Category Archives: My Jubilee Journey Journal

Stories from my jubilee journey. Tales of my road trip with Jesus.

Dec 24, 2011 – One year later and a new adventure

It’s been a rough year. For months I continued to go back on the road because I couldn’t give it up. I desperately wanted to experience Jesus as I had in the years before but he wasn’t there and the grace to travel was gone. I experienced months of depression during the transition to everyday life. Circumstances became so much of a challenge I wondered if Florida was really the land of milk and honey that I had expected; homelessness, major car repairs for both me and my girls, being apart from them, and living with crazy people. We’re still homeless and lack transportation but we’re in a much better place. For a time I felt abandoned by God. Then I lost my arrowhead I didn’t find it for months, turns out it was close by all along just as God was always with me, close by loving me, providing for me, even though I couldn’t see him. Although our situation was dire God always had his hand on us. It could have been so much worse if Jesus wasn’t with us.

Do I miss being on the road? I have to admit it do; driving the open road, listening to my favorite music, seeing wonders of this earth, just me and Jesus alone in the wilderness on an incredible adventure. I still read my journal entries, look at photos, listen to the same music to recapture a moment of the adventure but I wouldn’t go back on the road again. Not yet anyway. So what made me want to remain stationary? Surely not the lack of a working transmission, if that were the case I would still try to finagle a way to fix it.

It’s not that it doesn’t tempt me, no; God gave me reason to stay that is much stronger. So what happened to make this woman infected with wanderlust become stationary? Well it happened September 24 at 11:47pm…. watching the birth my grandson Malakai, my new adventure. I look forward to the day when I can take him on some wild adventure with Jesus. The road will have to wait for me till my little man can come too, maybe his mom and aunt if they’d like to come.

Like Abraham, God told me to leave my home, my family and friends and go to the land he would show me (Gen 12:1). So I did leave my home and traveled to a place god would take me, I left unsure of a final destination but my trust restored all to me. I made it to the land of milk and honey, a new life, a new baby and all new challenges. This is my final jubilee, to make Florida my family’s new homeland for us and for future generations to come, a place for future generations to return home to for their jubilee.

And yes, I watched every cheesy Christmas movie on Hallmark, Lifetime, USA and all the networks! I am still in awe of the reconciliation with my family and my own Hallmark Christmas.

Whatever god asks you to do, no matter how bizarre it may seem, how much others ridicule you, how unsettling or scary. If you open your heart to God you will sense an excitement growing. No matter the effort, not matter the cost; do whatever it is Jesus puts in your heart because there is nothing more rewarding than going on an adventure with Jesus.

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Day 676 – May 7 2011 Winding down & the end of a journey

The Jubilee Journey has been a journey of freedom, restoration, reconciliation and living extraordinarily with Jesus. What I did…traveling with Jesus for two years, living in a minivan, going places I’d never dreamed…on the surface may not seem like much or even interesting. Many of you may not be able to imagine doing what I did or ever even want to. You have other dreams. Everyone has a dream on their heart put there by God that will require you to rise above to live an extraordinary life and it will change you forever. Even without all mind blowing gifts from God I experienced I would still see my life on the road as extraordinary and I will never be the same.

My journey officially ended May 6th. I left for Alabama may 4th and broke down 30 miles from the Alabama line with the same problem. Not only did I not make enough to recoup my losses on the first repair I can’t get the van fixed again. I’m here in Florida and who knows when I’ll get to leave again. When God says he’s done he means it. I didn’t listen so he opened my ears. It’s time to start dealing with this adjustment to a stationary life.

For months I haven’t known how to stop; I didn’t want to let go. I was different and I didn’t know how to fit this new me back in what I perceived as an ordinary life. I think about all the nights I spent searching for a place to stay and all the odd places I ended up in and all I remember was that Jesus was there. I would get frustrated but I never thought about giving up, no, just the opposite. The thought of quitting would cause anguish. All the times I cried for Jesus to give me a place to wash my hair. I’d ask for waterfalls or to hear a song on the radio and He provided.

I feel like a princess in disguise. No one who sees me knows of my extraordinary experiences with the King of kings. I look around at everyone around me and wonder “do they know what Jesus can do for them”. I don’t feel high and mighty like I’ve done some wonderful thing, no, I feel humbled for having spent two years alone with the King of Kings. I am different. How do I fit in now? Will I ever experience such peace again? I feel lost.

