Keep on walking!

I cannot believe a year has past since I started my new job, just a couple of weeks before the first lockdown began. Working from home has been a real privilege. I am pretty self-motivated when it comes to getting a job done. In some ways, being an introvert/extrovert, I quite enjoyed the first lockdown, productive days working away with some lovely spring walks sprinkled in between. Time to stop running round like a headless chicken and really reflect on what is important.Grasmere-village

I know I am not alone when I say that this latest lockdown has been the hardest. Whilst my motivation for work has stayed at an all-time high my motivation to get up and go out as the pandemic has gone on has been some days at an all-time low. Partly because I have the anxiety disorder OCD and a fear of contamination, and partly because I am a typical Brit who quite frankly finds no enjoyment in walking in the wind and rain and, boy, have we had a lot of that this lockdown! Working for a mental health charity I have seen first-hand the increase in demand for services – I know I am not alone in feeling anxious.

Today has been the start of a week’s holiday for me. I decided that on my week off, it would be nice to intentionally book in some time with local friends to go for a walk, despite the anxiety. I have come home feeling completely rejuvenated, filled up even! As I took time to reflect on why I felt so rejuvenated I felt God gently remind me that He is a loving God who loves to walk with His children. Right at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 3:8 we read, “Then the man and wife heard the sound of the Lord walking in the garden”. Our loving God is relational God who not only longs to walk with us, but He also longs for us to be in community with others and to walk alongside them. In Hebrews 10:24-25 we read, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

PHOTO-2021-03-20-18-20-59There have been times where I have felt giving up meeting together because of anxiety, for fear of contamination and if I am honest, I do feel anxious about meeting with more than one other right now, but that is okay. As we emerge from lockdown there are some of us who cannot wait to get out and meet others and there will be others of us who feel that we need to take things very slowly, both is okay. What’s key is that we keep on walking. I felt God gently remind me today of the importance of this. Walking alongside Him and walking alongside others He has put in community with fills me up and spurs me on to be the woman of God that He created me to be and it helps me to have people who can help me when I feel anxious.

I want to gently encourage you as God has gently encouraged me today. Keep on walking with God, keep on walking alongside others at their pace, keep checking in with your friends and loved ones, keep spurring one another on towards love and good deeds and lastly, keep reaching out if, like me, there are times when you feel anxious, keep taking time to keep walking outside and allow yourself to savour God’s creation.

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