The Healing Mile
This Way-Day 11 August 21, 2019 08:29
Murphy usually wants to continue down the road instead of making the turn at the trail that leads home. I’m anticipating he will eventually remember the way- that we turn left and continue to the path through the field and down the trail that leads to our back yard.
I think I've discovered why it's so important to me that he eventually remembers that.
It makes sense that the daily healing mile is keeping me in consistent relationship with my Maker, training me to take the most well advised turns in my life, leading me to the most advantageous outcome. My healing hearts desire is that ultimately these surrendered steps will lead me to safety, security and satisfaction. A place I'd like to call home.
"This way, Murph", I say and a second later I hear the Spirit say, “This is the way, daughter.”
I am hopeful and confident that following Him, allowing Him to lead and direct will become common routine. Even after day ten it's not only feeling much more familiar but necessary.
And then again, that gentle, still, small yet powerful voice I hear in my heart...
"Dana, I'm always leading you the right way. You can trust me. Keep following me. Keep surrendered to my direction. I got you. You got me. You've got this".
Just like Sonny and Cher say, "I've got you babe."
His Pleasure- Day 10 August 20, 2019 10:52
Awe- inspiring sounds this morning. An earlier walk than most mornings which brings about some new sights, scents and sounds. Who knew just thirty minutes earlier in the day could present such a different backdrop. Even the early morning fragrance was more intense and amazing.
A gazillion vultures this morning like they're multiplying daily. Ugly buzzards but who's looking at them? My focus is on the beautiful, picture perfect morning. It's the ideal temperature, high beams of sunshine are just peaking through the wispy thin cirrus clouds and a magical mist hovers over the lake water.
I love nature so much. Recalling the line from Chariots of Fire when Eric Liddell says: "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure." Such a stirring and inspiring declaration, to actually feel the pleasure of God. I feel like my line could be," I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me love the outdoors. And when I'm in nature I feel his pleasure." Goosebumps.
Some days I believe are to teach us, some are to challenge and grow us and then there are those special days I think God just wants us to feel His pleasure, to bless us in a way that we know he's speaking right to us, to our inner souls. Sometimes- likely most times, I'm too preoccupied with the busyness and challenges of the day that I miss the treasures. Thankfully today, day 10 of the healing mile was not that day. Today I saw his treasure and I felt His pleasure.
Hoping I feel it tomorrow too.
In Sync -Day 9 August 19, 2019 08:04
The daily practice of walking with Murph has really helped him to walk closer to me and become more in sync with me. He used to pull and spin and try to get ahead of me. There is uncontainable joy in my spirit knowing that the daily commitment of walking together has helped Murph calm down.
I find an interesting parallel with my daily spiritual walk. I wonder how often God feels me pull ahead of him, walking out of sync, spinning with anxiety. No wonder my heart is out of rhythm.
There is such peace in my heart today knowing I am walking daily with my Maker- the one who knows me and loves me more than anyone else. It feels so good to be in step with Him, walking closer to him, side by side, somewhat of a divine harmony for me and for Murph.
And then enter vultures. Sadly, they seem to be a consistent through line in my story and I would guess in yours too. Suddenly four of these spine chilling creatures came flying over us, wings flapping, out of nowhere, scaring us out of our wits!
And then I heard the tag line, “relentless enemy always on the prowl”. A spiritual force of the opposer who's mission it is to strike fear in us. Who really does prowl, looking for an opportunity to pounce on us and deter us from fulfilling the grand purposes that give our lives deep meaning, full gratification and most importantly, glory to the Giver. He's the villain in our story who lies to us and steals from us, with hopes he will leave us feeling useless, lifeless and ultimately defeated.
But thank you God it doesn’t end there!!! In every great story, good shows up. Just in perfect time the strong, fearless, honorable and trustworthy hero saves the day. Good always finds us, pursues us, fights for us and prevails, e v e n w h e n we can’t see it right away.
And the vultures flee. Yes.
The healing mile, the ninth day of my daily and disciplined commitment to walking with Him, not out of duty but out of a deep desire and hope to draw closer to Him and stay in sync with him. There is so much He has to lavish on me!
And much to lavish on you.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. -Galatians 5:25
Easy like Sunday morning-Day 8 August 18, 2019 10:07
Taking a rest day from blog posting on Sundays. :) Have a lovely day resting in Gods greatness. See you tomorrow!
