain, painful backtracking, and even psychological death to old ways of thinking to come home as a new person. Romans 8:18 states, “We have sufferings now, but these are nothing compared to the great glory that will be given to us.”

Helper up a ramp

We aren’t journeying alone. If suffering, trials, and the thought of psychological death, have us crawling back to the couch to hide under a blanket, do not fear. We must remember a vital aspect of the Hero’s journey. A helper comes alongside the Hero to guide him along his path. For Dorothy, it was Glenda the good witch, for Froto – Sam Wise, Nemo – Dora, Luke Skywalker – Obi-Wan, but for us, we get someone even better—the Holy Spirit. We are not alone in our journey. The Great Comforter walks beside us, guiding us towards our purpose, urging us to stay on the path, picking us up when we stumble, and redirecting us when we lose our way.  

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Don’t Stay in the Safety Zone

Our first house

My husband and I bought our first home within a few months of getting married. We were excited, a little scared, and definitely a bit naïve when it came to owning a three family and managing tenants. Our first obstacle came when no one was willing to move out of the house we purchased and planned to dwell. We sent notices to quit, but no one was willing to pack up. We even offered them significant money to leave, but no one would budge. Meanwhile, the lease on the apartment where we were renting was up. We owned a home but somehow were homeless.

We did the only thing we could. We retreated to a safe spot. We moved in with John’s parents while we navigated the eviction process.

Last week I talked about rope swings and how we need to be all in like Peter, but even Peter had to retreat to a safe spot. It was a scary time after Jesus died. Jesus had been their leader and Peter’s friend. Jesus had been here to save the world, but he’d just been crucified. Now, what were the disciples to do? Not only that, but Peter struggled with the grief of having denied Jesus, not just once, but three times after Jesus foretold it. Peter “the rock’s” life had been rocked. So, he went back to what he knew best – fishing – to absorb and regroup. Peter rowed the boat back out, tossed the nets overboard, and went back to being a fisherman.

We may often do the same. Go back to safe ground. Take a step back to gain perspective. But we are not supposed to stay there. It’s okay to stop to take a breath, recharge, get our barrings, but then get back on track. When Jesus came to visit Peter after His death, Peter was fishing with some of the other disciples when Jesus called out to him. Peter didn’t recognize him, but James did and whispered to Peter, who then dove overboard and swam to shore. It was not God’s plan for Peter to go back to being a fisherman, so Jesus called to him and told him three times to feed His lambs.

After Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter boldly spread the good news to thousands of people, both Jew and Gentile. He became the spokesman of the apostles and the rock upon which God built his church.

My husband and I knew we weren’t meant to stay living in his parent’s house. It was a temporary place for us to develop and execute a plan. We eventually moved into the multifamily home and eventually into a single-family home. And now we are often giving real estate advice to other young couples looking to purchase their first home.

Many of us want to stay in the safety zone, doing what’s known and comfortable, but that isn’t God’s will for us. There will be obstacles, but those problems help us to mature. God has great plans for us, but we will never know the sweet reward of stepping out in faith and the joy of walking in God’s will if we continue to stay living in our parent’s basement.


John and I fixing up our first house (red one seen above) once we were able to move there.
You can see the naivety of the first time home buyer smile on my face.

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Graduation photo tossing hats by Emily Reinquist

I Don’t Know… You Know What I Mean?

“I don’t know. . . You know what I mean?” This was a friend of mine’s response when being asked for some difficult future advice. It sounds funny, but I do understand what he meant. How many times have we lacked the wisdom and the right words? How many times have we been caught in a situation that we don’t understand, or felt lost hoping someone can point us in the right direction?

Graduation celebration Pexels photo by Emily Reinquist

It’s graduation season, and many young adults will leave home to start their futures. I still remember staring at the college application where it asks to declare a major. I had no idea. I took one of those career tests at school to determine what professions would be best for me. The test said I should be either a Rabbi or a parole officer. Since I wasn’t Jewish nor male, I figured the Rabbi position was probably out, and no offense to any parole officers out there, but I can’t imagine the push-over in me surviving long in that job.

I was stuck, afraid I’d pick the wrong thing and ruin my life. I was waiting for lightning, inspiration, or God’s voice to tell me what I should be. I thought there had to be perfect conditions. I thought I had to know everything before I could venture out.

I was wrong.

Whether I picked an unfit major or worked at a few jobs that might not have been for me, it all worked out. Each was a learning experience. Each developed my character and allowed me insight to know who and what I wanted to be when I grew up.

Fork in Road

Did it slow me down and keep me from my potential?

Maybe. Maybe not. Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to first experience what it’s like to be lost.

There is no return without some risk. We have to step forward and make the opportunity. Mistakes will happen, but we can’t fear them. God Almighty isn’t going to let a few mistakes ruin His plan for your life. God’s will is going to be done, and even if we swerve off the path a couple of times, He can get us back on track. But one thing is for certain, it’s a lot harder to steer a car when it’s in park.

“A man’s steps are of the Lord; how then can a man understand his own way?” – Proverbs 20:24 (NKJV)

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