Author: Roxanne Hopkins

The Shadow Walking Beside Me

I could hear the planes coming into the valley… Flying in one by one, from all directions. Stars, the few you can see because of the city lights were shining bright enough to light a path. The air was clear, the sky dark blue with no clouds to be seen. The smells of the night were fresh and strong, a different flower fragrance for each home I passed by. It’s amazing the fewer distractions with the dark of night, the dark of slumber and the scents of springtime. As I walk in the silence it’s like a new day (only darker) with no agenda. No busyness. As a runner, I slow my life in one way and speed it up in another way. But on this night walk, it’s only a session of my still heart.

I had to leave the house, otherwise, I could have easily said something mean spirited. Even in the time of confession and revealing my heart, as broken as it was, I revealed it to Him. God always hears my voice, lets me work it out. Happy or sad, praise or curse-He knows my heart and is patient with my thought process. The silence, the air, it all felt fresh. I needed that extra oxygen of the night air to feed my thoughts, and allow me to share my heart with the wonderful Counselor who is always there- no appointment needed.

Yes, it was 10pm in the middle of Apple suburbia. The kid was sleeping and my husband had his ears to her door. I left a note and put on my jacket, slipped on my shoes with my phone close in case of emergency. Right now, this was a mental emergency. I needed air, quiet and time alone with God. He was there and in the house, my heart was full of tears.

I walked the neighborhood, keeping an eye on my shadow. The strange thing was that I could see two shadows. There were no strangers around me, only the shadow of God walking beside me. He was there- silent, listening and keeping me company. I wish you could’ve seen the shadow; at first, this idea might freak you out…until you realize and accept that God is always walking with you. Take a deep breath. Look up.

Something about that night air made me want to take a deep breath. Not just because of the sweet smells around me, or the petunias in front of my neighbor’s door; but each home had a different story, a different way for me to see You, Lord. I could pray over each door, each busyness that was happening- bedtime stories, late night work sessions, loving families or families in turmoil. I don’t know their story but You do. Even when my story is scattered, scared, crying, and joyful- no matter what- You are in my story. You walk beside me, hold me, hug me and always love me. Today- I live loved- by You. I am alone, but never alone if I allow You in my heart, to walk by my side.

Some of us take a walk, some get on their knees and others close their eyes. Take in this moment, commune with God how you can. He is there for an appointment with your heart- if you let Him in. Open that window, He’s knocking on the door of your heart.

God, when I don’t feel love around me, I feel Your love within me. Thank You for the walk tonight Lord. Let my soul be filled with You tonight… And always.

When I reached home from my walk, I opened my eyes and heart to Psalm 139:13-18:

13For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand—
    when I awake, I am still with you.

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