Not everyone who wants to experience an extraordinary life needs to give up all they have, let go their secure life and hit the road alone for an undisclosed period of time. There may be a dream Jesus has put in your heart to fulfill. This isn’t the only dream I’ve ever had nor is it the only one that’s been fulfilled but it is the only one that required me to give up more than I thought I had to receive more than I could imagine. I’d encourage everyone to do something at least once in your life that’s bigger than you, so big that it can only be accomplished with Jesus. If you do you will never be the same. Walk with royalty and be transformed into the child of a king that you are.

Day 663, 4.24.11 – Home for Easter

I wanted so much to be home for Easter. A fresh start, church with my girls, cook out all the while knowing I wouldn’t have to leave again. Well, I did make it home for Easter but it almost didn’t happen. I made it as far as Alabama and the transmission went out. Thank God my new step mom was able to help. I managed to get to her place in Georgia where I was able to rest and regroup. I thought I was done with traveling and ready to settle down in Florida but I’m going to have to make one more trip to pay for this car repair.

Day 656, 4.17.11 – Final Goodbyes

This is a bittersweet weekend. I hope to spend time with the girls but Margie is in the hospital and time is short, not everyone is available. I packed up the van with everything I owned and enjoyed a final night with my friends knowing I may never be back. Some of them I may never see again. These women have been a mainstay in my life, their importance immeasurable not just during this journey but for all the years of laughter and tears, games and food, church and movies. Margie, Kim, Melanie, Heather, Leanne, Lori…I love you guys.

Day 649, 4.10.11 – My Kentucky Home

All my life I believed my father had only two siblings but in fact there were four. I never knew my Uncle Harold and Aunt Rachel existed. But they knew of me and had actually met me when I was an infant. I was as excited to meet them as I was to find my father. This was one more healing, one more relationship restored. I believed any knowledge of my father and his family was gone. Oh how wrong I was.

I had a wonderful time with them. We looked at pictures and they told stories of my father from his childhood, of their childhoods and of my grandparents and many more family members. They drove me around the area and I visited the graves of my grandparents and other ancestors. I saw where my father grew up, the place where his house was, the family farm and Rachel took me to a little church she visited as a child.

My family is warm and inviting and I look forward to another visit. They made me feel as if I’d come home.

Day 648, 4.9.11 – Demark

A year ago I was in this area I met a wonderful man, Demark. He befriended me and shared an evening of interesting conversation and laughter. We kept in touch and now I’m back to visit for the weekend. He is definitely one of the jewels of this journey.

Day 647, 4.8.11 – Clifty Falls State Park, Indiana

I have visited this park frequently over the couple decades; this will be my final weekend camping here. I will miss this place.

Day 643, 4..4.11 – Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, Kingdom Come State Park, Kentucky

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. Psalm 24:1 (NIV)

Day 642, 4.3.11 – Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina

What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet.
~Gerard Hopkins

Day 641, 4.2.11 – Great Smoky Mountian National Park TN & NC

Didn’t I say I’d never come back here??? Well I did and it is still beautiful, especially without so many people.

“Good luck and Good work for the happy mountain raindrops, each one of them a high waterfall in itself, descending from the cliffs and hollows of the clouds to the cliffs and hollows of the rocks, out of the sky-thunder into the thunder of the falling rivers.” John Muir

Day 635, 3.27.11 – Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee

Late in the afternoon the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so they can go to the surrounding villages and countryside and find food and lodging, because we are in a remote place here.”          Luke 9:12 (NIV)

Day 630, 3.22.11 – Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tennessee

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. – Lao Tzu

Day 628, 3.20.11 – Fall Hollow Falls, Natchez Trace Parkway

This is my fifth trip to these falls and each time I find something new.  This area has several falls if you’re daring enough to find all the intricacies in this area.

Day 618, 3.10.11 – Letting go & moving on

Letting go & moving on…not yet as I head out to recapture the essence of the Jubilee Journey.

I’ve taken several short trips to Alabama and Mississippi over the past two months and yes, I said I’d never go back to Mississippi but this time I mean it. That state is crazy. I thought I could make a go of traveling back and forth between the southeast and Orlando but the cost is prohibitive so now I begin an extended six week trip.

I’m having trouble letting go of the journey. I’m ready to stay in Florida with my girls but yet my heart is pulled back to the road. But as much as I seek, I’m not finding God as I did before. This adjustment to being stationary has proven quite difficult. It’s unsettling, I feel lost and out of place but yet I don’t feel the same peace and flow of grace as I had before while traveling. I can’t seem to adjust and move on so I keep going with what I know.

