In 2014, I had the opportunity to get away from every day life as I knew it and head to Idaho to visit with my oldest son and his wife while we waited for the arrival of their first-born.
Getting there was the beginning of several adventurous moments that God would use to teach me spiritual lessons. The first thing he wanted to teach me was to be more “adventurous ”; to stop allowing fear to keep me from living abundantly by faith. It seemed for about a year he kept bringing to my attention, in one way or another, a verse— “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.“ proverb 3:5-6
You see, in every situation I was always trying to figure things out; always needing to know “why”, or what was going to happen next. So, God worked it out that someone offered me their employee pass to fly for free. I was told it might not be a simple flight, but I was very grateful for the opportunity and didn’t mind doing whatever I needed to, and bravely embarked on my journey. It turned out to be very unpredictable, hurrying to terminal after terminal trying to get on the next flight while someone I had never met was coaching me over the phone as she tried to find the next available flight each time I would miss one. My luggage made it Idaho before I did, and I ended up spending the night in Kansas, then catching a flight to Utah, and finally catching a flight to a tiny airport in Hailey, Idaho just before midnight on the night before my grandson would be born. I wouldn’t have changed a minute of my journey ; It was the perfect trip for me. God did a lot of speaking to my heart, and I did a lot of listening.
After all the excitement of my grandson being born, I had a lot of time to relax, rejuvenate, and refocus. My son ended up taking me on a beautiful hike towards the end of my stay there, and it was one of the best days of my life. The photo I used for this post is actually a picture my son took of me at one of the more intense parts of our hike. The poem is one of the things that came from my time on the mountain.
Thirty minutes into the hike I had to stop and check my heart rate, and say a little prayer. Even though hiking has always been one of my favorite pastimes, I had not hiked in quite a while and my son was taking me on a hike up to about 10,500 feet. I was also experiencing some health issues at the time so my prayer basically consisted of, “OK, God, I don’t know what I’m doing here. I want to go as far as I can, so I’m trusting you to give me the strength that I need to go as far as you want to take me. And I’m just going to enjoy it and let you speak to my heart if you choose to.“ Then I looked to my son and I said, ”OK let’s go!” I was not disappointed. It was an awesome hike through an amazing landscape unlike anything I had ever seen before.
Right before we were going to attempt the peak, we stopped for lunch in a beautiful grassy meadow, filled with wildflowers. The view was indescribably beautiful. As I looked around at the incredibly blue skies with soft white clouds that seemed closer than I’d ever seen clouds floating by, and mountain tops peaking one after another for miles, as far as I could see… Tears filled my eyes, and I heard Him whisper to my heart “if you trust me, I’ll take you further than you ever thought you would go.”
That is a moment I carry in my heart to this day. Whenever I feel life is more than I can handle, I remember the promise he gave me that day, and I trust in Him who gives me strength, and whatever else I may need, to just keep on living by faith, moment by moment.