I sit weary, next to my husband Matt, 30,000 feet in the air. We are traveling across several states to a happy occasion- a dear cousin’s wedding; yet a series of events has left these travelers weary today. This morning we got the news that a dear family member – is needing a complex surgery very soon on his heart, so that he may continue to live. A couple weeks ago, my close friend and partner in business chose a different direction, and we closed our brand new business, “A Vintage Inheritance” we slaved for months to build, and consequently, my quaint little art studio “Blue Plume” has yet another new location and town as of this week. Bracing for the changes and journey yet again it seems.
I am a journeyer like most; we humans travel through passages from one stage to another. We chart and plan our course, but through the journey, life directions and plans may change. Such is life. We dream a little dream. Sometimes life transforms them, repurposes them, rearranges them. It’s our journey to move towards them with hope and faith, and see the great adventure before us.
The beginning of this year, I felt called to write out snapshots of my life, reflections of what I have learned this far. “Share your Journey in My Favor” I sensed the Lord say to me. Little did I know how much this year would hold. So many life lessons, successes, failures, joys, heartaches all wrapped up in the not-so-perfectly organized path we call life.
A few weeks ago, Matt and I hiked a full day hike in Glacier National Park. We chose a trail called the Highline. We were told it would be long- 11.8 miles to be exact with a 1,950 elevation gain at 331 foot gain per mile. But, we were told the view was worth it.
And so we set out. The first two miles wrapped along the side of a cliff plummeting down a mountainside resting in a valley of wildflowers. There was a wire cable to hold onto to steady one’s footing, and we filed single file to hike the narrow path before us. We hiked for hours only stopping to catch our breath from the 8,000 ft altitude or to rehydrate and refuel with our packed water and snacks. We forged through creeks, observed mountain goats, bighorns and deer with no fear of humans, climbed over snowpacked glaciers and cooled off in the glacial waterfalls. Although the journey was thrilling, it was not for the faint of heart, the weak or the complacent. The path we chose to walk was difficult, strenuous in fact- at times treacherous- and my body ached towards the end. We ran out of water hours in, and were thankful to find a waterfall to refill for the final leg of the journey. A momma bear and her cubs ran ahead of us, as fellow hikers clinked along with their bearbells. Dangerous? Maybe at times. But was the journey worth the view? Absolutely. Because the masterpiece painted into my mind is worth more than I thousand pictures someone else took, for I stood there and walked the path myself.
Through that journey, I tasted a glacial waterfall. I smelled a handful of rocky mountain wildflowers. I heard the sounds of wildlife- and stepped inside their world for a moment in time. I touched the icy snow of a glacier. And I saw one of the most incredible places, and I could paint it for days.
I sit exhausted on the plane from recent news and life events. But, I know deep with my heart that if we choose to not fully live and choose not take the Highline in life, we may never journey well enough to enjoy the view. What I have journeyed through this far in life has been endurance training for the path yet before me. God does not promise easy. He promises to never leave our side. I can plan, but the Lord God will direct my steps. And I will finish well, no matter the charted trail, because He goes before me, and makes my way a well traveled one.
Life Verses this month:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
7 Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;
he causes me to stand on the heights.
Though the fig tree does not blossom
And there is no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive fails
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock is cut off from the fold
And there are no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will [choose to] rejoice in the Lord;
I will [choose to] shout in exultation in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
The Lord God is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army];
He has made my feet [steady and sure] like hinds’ feet
And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
7 Deep calls to deep
in the roar of your waterfalls;
all your waves and breakers
have swept over me.