by Esther Davis-Thompson
From Trouble to High Places


Imagine that you are a child and when you wake up one morning, your mother is sitting quietly next to your bed, waiting to bathe and dress you. “Hurry,” she says. And she is smiling just a little. “We are going someplace good today.” And after bathing you with fragrant water, she dresses you, carefully, in a lovely new dress and new shoes, combs your hair, and then says to you, “Come”.

And you follow. 

And the two of you walk, just far enough, and you see THE WATER. It has no other name, and all you know is that it is THE WATER that you’ve been warned about all your life. And that THE WATER is too, too deep for you to walk through and too, too expansive for you to even think about swimming across. And still your mother is walking steadily, firmly pulling you along, closer to THE WATER—closer than you’ve ever been before. And she is not slowing down, as if she realizes that she’s heading directly for THE WATER, but she seems to be moving forward with more determination the closer you get. Moving forward with a momentum that seems to have been gathering from the time you woke up this morning . . . and growing more intense the closer the two of you come to this WATER’S edge. And you are becoming frightened because your mother seems not to realize that you are approaching the edge of this WATER—this WATER that she has told you, all your life, not to play near . . . not to go near . . . not to fall into! And coming to THE WATER’S edge, her stride quickens and she steps . . . out over THE WATER, raising her foot into mid-air as if she expects it to come down onto something solid and supportive. And as she steps, she whispers to you in a voice that lands on your ears like a shout and a shriek and a scream and a cry, and she says, “COME!” And she doesn’t jerk your arm, but she does pull you firmly. And as you look down to see your own foot rise out above THE WATER . . . you see that your mother’s foot has landed squarely on an expanse of solid earth. And as she steps again, more solid ground appears, and so you follow. And the two of you begin a slow and steady trek across THE WATER, the action of your steadily stepping feet creating a bridge below you that rises slightly upward and out and over THE WATER. And as you step, you turn to your mother and you whisper, “How are we doing this?. . . How am I doing this?” And she looks into your eyes and smiles and says simply . . . ” Baby, you were ready.”


I think readiness to move forward comes when you, finally, surrender to your spirit’s willingness to step out, in faith, beyond what you know for sure. Paying more attention to your spirit than to your intellect, you enter into a state of sacred momentum that shatters every one of the laws of inertia you’ve been living under . . . finally ready to risk believing that your spirit-woman knows more than you do about all things.

Readiness to change is born of your realization that you have, thus far, been ruled by your own fears and stopped in your own tracks to your own High Places by your own-Self.

Know this: You cannot move out of Trouble until you are ready. Until some part of you has decided that you have had enough of whatever space of mind and emotion you’ve been occupying.

And, know too, that your spirit-woman will not take you any faster than you can go. She will not push you out into deeper waters than you can handle. She will let you live in Trouble for as long as you feel you need to. But, believe me, she will nudge you . . . she will whisper . . . and occasionally she will shriek! She will summon your counselors, your mothers, your sisters, and your good loves. She will call forth your Angels . . . the Holy Spirit . . . your Creator . . . but she will not ever push you into High Waters.

You’ll have to leap!

1 Comment

  1. Debra Stokes says:

    Excellent post. Just another nudge for me to step out of the boat! Thanks for sharing your insights. I hope to visit often.

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