Day 549 – Dec 31 2010 – Jubilee journey recap

Count off seven Sabbaths of years—seven times seven years: Seven Sabbaths of years adds up to forty-nine years. Then sound loud blasts on the ram’s horn on the tenth day of the seventh month, the Day of Atonement. Sound the ram’s horn all over the land. Sanctify the fiftieth year; make it a holy year. Proclaim freedom all over the land to everyone who lives in it—a Jubilee for you: Each person will go back to his family’s property and reunite with his extended family. The fiftieth year is your Jubilee year.         –Leviticus 25:8-11a (The Message)

It’s amazing that I chose this verse to represent my journey. When God first proposed the journey I thought jubilee, the 50th year, my 50th birthday; freedom and restoration. That’s been me; God had been working to set me free of bondages so my heart could be restored. It fits for a Christian to claim this in Jesus but little did I realize how literal the meaning of this verse would become.

As you may remember two years ago God told me to go west and I set out on the adventure of a lifetime; traveling the US and Canada, learning to trust, experiencing peace, joy and blessings while receiving restoration and learning to live free. The first was my jubilee birthday and the restoration with my family in Georgia. True to the biblical jubilee year God restored me to my homeland and my extended family. In September he restored my daughter’s heart back to him and to me. Then this past October when I went back to my Massachusetts home, to The Cape, distant friendships and my connection to this place were restored. Thanksgiving brought restoration to my heart when I let go of the anger towards my uncle. Christmas 2010 proved to be the biggest restoration yet; the one that was in my heart since I was a very little girl. And the one I believed was the most hopeless.

While this journey began as a celebration of my 50th year, of freedom in Christ, a time of learning trust and love it took many unusual twists and turns. I thought I was learning trust, and I did. I thought I was leaning to live free in Christ, and I did. I thought I was learning to find my sense of self and sense of security in Christ, and I did. What was the real lesson in this jubilee journey? Relationship is everything and Jesus is in the business of restoring relationships. This journey didn’t begin the first day I left or the day I finally went west. It began in January 2008 when God was teaching me to love him and to let him love me; he was restoring relationship with Him. Next the journey, he spent two years showing me how to love myself, to restore relationship with myself that had been broken as a child. Finally, God taught me to restore relationship with others. Now I feel able to help others restore their relationship with God, to bring others to restoration in Jesus.

I want to thank all of you for traveling with me through all the glory and struggle of this journey. You know how difficult it has been at times and some have declared, “I don’t know how you have done it this long”. It was by the grace of God. He sent me on the road, he would be the one to release me and let me stop. As hard as its been these past few months I decided to stand firm and stay on the road until He was finished with the work He was doing in me. Now I know, I had to stay long enough for the final restoration, for my Christmas miracle.

Day 542 – Dec 24 2010 – A Hallmark Movie Christmas

I searched for months to find my siblings, aunts and uncles.  I found no information on anyone except for my father’s wife. I was determined not to contact her directly, afraid of how she would react. By Thanksgiving I gave up the search and told Jesus I was done searching and if he wanted me to know them it would have to be because he arranged it, not me.

I knew my father was buried at Andersonville National Cemetery and it was only a five hour detour. I had planned on visiting the cemetery in January but with my last minute schedule change I was on my way, full of anticipation, sadness and the knowledge that my journey and my search was coming to an end.

I sat by his grave for nearly an hour. After thirty years of searching I finally found him but would never know him. The search was over but the emptiness and the questions remained.

I can’t even describe the overwhelming emotions knowing I was at the end of my searching. But my heart couldn’t let go. I needed to find someone who could tell me of my father. I stopped at the office and poured out my story and my tears. The lady was so kind. She noticed a name on the paperwork. His wife who had been to his grave every week, she had not let go of her loss. Question answered: he was loved.

She called her to enquire if she would be willing to meet me. Not only did she want to, but she and my father and my brothers and sisters had been searching for me for 40 years. Question answered; I was loved.

I spent two days with Jean learning about my father and meeting the brothers and sisters, the family, I had dreamed of all my life. They were receptive and happy to meet me. I had feared for so long that if they learned of me they would either not accept me or be angered by my existence. My brothers and sisters, my aunts and uncles all knew of me and had been looking for me, wanting me in their lives. Question answered; my father was a good man.

Although I had never met them I knew them in my heart. Each time I met a family member, each time I spoke with one of them on the phone it was like coming home. It was as if I knew them all my life and this time was the ultimate family reunion. They were no strangers; they were my family. I finally got my Hallmark Christmas.