Believe- Day 7 August 17, 2019 10:30 1 Comment
The first part in believing- like really believing is saying you believe. Say it out loud, "I believe".
The next part in believing is the action part- living it out- the do. I'm starting to believe, like really believe.
I hear the Spirit say,
"I am making you strong baby girl. Look at my little creatures that run around trusting me. The one's I've shown you this morning, the rabbits, chipmunks, the fish you just saw swimming under the bridge. The birds of the air and the fish of the sea; I created them all. You can be confident that I can take care of you too- do you believe that?"
My reply, my honest reply,
"I guess not. It's easy to say, but mostly they're just words BUT I'm learning to and I trust I'm getting there. My heart is getting there."
We walked past the dead tree I've now officially named 'the vulture tree'. And it's officially been declared in my head and my heart that the vulture represents the enemy. Sorry vulture lovers.
On this morning there were only three perched- three too many. As soon as we approached one flew off which confirmed the spineless strength the enemy has in our lives. The enemy is a coward. He will flee from us when we proclaim and walk in truth and stop buying into the lies. The two can not coexist. What a relief.
Murphy's favorite part of our walk is getting to the water where he goes in knee deep, takes a few sips and occasionally sits down for a refreshing rest. Today when we got there, I looked down at the water's sandy edge and a pair of feathers, the most perfect little white feathers I have ever laid my eyes on, were floating together in perfect sync. That's where I want to live. In perfect sink with my Maker who is teaching me every day that I can believe he is taking care of me.
He's taking care of you too.
Reassured- Day 6 August 16, 2019 09:00
Most days I feel so certain about this journey- the blog- laying it all out there, and then there are the other days...
I asked Him, rather I told Him,
"I'm not sure I understand this mission."
He said with love and gentlest tone,
"The mission is to make you well, the writing is to encourage others. You don't have to know all I am doing right now you just have to trust me. I am a God who works when you ask. I will not leave you like your earthly father left you. You can trust me. You can count on me because I am always working and doing things for your greatest possible benefit."
Long sigh of relief, "aaaaahhhhhhh".
Someone that I love more than life recently told me she felt like a closed up butterfly. My heart ached with her wondering how such a beautiful human could feel such suppression but also knowing that so many days I stand in a similar stance- closed up, unable to express my deepest emotions, open my wings and fly in full freedom.
As my walk continued, fluttering around me, a majestic monarch- go figure. It wouldn't leave me alone. It whirled and twirled this way and that and finally made a pit stop next to the water on the Purple Loosestrife. It's wings began to flap gently, back and forth- open and close- in and out, like it was clapping with hopeful reassurance for me- and for her. Wings wide open.
I'm reassured now, after walk number six that this mission is consistently drawing me to connect with my Maker, trust what he tells me in my spirit, encourage me to act on those truths, savor the treasures he lavishes on me along the way and celebrate the fruits of a newfound trusting heart.
Connect, trust, savor, and celebrate-the name of this anointed game.
Hoping it all will encourage you to know and trust him too.
"Just when the caterpillar thought it was over, she became a butterfly."
Covering- Day 5 August 15, 2019 08:27
My fifth day of the healing journey began with a light mist and a few raindrops and continued throughout the duration of my walk- the weather reflecting my emotional state. Feeling a bit defeated, misty and a little sick in my stomach- led to get my stomach healed. Sensing this may be another contributing factor to my heart palpitations and praying for direction. Maybe too much information but learning that having low stomach acid makes the body resistant to absorbing minerals- which leads to electrolyte imbalance- low calcium, magnesium, potassium... so getting back on digestive enzymes- will trust I'm on the right path and see what happens. After all I am walking the healing mile.
Hearing in my spirit that my Maker's "got me".
"I am protecting you Dana. I am your mighty shelter. You're covering. I've always been covering you, I'm covering you today and I will cover you tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the day after that and..."
The message was confirmed as I approached a thick, lush, green canopy of vines, the same wild trellis I've been walking under every day of the healing mile but never noticed until this day. I will never miss it again.
The vultures are gone this morning-maybe it's the rain but it's comforting.
