As I sat on the swing on the porch of the cabin I thought about all that brought me here. Then I started thinking about the mountains and how I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I couldn’t see the bigger ranges behind what was in front of me. I was sitting on a mountain at elevation around 2400 feet but the next 30 miles that spread out in front of me held ranges with 6500 foot peaks. Why couldn’t I see them? My analytical brain wanted to climb into research of mountain visibility and human sight but my spirituality won out. God used nature to give me some perspective.
My life, just like your life and the lives of everyone in the world, is full of mountains. If I can see all the many steep cliffs behind the one immediately in front of me I will cower in fear of the height. I’ll never even try to climb them. If I can clearly see other people’s mountain ranges, I’ll compare them to my own and maybe try to climb them instead. But God’s grace allows me to only see that mountain in front of me that I need to overcome. As I navigate the mountains in my life, God reveals the bigger ones behind it that He intends for me to see. If God were to show me my whole life plan at once I’d be too overwhelmed, think the risk is too high, the height too much to overcome. If He were to reveal it all to me at once, I’d give in to intimidation and convince myself that the path is just too hard, too treacherous to survive. But when I put my trust in Him, He not only lights my path but leads me to the top.
Some days are clear and I can see mountains for miles, my path evident in front of me. Other days require my faith to be stronger. Clouds snuggle tight against the ranges making the peaks hard to see. On those days instead of questioning whether the mountains are still there, I put my trust in God that no only do His plans for me still exist but with His help I can navigate them. His plan still exists when it’s cloudy and the limited visibility makes it seem like there is no way out.
I don’t need to see the top of a mountain to know I can make it to the top, not by focusing on what I can see or on surrounding mountains but by trusting He is leading me to the high ground. After all, the top is the only way to appreciate what is below and begin to see the world as God sees it.
One year ago I never saw the mountain of Avery and all that he would mean to my life coming, not even a faint glimmer in the distance. When I found out I was pregnant with him I never saw the mountain of losing him coming. God knew if I saw a baby coming I’d want to back down afraid of the height of it all. If I had to know I’d lose him beforehand, I wouldn’t be able to comprehend how painful it would be. The clouds God brings to my life are His grace reassuring me that He’s protecting me by not revealing His plan in its entirety. He will lead me through what I don’t see coming.
Now I feel like I’m standing on one of the major mountain peaks of my life and God is giving me two options. I can choose to strengthen my faith in Him and conquer the peaks not when I think I should see them or when I can see them but when He plans to light my path and lead me over them. The alternative is to stay in the valleys where there is no view of the majestic mountains God has to offer me in life, no room for appreciation for the climb and the strength I used along the way.
The important thing about trouble is that old saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. If our lives never had any of those low valleys, we could never appreciate those high mountaintops; if no rain, the sunshine would not be so special. Together you can face whatever the future holds. Always care more about each other than you do yourselves.Dorothy Ramp (Gram Slam, Grandma Cold Hands, strongest woman I’ll ever know)
When I got married my grandma wrote me an eloquent letter which I’ve come to cherish these last couple years without her. I like to think she knew when she wrote it that I would find comfort in it during what I’d have to face in the future. I like to picture her cradling my sweet Avery in heaven as they look down on all the mountains of the world, waiting for the rest of us to be called home.