The Wilderness

IMG_190131 Days Walking Through Chronic Illness

day twenty

And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.

Exodus 16:10 NLT

I was a born a shy little thing. Quiet, a reputation for not being much trouble at all.

As I grew, was thrust into public, around people, attending school; I was content in very much being the wall flower. The one fading in to the background, never sure of myself, or the worth of what I had to say.

Old before my time. The responsible one. Making the grades.

Hanging back from the crowd.

Much to my Sweet Mama’s disappointment, I was never interested in being a cheerleader. In fact, I wasn’t interested in anything involving raising my voice much above a whisper.

The one you strained to hear; the one straining to be seen.

Somewhere along the way, I slowly transformed.

With the right encouragement, a good man who loved me enough to let me grow, I found my voice.

Courage and boldness. Strength, I did not know I possessed.

I am no longer an introvert. I am now very much an extrovert.

I often tell folks, my spiritual gift, is the gift of gab.

Stepping out, building community, trying new things. Making friends. Giving encouragement. No longer at a loss for words.

Today, I live in a place of isolation. The wilderness.

I am not alone. I feel alone.

There is isolation in the wilderness.

I am blessed with a loving, faithful support system. My man, my family, my friends, my community.

Still, there is an element of aloneness. Silence rings loud.

“You know how sometimes God asks you to do the very thing that scares you most? You know how we sometimes say stuff like, I want to let God be in control, really, I do. But what if God makes me move to Nebraska or something?” Diedra Riggs~Every Little Thing

I haven’t been asked to move to Nebraska, not yet anyway.

I have been called to walk through the daily~ness of chronic illness.

Days I feel isolated, as if I am stranded. In a crowded room, my struggle is real, but unseen.

It is mine. Mine alone.

I wonder at the God who gave me an appreciation for the quiet. Marvel at His ways. How He knows me so well.

“We are softer in the wilderness, despite our best intentions.” Deidra Riggs~Every Little Thing

I can see that. The softness. It comes in the quiet.

“God is in the wilderness. Go there. You can trust him to meet you right in the middle of your wild and worn and weary places. Take off your shoes. Tear off your pretense. Skip over the polite conversation. It’s you he wants. Simply you.” Deidre Riggs~Every Little Thing

There is no pretense here. There is raw and real gut wrenching need. Simply me. And God.

Most days, no shoes, except to take out our loyal furry friend. Some days I am weary and worn from the wildness of it all.

It is in this stripping down of me, I turn and see.

There in the wilderness, the awesome glory of the Lord.

He is in the pumpkins, stacked and arranged around the mums. The fresh cut flowers on the table.

The goose with the drooping wing, she lurks about the edges of our yard.

In my aloneness, the quietness of the long days, it is the One inside of me. He takes my hand, takes the control, leads me into the wilderness.

Stays there with me.

I am not alone. In the wildness of this thing.

You are not alone either. If you are struggling with chronic illness, look to Him. He will take you by the hand and lead you through your wilderness. Look for his awesome glory there.

Gifts of Grace

Tammy Mashburn



13 thoughts on “The Wilderness

  1. Just dropping in to say ‘hi’ from next door at Crystal’s place … your words in the wilderness are an invitation we all yearn to hear, Tammy. Your heart and ears are attuned to Him in ways that many cannot comprehend. For when we lean hard into Him because He’s all we have, it’s in those places that He speaks and invites us to something deeper.

    I’m grateful to have dropped in today … blessings to you …

  2. Wow, I’m so sorry you struggle with the loneliness and isolation. I’ve been there, not through my own pain but by the painful journey of my child. Prayers for you in your journey!

  3. Thank you for sharing your daily walk in the wilderness. Many need to hear your testimony of God’s faithfulness as He meets you here. May you continue to see His faithful hand on your journey!

  4. Tammy, You may not remember me, but I attended the Wed evening ladies class a couple of years ago at Bethel UMC, until we moved to Charlotte. I’m so sorry I did not get to know you better or even realize what struggles you were facing at that time. I admire your courage to open up and share with everyone about your disease and your daily struggles with this diagnosis and its effect upon your life. My sister also is dealing with chronic illness -but not defined as a certain disease, just combinations of debilitating problems. I am planning on sharing your blog with her so she can see how you are dealing with your condition and can relate to the loneliness that she feels as well. She does not attend church or have a church family to support her, but I hope she will find your uplifting words and faith in God encouraging. Thanks for sharing your story.

    Chris Thompson

  5. I look forward at night to get to read your Blogs. You are telling a story i could never put together.
    So pleased that you are able to. Know you are touching a lot of lives. Got a phone call today to
    pray for a young mother who was carrying her unborn child and found out it had no heart beat.
    Baby was due next month. O so many people to pray for. We have to stick together and pray
    for all. Again very proud of you and the ability you have to do this. Keep it up.



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