LIving Well In The Wilderness

This is week 4 of June Guest Posts on Echoes of Grace and I’m excited to introduce you to Tammy. Tammy and I connect regularly on-line to encourage and help each other with our writing. I bet her words will speak to your heart.

“To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness – especially in the wilderness – you shall love him.”

Frederick Buechner, A Room Called Remember: Uncollected Pieces

I call this place, this season of life, the wilderness. I’ve been here four years. A journey with out end, this side of Heaven. An illness without a cure. Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, buried beneath layers of other physical ailments.

The wilderness can be a myriad of things. A wayward child, a bad marriage, financial devastation, a diagnosis, grief, depression, an addiction. On and on the list goes.

Can I tell you about my wilderness? I suspect you may relate in some way.

My life was a frenzied pace of to do lists. A wife, mother, grandmother, pre-school teacher, and a long distance runner. It collapsed around me and came to a grinding halt. I could not stand nor walk without assistance, dress or bathe. Brain fog took me captive, a minuscule of presence took every ounce of strength and concentration I could muster. Anything that resembled who was, or how I lived, crumbled beneath me.

I sat in a chair watching as my life splintered a thousand ways, broken and fading away.

The battle of self reliance lost, I grasped the hand of a mighty God. I believe, with all my that I am, He called me to the wilderness for this very reason. The only choice to make was giving up or giving in. I chose surrender.

In the midst of thorns and thistles, the unholy hard, the surrendering, I found beauty. Gifts of grace in the wilderness. I learned to thrive.

“Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the wilderness
and speak tenderly to her.” Hosea 2:14 (NIV)

Provision rained. Community surrounded. Prayer warriors held me. My Sweet Man tenderly cared for me. God held me in the palm of his hand.

“…until at last the Spirit is poured out on us from heaven.
Then the wilderness will become a fertile field,
and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.”
Isaiah 32:15 (NLT)

Beauty lies in the surrender. Bountiful crops flourish in the wilderness.

Though my ears rang with the words, “No cure,” I found spiritual healing. I found mercy and grace. I found a love like no other.

Gifts of Grace.

Tammy resides in the upstate of South Carolina with her husband, Cecil and one loyal furry friend, Lola. They have been married thirty years and have four adult children and ten grandchildren.

Tammy serves on the women’s ministry team at her home church, leads a small group encouraging women to find their identity in Christ and engage in the Word.

Tammy is a writer, an encourager, coffee lover, and a bookworm, who loves her Sweet Man and empty nesting.

She lives life to its fullest in the unholy hard. Intentionally pursuing beauty in the wilderness and cultivating a life well lived.

You can find more of Tammy’s writing here.

Connect with Tammy on social media:
Twitter @Washburnchic


9 thoughts on “LIving Well In The Wilderness

    • says:

      Hi Evy …

      And again, Welcome to Echoes of Grace.
      I’m curious, what was it about Tammy’s words that you loved?

      For me, it was her sentence … “The battle of self reliance lost, I grasped the hand of a mighty God.” It stood out to me ’cause at the moment, I’m in a battle, I choosing to grasp. But I’m not yet sure where that will lead.

  1. Cheryle Johnson says:

    It’s so fun to see two friends connecting at this place. As usually, Tammy shares of the sweetness found in the crushing. Thanks for sharing your story, Tammy.

    Thanks for sharing Tammy, Sue. I’m so glad you and Bill are having a great time in other parts of God’s amazing world.

    • says:

      Hey Cheri,

      At the moment we are home in the in-between. And the in-between is pretty busy. So thankful for 5 friends who stood in the gap for me. And if June we’re longer, I know many others … you … would love and stand in the gap for me too.

      Bless you, sue

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