"God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him." Psalm 46:1
"Suddenly I turned around and she was standin' there
With silver bracelets on her wrists and flowers in her hair
She walked up to me so gracefully and took my crown of thorns
Come in, she said
I'll give ya shelter from the storm"
Distractions- Day 4 August 14, 2019 08:54 1 Comment
That first breath of outdoor air is like salve to my soul.
Got halfway down the driveway and Murph stopped dead in his tracks. "I don't want to go, he said to me with my eyes. So we turned around and I put him in the house. "I know the feeling some days Murph, I told him. I think he regretted it because Burly told me he cried for ten minutes after I left. A walk with your master always a good thing but the memory fades of it's benefit so easily. So much to distract us from it's greatness and power.
So much to distract me on my healing mile this morning -a zealous farmer on his rickety tractor harvesting the wheat- small airplanes- the loud ones, overhead-chipmunks screeching-a Harley Davidson convoy- all good sounds of summer but so distracting nonetheless.
Distractions are inevitable but learning to allow the voice of the Spirit to be louder in my life than those things that take me away from Him is where I want to live.
No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this,
Never so much as imagined anything quite like it—
What God has arranged for those who love him.
But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you.
1 Corinthians 2:9
"Make time for the quiet moments, as God whispers and the world is loud."
- author unknown
Pep Talk- Day 3 August 13, 2019 11:44
Feeling a tad defeated as I begin today's healing mile. The first words out of my mouth...
" G o d I n e e d a p e p t a l k . "
Palpitations not getting better- maybe actually a little worse- a bit more relentless- a tiny bit more consistent. I now have an appointment with a cardiologist that I am hopeful will explain to me what is wrong with me and what I'm to do about it.
"I'm afraid. What is this all for? Will I get better? Is this healing mile going to help me? are you going to help me God?" This is my inner voice of doubt, of fear, of anxiety.
And then I hear it-
"The voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth."
Of course my built in body barometer would be to gauge the worse case scenario. This is where I usually- scratch that- always go. Most people don't know this about me as I am an encourager at heart, at least certainly try to be. If only I was able to believe what I tell others they should believe.
Encouragement was not a common practice in my home growing up unless it was me doing it. I was so consumed trying to encourage those that needed it that I never felt validated or justified to ask for it let alone receive it myself. That would have made me weak, a burden, which was the last thing anybody needed- another problem. Which conjured up another even bigger problem, officially labeled, ANXIETY- issue numero uno.
But as I have been told-and I now am starting to believe with all of my heart and soul and bones, it's time to change the patterns of the past and learn to trust that encouragement and hope is for me too.
And for you.
Vultures-Day 2 August 12, 2019 15:30 1 Comment
My walk this morning began with a most beautiful visual of a lush, green, life filled perfect plot of land that sits on the corner of the healing mile's start line. I notice it often but today, for some reason, I took special interest and thought of the abundant life and the good it so clearly stood for.
Fast forward about 50 steps and my attention was distracted by a large black feather laying in the road. Any opportunity I might get to pick up a feather and add it to my collection would normally be like an involuntary reflex. I'm convinced God sends them to remind me of his presence. I seem to find them at the perfect moments when I need his reassurance the most. But this feather was different. As I bent down to pick it up, I immediately pulled back, turned my chin toward the sky only to realize perched above me upon a very dead tree, vultures- awful looking creatures with red faces, dark ruffled feathers and an overall creepy presence.
I remembered a couple years ago that I had another encounter with vultures which made me want to find out more about them. This is what I learned. The Vulture is one of very few birds able to use it's sense of smell to locate food- dead food. They don't have a voicebox. They can't sing or call. They are scavengers. They sit and wait to feast on the carcasses of dead animals.Their vocalizations are limited to hisses and grunts. No wonder I'm not a lover.
As I continued to walk and peer into the next wooded area on my left I discovered, just steps from the lush and green, life giving corner, another place that felt dark- it's branches gnarly, intertwined, and visually confusing- trap like-a scary place where the wild things roam.
I heard the Spirit say to me, "Dana, don’t allow your mind to go into those places that are scary, dark and lifeless. The enemy (I saw vultures in my head) waits and watches you hoping to entice you to enter in to those places of fear and doubt. Don't spend any time in these desolate places. Rather put yourself into the lush, green woods of abundance- the safe, beautiful and faithful forest of the life giver."
