My desert is pavement that I tread each day,

The same houses I walk by daily.

The Israelites spent 40 years in mundanity,

I pray that I will have faith so I don’t wander needlessly.

Not far from the cries of the Israelites are the cries of my children.

Why are we walking?

We’re thirsty.

We’re hungry.

We’re bored.

When will this end?

Their complaints cycle through as we meander through familiar streets.

Their disappointment weighs me down,

Not far from my own,

Adding to the overwhelming powerlessness of losing control.

But I remember.

As Jesus was led, so am I,

An invitation to find my identity.

Embrace simplicity as I enter into solitude not of my own choosing.

As my external busyness ceases, I confront the greater enemy.

My busy mind, listening to so many voices.

I must fight for the still small voice.

I must hear my beloved call.

So I embrace the journey.

My encounters with God are stolen seconds throughout the day.

But as the world sleeps,

I encounter the fire by night.

Zealous love meets me in the darkness,

And in my state of unknowing I am known.

My beloved said to me “Come away” and so I come.

To listen,

To learn,

To enter into the rest of the One who is gentle and humble of heart.

The Wilderness is not optional.

But the transformation is.

All it takes is my weak “yes”,

Day by day I say yes to God’s presence, to find him in the ordinary.

Step by step I say yes to trust, he who promised is faithful.

Choice by choice I say yes to love I never earned, from the One I once hated.

Yes by yes I say to beauty,

The rugged cross,

The bloody man,

And the glorious resurrection.

I have determined that out of this wilderness I will come out

Leaning on my Beloved.

Wendy Hansen is a 2nd-year theology student at Laidlaw College. She studies via distance learning as she lives with her two girls in Tauranga. She previously spent 17 years working at houses of prayer in New Zealand and the United States. Over that time she has developed a love for the mystics, the night watch (prayer from midnight-6am) and praying the scriptures. Her spare time is divided up between coffee dates with friends, going for walks, her homegroup for mums with young kids, reading with her cat or watching the latest Marvel movie.