One of my favorite books is Hinds’ Feet On High Places, by Hannah Hurnard. It is an allegory about a character named Much Afraid. She travels through much difficulty with her two companions, Sorrow and Suffering, trying to overcome obstacles in her life. On her journey, Much Afraid learns to triumph over her most tormenting fears. She travels through many dangerous places to finally arrive at the high places.
Here in the high places she meets the loving shepherd and is transformed by Him. He gives her a new name. She becomes Grace and Glory. God’s desire is to transform you and me, too. He loves us so much. He wants to journey to the difficult places in life with us. His desire is that we not go alone, nor that we would be afraid.
I can really identify with Much Afraid, so much so, that before I was married to my husband, I wrote a story about my life’s journey through the eyes of Much Afraid. A large part of my life story up until this time had dealt with how I lived my life pretending I didn’t need my father. The truth was that I was fearful. I was so afraid that my heart went into hiding. This was my defense mechanism, a way to protect my heart. The fact of the matter was that I really did need him.
God’s design for parents serves a great and marvelous purpose. They have the first opportunity to model what masculinity and femininity looks like to their children. A good father understands that he needs to instill love, security, and confidence in his daughter. His role involves leading and guiding his daughter. If he isn’t present she is left with a void, a hole in her heart. When I came to understand how his absence impacted me, I was left standing at a crossroad.
I think for most of us, at one time or another we stand at a crossroad in life. The crossroad that says, “Healing and Restoration” or “Life is Difficult.” We have to choose what road we want to go down. For some people, they will just remain at the juncture of the two, not choosing either road. They remain immovable. Some may even get stuck for an entire lifetime in this place.
We may know that we should choose the road that says “Healing and Restoration,” but we just can’t take the first step. While others don’t even know there is a choice. Or maybe it seems too difficult. I know it can be hard; this is exactly what happened to me. Yet, God was so good in His mercy and grace towards me. He helped me. He wants to help you, too.
Choosing the road to healing and restoration can be one of the most powerful choices in life you can make. Healing your heart leads to wholeness and freedom. To the degree that your heart is in hiding or captivity is directly related to your emotional freedom. Healing is empowering. When you allow God into the wounded parts of your heart, He graciously comes to heal and restore.
One of the most promising and hopeful messages that came out of Hind’s Feet on High Places for me, is that God doesn’t want us to journey to those hard and difficult places alone, nor does He want us to be afraid. His desire is that we journey to those places with Him. This was my experience. God was right there with me, too.
When Much Afraid finally arrived at the High Place she kneels before the great Shepherd and He says to her, “At last you are here and the night of weeping is over and joy comes to you in the morning.” Then, lifting her up, he continued, “This is the time when you are to receive the fulfillment of the promises. Never am I to call you Much Afraid again.” And God gives her a new name, Grace and Glory.
Are you sensing that you too may be standing at a crossroad? Are there places in your heart that need healing? Here are four things to keep in mind as you move forward in your journey to the high places:
• God’s plan includes healing and restoration for our lives.
• God doesn’t intend for us to travel to those places alone.
• God is not calling us to a life of fear, but of courage.
• Healing is liberating and empowering.
Choosing to move forward with your healing is empowering. It was over twenty years ago that I chose the road that said: “Healing and Restoration.” I want to give you hope that life can be even better. I encourage you to take the first step today. It’s good for your heart and it is good for the soul.