TONIGHT’S POST PATRON!
True Men Ministries helps men and their families to fulfill God’s dream for them. To do that, True Men Ministries hosts Advances (because a True Man never “retreats”) and Bible Studies. Founder Ed Blonski also writes a twice-weekly devotion and hosts the True Man Podcast.
I’m coming at’cha from Ohio where I’m on set at a shoot! It’s been a wonderful time at home. I really feel so blessed to be able to stay in touch with my family and be able to work both here and there!
I was thinking about it the other day, and I have been just so blown away by God’s faithfulness and generosity. Truly. I mean, my life has taken a lot of detours in my short time around the sun.
I was reflecting on the false starts and challenging seasons I’ve seen. I’m no longer angry or bitter about the time I’ve lost, nor do I feel regret or cheated out of life. I’ve finally come to peace with the fact that those seasons have made me who I am.
But the fact is, I have had incredible obstacles to overcome in my life: starting with the anorexia that nearly took my life back in high school and beginning of college. Followed by the horrible ulcerative colitis that resulted in being on bed rest for 11 months. And then here recently, walking with my mom through her stroke recovery.
The truth is, God has seen me through all of it. He’s walked me through it. Never once abandoning me or leaving me to fend for myself. He has been my strength. And has showered me with grace and healing, even when I may not have been aware of it.
And my mom, too. God has been so good to her and blessed her so abundantly as she’s regained her life after her stroke. She is truly my hero. Learning how to talk again after such an event as that – her recovery is remarkable, and we all have so much to be grateful to God for.
His generosity is truly worthy of our deepest praise.
And so, we’ve decided to express our gratitude in a thanksgiving pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
We’re leaving already next week! I can’t believe it. It really snuck up on us!
We’re not walking the whole thing. We’re doing a partial route. But it still is around 63 miles!
We’re starting out in Lisbon, Portugal at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, and then walking all the way to the Cathedral of St. James in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
The Camino – which was brought to the attention of popular culture in the movie The Way by Emilio Estevez, starring his dad, Martin Sheen – is a 1,000 year old pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, where it is believed that the remains of St. James the Apostle are enshrined.
St. James was martyred (by decapitation) for his faith by King Herod in Jerusalem, as written about in Acts 12:2.
Afterwards, his headless body was brought back to Galicia and buried underneath the stars in a field. It is believed that 900 years later, a shepherd found his grave under the stars and thus the Cathedral was built to house the Apostle’s remains. And thus the pilgrimage was born.
This trip is not a hike. It’s not some fabulous eco-tourism fling. It is a pilgrimage. It is more about the journey than the destination. It is about stropping, more than going. It is about letting the period of “pause” and “time out” from your life move you, and deepen your connection with God, and with those on your path.
My mom and I have always said that our lives have been on parallel paths, with each of us enduring similar things, in different ways, during various seasons of our lives.
And I am excited to physically walk the same path with her during a time in our lives where God has truly sustained us, mind, body and spirit.
So of course, I will be blogging about my experience so that you can travel the Camino with us.
But what I also want to do, is bring your prayer requests with me.
This blog has been so instrumental in my recovery and the friendships I’ve found here through the little community have truly enriched my life and been such a source of encouragement and joy. I want to offer my thanksgiving to you as well, along The Way, and prayer is one of the best ways I know how.
SO If you have any prayer requests or intentions, leave me a comment or if it is super personal, you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
But I will print them out and put them in a book that I will leave at the Cathedral if I can. But either way, I will pray for you along The Way, and light a candle at the Cathedral and read through them all.
I truly believe in the power of prayer. God has answered mine over and over and over. I mean, simply the fact that I am living and breathing after two experiences that very well could have taken my life is testimony enough to God’s listening ear.
And I humbly ask that you pray for my mom and I on the trip! I am truly excited to see how God reveals Himself on the pilgrimage.
See ya tomorrow morning on the Podcast!
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