My Labyrinth Walk – Ash Wednesday 2024
By Ashley O’Leary

I read a book once where a gentleman went through a week-long experience of finding who he was with God, and part of this journey was taking a walk through the Labyrinth.  He described putting down worries and anxieties on the way in, centering with God in the center, and then deciding what you choose to pick up on the way back out of the labyrinth.  I chose to follow this example in my walk.

On the way into the labyrinth, I stopped at every corner and prayed fervently for an item I was worried about, family, kids, addictions, freedom, and other worries.  I dropped each one down in prayer at every single corner.

Once I made it to the center, I looked up and there was a mirror in front of me.  I looked myself straight in the eyes, learning my face, looking at myself, and trying to see who I was.  There was a type of distortion in my face in the mirror, I almost didn’t recognize myself.  I had been holding onto so many things that may not have been mine to carry and you could see the worry and looks on my face.

As I began my walk out of the labyrinth, the conversation with God took a turn.  He began speaking into me, telling me I was beloved, that he made me with his own hands.  He reminded me that he predestined me for a purpose and created me intricately.  He reminded me of songs like “he holds the whole world, in his hands” and “Lean on me”.  He reminded me of his experience on the old rugged cross.  As I walked back out, I did not stop at any of the corners where I laid down those burdens.  I only stopped in the middle of the straightaways, deciding not to pick up any of those worries again.  I could feel the pain and hurt and weight lift off of my shoulders as I came to the end of my walk.

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