I am at peace with my past. I am no longer, unworthy and second best, no longer the nagging feeling that something is missing. It is still disappointing knowing I will never meet him in this life but I have the family I have dreamed about for nearly 50 years. And I have the hope and knowledge I will see my dad in the next life. I know he’ll be waiting for me when it’s time for me to move into the greatest adventure.

You see, I was never unloved, unwanted and unworthy, yet I believed the enemy’s lies. Whatever is not true, not honorable, not right, not pure and not lovely, is not of God, and if you believe it you are believing a lie (Phil 4:8). I lived in this mental prison for more than 50 years, settling for second best. Now I’m being set free of these handicaps of my heart.

No matter how dead, no matter how impossible, no matter how hopeless, with Jesus nothing is too difficult, nothing is impossible and it’s NEVER too late. Be open to where and how Jesus is moving in your life because when dreams come true it may not be how we envision it or when we want it but it will be how and when we need it and when it will be of the greatest blessing to others.

For nothing is impossible with God.  Luke 1:37 (NLT)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night

Day 541 – 12.23.10 Andersonville National Cemetery

“This is where the healing begins, this is where the healing starts, when we come to where we’re broken with him the light meets the dark.”  Tenth avenue north

 

Day 538 – Dec 20 2010 – And then there was Jesus…

So much for my pathetic Christmas alone praying for heat, no Jesus has other plans for this weary road warrior. First, the lady my girls are renting a room from said she had an empty room and I was welcome to it…YEAH, I’m going to be with my girls for Christmas.

Then, the last few counties I was to visit were going to close a day earlier so I’m going to leave out the evening of the 22nd. That means I’ll have a free day before I need to be home for our family Christmas activities on the 24th. It’s out of the way but I just have to visit my father. I’ve waited too long for this not to go now. Maybe this visit to the cemetery will give me some closure.

If here is anything you refuse to give up it will be an obstacle to growth, and when you get to where you don’t care if you have it, it loses its power to block you from God.

Day 530 – Dec 12 2010 – All I want for Christmas

This Christmas is definitely a sad one but now that I’m settled in for my two week stay in Delaware I’m finding places to stay a rarity. It seems this is the case wherever I go in the winter. I’m also encountering unusually cold weather for the area. Oh, how excited I am for more snow and below freezing temps. Ok, so that was a tad sarcastic.

With Christmas coming this sadness has become numbing. I guess that’s the only way to deal with the season. No Christmas movies, no Christmas with my girls as they still don’t have a place for me, its too far to go visit anyone else and I wouldn’t feel right barging in on others for Christmas.

So what do I want for Christmas…all I want for Christmas is heat. Pathetic, right? But even that is a tall order as very few campgrounds in Delaware and Virginia are open.

Day 525 – Dec 7 2010 – No more Hallmark Christmases

A lament for the season; the loss of the dream and no hope for a Christmas miracle. This is what’s on my mind as I head for Mass. As I feared I have run into three snow storms. I kept going and made it to my first stop, a rest area near Rochester, New York. My thoughts are sad but not a tearful sadness, more of numbness, a sense of loss. Something is missing from my heart.

Everyone loves stories of Christmas miracles. We watch all these Christmas movies that leave us feeling renewed with the joy that comes from the miracle of restoration, of what Jesus does in the heart by restoring hope, joy, peace and relationships. I could sit for hours watching those cheesy Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel.

I would watch those movies every year from the time I was a young woman with tears in my heart hoping secretly for my own Christmas miracle. I became especially anxious for my Christmas miracle after of death of my parents when I was in my mid 20’s. I was an orphan or was I. You see I had not seen my father since 1964 and for so many Christmases I would dream he would find me and tell me he had never forgotten me. He would introduce me to my brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles. Decades later I never gave up this dream, until this year.

I have no desire to watch any Christmas movies this year, and perhaps never again. I really am an orphan now.

Day 520 – Dec 2 2010 – A rock and a hard place

I don’t want to stay and I don’t want to go. I’m stuck and I don’t feel anything from God. Big snow storms are coming, do I try and head out early or wait it out. If I leave I could be stuck in the middle of some pretty nasty blizzards, if I stay I don’t know how long it will be before the highways open again.

 

I don’t want to be here, it feels like settling. It’s cold and snowy and I miss my baby girl Princess. I sense no peace about any direction. I’m frustrated yet again, in a rut. I’m anxious to leave but not because I sense its time to go. I don’t know where you want me, or what you want me to do.

 

Perhaps it’s my own frustration, needing to leave, needing to relieve Mary of Princess that is causing the ears of my heart to be blocked.