I realized the theme of my walk today. The message my Maker had for me this second day of the healing mile was to work on REtraining my mind to think about his goodness, his abundance, his grace, wisdom and love for me and to remind and assure me that He is trustworthy and good and wise and reliable and for me to continue to grow in those places, I must resist the enemy’s temptation of looking to anything other than that.
It's going to take practice as I have been naturally trained by my life experiences to do the opposite. But as I stay steadfast and committed to the healing mile, this will become my new and familiar solid ground.
I just know it.
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillippians 4:8
The Mission- Day 1 August 11, 2019 14:42 3 Comments
Began my day today with a beautiful walk in the perfect setting on a gorgeous day with my anxiety ridden but very excited four legged Murphman.
This walk was different than all my other walks- in fact to be honest I rarely walk- like ever. Running has always been more my speed and now even writing those words has new meaning to me.
Today I was gifted a mission- a one year challenge- a glorious and exciting charge by my Maker. He told me in a voice I heard in my heart that I couldn’t ignore, he said, “Dana, beautiful girl, I want you to do this walk every day for one year.” And I immediately asked, “every day?!” And he responded, “Every day. This is your new assigned life mission. Walk this one mile every day for one year and I will teach you new things- every day. I will show you who I am and reveal myself to you. I want you to share what you see, hear, learn and experience. Write it all down, share it and call it 'The Healing Mile'.”
I can’t tell you what ran through my veins- excitement, anticipation, relief?, doubt (but only for a second), hope, a hearty dose of joy and did I mention... joy?!
And then the questions started to surface-I asked Him...
”Only one mile?”
And the Spirit responded, “Well you can do more but the one mile is what you will benefit from.”
And the spirit responded, “Yes, every single day. Sun, rain, snow, sleet, everyday.”
”Only walking, not running?”
And the Spirit responded, “Yes, you can run if you want but running can’t help you. You've been running your whole life. Walking with me will heal you. Running will not.”
”Will this heal my heart?”
And the Spirit responded, “Yes, eventually, not right away but that’s what this is for. I’m retraining (not reprogramming like robots) but retraining (like a loving parent) your mind to believe the truth and not the lies about who I am, how much I love you and what I can do and accomplish through you.”
”With my anxious Murphy? He can be such a pain sometimes!”.
And the Spirit responded, “Yes- as much as you can. He is a reflection of you. He shows his anxiety by spinning in circles, pulling ahead, jumping, crying, being afraid of everything from flies to thunder. You and him have so much in common. You just hide yours. Can you see it? You tell him, “It’s ok Murph and desire he trust you yet he still has so much fear. As I show you how to 'be still and know', you will show Murph the same. You can learn to trust together.”
”Do I share my journey?”
And the Spirit responded, “Yes, you share it. Instagram it, write it down, document all of it. Photograph all I show you. And most importantly talk with me, keep your eyes open to what I show you each day.
He continued to tell me, “ You have the most beautiful heart baby girl, I see it. I know how much you love me and seek me. I know you want to do my will and follow me and love me and you are ready for the next mission. The time is now. I have been preparing you for this. Welcome to my will, where nature and love and grace and wisdom dissect and become alive and transforming in your life.”
He also said, “You have done an amazing job raising your boys”, but before that He said, “I love you Dana Ann McNamee” and I thought it a little odd he did not include my maiden name to which he responded, “You are a McNamee now, you became a McNamee when you and Shaun became one. I put you together. That was my plan from the start. You belong together. I made you for each other. There were a lot of things that needed to happen in order to put the two of you together and you are perfect and meant to be. And look what came from you both...
Your beautiful boys who I plan to prosper who are deeply rooted in me because of your example, who will do great things. They will come to know me and love me and serve me with their lives and they will raise families that love me as their foundation will be built on love. And I responded, “WHOA.”
And I proceeded to walk the path that led me home and along the way I saw monarchs. Lots and lots of monarchs and I love monarchs. And then I saw a cardinal which someone recently told me represents a past loved one that comes to visit. I sensed my Uncle Bruce looking over me, perched on a Spruce tree top telling me he was so proud of me and he watches over me and to keep trusting God because he is real and good and Heaven is wonderful. And to write and do this mission God has called me to.
I agreed and blew the bird a kiss and told Uncle Bruce I loved him.