A Messy Heart: My Walk to Emmaus [Day 15 of 31]

Sometimes you need a break.  A break from everything…from your family, from your iPhone, from the computer, from your friends…from life.  You need time to sit at the feet of Jesus, stare up at him, and listen carefully to His words.  There’s really no better way to get more Jesus.

From Thursday to Sunday, I was able to take this break thanks to my husband, my friends, Chad, Angie, Mike, and Amber, and my mom and sister.   And, it was anything but easy.

I went on the Walk to Emmaus: “The walk to Emmaus is an experience of Christian spiritual renewal and formation that begins with a three-day short course in Christianity. It is an opportunity to meet Jesus Christ in a new way as God’s grace and love is revealed to you through other believers.”

The walk is inspired by Luke 24: 13-35.

It was just as the website described (italics above), and so much more.

The distraction-free time provided me with space to focus on my life, my family, and my Creator.  I was amazed at what I found in my heart when I asked God to reveal any junk there. **

Mistrust, loneliness, anger, and fear.

When you’re hurt by some people (and that’s ALL of us, folks), you can’t stop trusting all people.  I knew I had a little mistrust in my heart, but did not realize the depth of my self insulation.  I am a surface level friend at best.  I don’t ever get too close, fearing hurt, rejection, and failure.

That’s not who my God calls me to be, for loving others is second only to loving God: 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’3The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. “There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12: 28-31


Hurt is a part of life – everyone’s life.  You can’t drop out of the game just because you get hurt, just because people don’t live up to your expectations.  I have always known this in my head, but I am so thankful God used this weekend to transfer it to my heart.  (I’m betting this won’t be the last time he has to help me with this either:)

In the midst of this mistrust and fear leading to loneliness, I also discovered anger.  I was already aware of my anger.  I have “exploded” too many times in the past year.  When I examine my reaction post explosion, I always discover the reason for the outburst has little to do with its target and more to do with something else.  Something else that I’ve allowed to sit and simmer in my heart.

So, I made a list of what’s sitting and simmering, prayed over it, and let it go.  I modeled my prayer after David’s in Psalm 51 as he repents for his sin. Asking God for mercy, forgiveness, and a heart change.  Thanking Him for His faithfulness, grace, and love.  Acknowledging and confessing my rebellious heart. Begging for a new sense of His presence…a new beginning.

I feel different today.  More peaceful and thankful.  Thankful for a God of second (endless) chances who will never leave me or forsake me.  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

And super thankful for a group of women I met as we “walked.”  Women who prayed with me, laughed with me (we laughed a ton!), cried with me, shared with me, inspired me.  More on these amazing gals in the days to come.  I am still processing all God taught me this weekend and hope to share more as God unfolds His story for me.

What about you?  Have you asked God lately what’s lurking in your heart?  Unconfessed sin?  Anger?  Fear?  Mistrust?  You don’t have to go away for 72 hours to sit quietly before him and ask, “God, what has me down? What’s holding me back?  Why am I rebellious?”

He wants to help.  You just need to ask.


**While I found junk in my heart, I also discovered missing pieces in my heart.  Pieces that are essential for Christ followers.  More on those in the days to come:)


  1. challenged as usual…grateful it was a good God time for you and those you shared it with. thanks for letting us into the places God’s working on. i could relate to more of this than I care to admit 😉

    • Thanks, Jen:) I think some of it is almost universal…and we have another friend in common now….a certain middle school English teacher who lives in Randolph County. She’s trying to get me to go to AFrica with her…all I can think of is…18 hours on a plane – yikes!

      Love ya!

  2. I’m so glad God met you at the MOV Women’s Walk to Emmaus and that I could be a small part of it. 🙂

    • Beth Ann…thank you so much! I was so blessed by your 4th walk talk…what an amazing metaphor for our journey. So blessed by you! Love, Sarah

  3. Sarah, thanks for your comments. I made my walk (Heartland Emmaus) a few years ago, and I always enjoy hearing how others were impacted.
    Grace & Peace,
    ~ Martin

  4. Susan Barengo says:

    Sara, as I sit here searching for the right words for my article for the MOVE newsletter I wish I had the ability to say what is on my heart as eloquently as you! Your words blessed me today!

    • Thanks so much, Susan! Words really can’t adequately express my weekend. This is only one piece of the puzzle, but I haven’t been able to fully process the other pieces. God was so real to me this weekend. Thanks for all your hard work and preparation. You touch so many lives in service to Him! God bless

  5. Michelle Wilson says:

    I love you sweet Sarah…..you my new friend and Sister in Christ, are an AMAZING woman. I prayed for you (and the rest of us) this morning as promised…..and will continue you too everyday. I saw the pain and loneliness through the sunshine of your smile….but know that YOU HAVE THE ANSWER TO ALL PROBLEMS…..OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. I will always have your back….with lots of prayers. As I said before….YOU ARE AMAZING!

    • So blessed to have met you, sweet Michelle:). God’s timing is always perfect! Thanks for the prayers…especially the ones before you ever knew me…that was so awesome for me to hear as soon as I began my walk. Thanks for making my weekend extra special. Love ya! Sarah


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