But then you hit "the territory."
Out in the territory--some call it the wilderness--you're not on sure footing, you're uncertain how to proceed and sometimes how to even survive. Maybe it's a bout of unemployment or a divorce. Maybe it's a loved one's death or an illness.
The territory can be a frightening, overwhelming place.
In this candid, very personal collection of stories, Staci Stallings shares with her readers her own walks through in the territory. From the death of her brother through her son's battle with dyslexia, Staci knows what it's like to be in the disorienting sandstorms of life. Fortunately, she also knows that holding onto God and faith can see one through the "territories" of life that crop up no matter who you are or how much faith you have.
Find hope and healing, faith and peace in these pages. Let Staci share with you the lessons she has learned so you will come to realize that not only is there hope--even in what may appear to be hopeless situations, but that you are not alone in having "territory moments." Most of all through these stories it will become clear that God truly is right there with you--even in the territory--every step of the way.
“Your words touched my heart and gave me cause to believe that what I'm going through right now has a purpose.”
Greg Parker, online reader
Some days I hardly think of the people I’ve lost at all. Maybe that sounds hard-hearted or something, but sometimes life in the present is so pressing that it’s all I can do to keep up. Then other days, mostly fleeting moments, I remember. And it’s just… weird.
Like this morning. I took my kids to school. One started a new school. Two were going to old schools but new grades. That’s always a little bittersweet anyway. I mean how can my oldest be a freshman already? How can my youngest be in second grade?
Anyway, I had just dropped the last one off when around the corner came my brother’s old pickup. His brother-in-law bought it after my brother’s death, and since that brother-in-law lives in my town and goes to my church, every so often I will see it driving around. That’s always a little surreal because it is a distinctive pickup. I mean, I can tell it’s that pickup from virtually any angle with one glance.
As I dropped my youngest off, here came that pickup around the corner.
That feeling is so strange because for one split second I think… and then I remember, and it all comes rushing back.
After dropping my youngest off, I pulled out into traffic and headed home, alone for the first time in three months. As I drove, I thought about what I could do today. So many things I haven’t been able to do because someone else was on the computer or in the living room, or making messes behind whatever I’d just cleaned. And I thought, “I need to email Dennis and catch up.”
Then I remembered that I can’t do that anymore, and I’ll never be able to do that again.
About that same moment, I drove up next to my brother’s pickup in traffic just as on the radio came “Praise You in This Storm” which happened to come out the same time my church burned down and I lost my brother.
The weird thing is, all I could think over and over again in disbelief was, “They are still gone. They are still gone.”
My brother. Dennis. My brother-in-law…
I mean so many things have happened since they left, things they would have rejoiced over, things they would have helped carry me through. But no matter how long ago it was, no matter what new things happen… they are still gone.
After my brother’s death, I read one time on a blog someone wrote, “Life goes on, but death does too.” I understood at the time, and I think I understand even better as time goes on. It’s been a year since my brother-in-law’s death, three months since Dennis has been gone, and 3 1/2 years since my brother’s been gone. And weirdly enough, I think there will always be moments when for a split second I will feel like they are still here.
And then I will remember again that they are still gone.
I’m just grateful for my faith, so I know they are not “gone” forever. They are with Jesus and one day I will see them again.
It’s just that some days the reminders that they are there and not here are really hard to take.
You Are Not Alone! (5-stars) –Farm Girl
Post from the Territory is Stallings’ third book in the Reflections on Life Series. I chose this particular book of Stallings to find out her perspective on dealing with “the territory.” Often you think of the Territory as an empty and lonely place. She talks about the wilderness being a place of “not knowing.” Stallings’ short stories certainly encouraged me that even in the wilderness, I am not alone and God has a plan for me. We all have mountains to climb. We all face adversities. Sometimes more than one at a time. These stories will encourage you, even if you feel out in the middle of nowhere and don’t know what to do, God is with you and will stand by you.
The story that sticks out the most to me talks about deep roots of a plant. Being a farm girl, I certainly understand the importance of a plant having deep roots. If corn does not root deeply, it does not take much of a storm to lay it out flat and make it worthless. Stallings’ story certainly showed me how I need to be deeply rooted in God to withstand these storms.
“I write about life, maybe in the hopes that you, the reader will see it and embrace it for all it is here to teach us.” says Stallings. I am thankful that Stallings is willing to share her stories, her lessons, so that I may learn of God’s love for me.