Day 514 – 11.26.10 SeaWorld San Antonio

Thanks to my daughter Amber I’m able to visit another SeaWorld Park. This makes five. I’m glad for the opportunity but I’d rather be home with my girls. Even so I was able to find plenty to be thankful about this Thanksgiving.

Day 513 – Nov 25 2010 – THANKSGIVING DAY – Giving up the fight, freeing my heart from the darkness

It’s Thanksgiving and even in the darkness and loneliness I have so much to be thankful for. I’ve been on this surreal road trip with Jesus and while things haven’t always been perfect they have been exactly how they should be. This adventure has gone beyond my dreams. I have been blessed with good friends, family, a miraculous healing and the van has held up.

What got me through this time of torment in the wasteland?

Time with the father in the warm deserts of the southwest was crucial. Placing me here at this time was the perfect place at the perfect time.

The love of a daughter who wouldn’t let me give up, my spiritual rock in a tough time, she came back to Jesus just in time to help me through the darkness. We talked and prayed daily. We even have bible study together.

Finally, uplifting music on such radio stations as K-Love, the Way and JoyFM fed my attitude with positive thoughts. I would sit in my van every night, hands lifted to Jesus, singing such wonderful songs as “You are more”, “Beautiful”, “Our God” and “Light up the sky”.

God always places the thing we need in our lives at just the time we need it.

One of those awesome songs that helped me through is “Light up the sky” by The Afters. I would sing, cry and praise God that he will always “Light up the sky to show me [He is] with me”. These words express exactly what I’ve been going through.

When I’m feeling all alone and so far to go
The signs are nowhere on this road guiding me home
When the night is closing in
It’s falling on my skin
Oh God will You come close

When stars are hiding in the clouds
I don’t feel them shining
When I can’t see beyond my doubt
The silver lining
When I’ve almost reached the end
Like a flood You’re rushing in
Love is rushing in

So I run straight to Your arms
You’re the bright and morning Sun
To show Your love, there’s nothing You won’t do

Light, light, light up the sky
You light up the sky to show me You are with me
I, I, I can’t deny
Oh I can’t deny that You are right here with me
You’ve opened my eyes so I can see You all around me
Light, light, light up the sky
Light up the sky to show me You are with me

Day 512, Nov 24 2010. “Looking Back”

Well I’ve struggled for nearly six months with stress, anger, frustration.  What’s happened? The journey became a chore. I’ve had some wonderful desert experiences but I was no longer living the dream. I have encountered this feeling a few times before but this time was different. It didn’t let up and the only reprieve of peace was at Mary’s after the wedding.

So what’s the cause of my loss of focus, becoming that busy workaholic again? I thought when I started this journey God had worked out many of the issues I’ve dealt with, but all human issues are deeply ingrained and need to be slowly pealed one layer at time. Otherwise it would be too overwhelming.

I know when I’ve lost contact with God because of my own doing, and the culprit is usually working too much. The past two months have been different however. Trying to cope with Kim’s illness and the death of my father has sure have left a dark spot on my heart as well. This dark time has left me overwhelmed with emotion and perhaps a dash of confusion.

This is it, time to stop whining and get back to what Jesus has been doing, he’s been in the lead I need to stop fighting and follow. I’ve let go of the obsession to find my family. If God wants me to know them I trust he will show the way. I need to stop worrying about Kim, she is in your hands. I need not bother even thinking about where I will stay or when I should move to Florida or even if I should. I’m not crazy about living in my van again this winter but I know Jesus will provide and protect me as he did before.

Jesus, you put me on this road, only you can take me off. I don’t want to live another winter in this van with no heat, I don’t want to be alone anymore, but I will go where you tell me until you are finished. I will follow where you lead

Where you go, I’ll go
Where you stay, I’ll stay
When you move, I’ll move
I will follow you
Who you love, I’ll love
How you serve I’ll serve
If this life I lose, I will follow you
I will follow you

I will Follow by Jason Ingram, Ruben Morgan & Chris Tomlin

Day 509 – Day Nov 21 2010 – Reprieve from loneliness.

I met two men in need yesterday. I was seeking safe passage to Mexico and they were seeking a way back to their campground. The father and son (Rodney and Caleb) had broken down on the bridge to Mexico.

We talked for a while and I took them back to their camper and then to the auto parts store and Wal-Mart and then back to their truck. It still didn’t start so I took them back to the camper where they were able to get a tow. We talked and ate for two days. I had so much fun.

They thought I was an “angel” sent to rescue them but they rescued me. A weekend of solitude led into two days of laughter and friendship. Thank you Jesus for sending them to be my angels

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2 NIV