Wading Through by Shelia Stovall

Does he not see my ways And number all my steps? Job 31:4

Photo by Barry Freas (www.barryfreas.com) Used with permission.

I love the long days of summer. When the June Solstice passed last week, my heart dipped a little with the knowledge the days will begin to shorten. We spent the last hour of sunlight floating the creek on kayaks and were entertained by the sight of a doe with twin fawns, a beaver slapping his tail at us, while a rookery of blue herons screeched like teenagers partying. It was a glorious evening, and we lingered on the water through the long twilight. Big mistake.

We put our kayaks into the water at a small branch of the creek that divides our farm. It’s the only place for us to exit safely. Usually, we have to wade out the last twenty yards which is not a big deal, but at one place, you’ll sink to thigh-deep water if you’re not careful. When it’s daylight, it’s easy to avoid the deeper water, but we’d let time slip away, and with leafy sycamore branches hanging over us, we waded through blackness.

There’s nothing in the water to harm me, but my imagination became my enemy. With each step, I imagined a snapping turtle, a water snake, or stepping into the deep hole. The limestone bank glowed in the dim light, and it looked appealing. I stepped out of the water onto the slick rock. Within two seconds, my feet flew out from under me, and I landed with a thud. Then, I said a word a good Baptist would never utter. Go ahead, laugh. My husband did and I joined him. There was nothing to do but wade through the water with my kayak, and yes, I stepped into the big hole, but by this time, I was muddy, wet and hardly noticed.

Life is like that. Sometimes darkness comes upon us, and we allow fear to hinder us, but we can’t avoid the difficult terrain, and we must wade through it. Maybe you’ve received a worrisome diagnosis from the doctor, lost a job, or a loved one is suffering. I’ve learned, it helps to have a guide. We have a little Schnauzer, Lucy, and she’s almost blind. When we take our daily walks, she’s right on my heels. On our daily rambles, our Labrador, Bamboo, is in the lead, Bertie, out little mutt, is on her trail, but Lucy stays close to me. More than once, I’ve stopped and called her, only to discover she’s sitting right behind me in my shadow. My little companion trusts me to lead her home. And that’s what we need to do, stay close to the Master, and trust Him to lead us through the darkness while we wade through the holes that almost drown us. If we follow Jesus, someday, we’ll reach our forever home.



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About shelia@sheliastovall.com

Shelia Stovall is a Southern, small-town librarian, and has an understanding of what women like to read. She is a member of ACFW and is currently the Treasurer of the Middle Tennessee ACFW Chapter. Shelia is a member of the Ky. Public Library Association and the American Library Association. Her short story, The Barber’s Sanctuary, won the fiction division of Kentucky Monthly’s sixth annual Writer’s Showcase in the November 2013 issue. Shelia is a weekly columnist for the Citizen-Times, based in Scottsville, Ky. Shelia’s Southern, small-town roots have given her an understanding of community and women's friendships. Her writing deals with difficult contemporary issues, but there’s always a thread of hope amid the calamity. Shelia is passionate about African missions and has traveled to Africa annually for the past four years. Community service is also important to Shelia, and she has volunteered as a crew chief for five years at Camp Habitat, (a Christian youth service camp that partners with Habitat for Humanity).

16 thoughts on “Wading Through by Shelia Stovall

  1. bettie biggs

    Shelia Thanks for the June 29 post. We need to be reminded that God walks with us through all our trials. Thanks for the book, I will share it with the other ladies in my class.
    Bettie Biggs

  2. Ann H Gabhart

    Beautiful, Shelia. With writing, a person just has to keep on writing. I used to keep a journal where I let all my discouraging words fill the pages when things weren’t going well. And then at the end I always cheered myself up by saying, on to the next story, the next hope. You had a way with words and you bless people with your writing.


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