A few year ago, I went on a hike with some girls at girls camp. I was lucky enough to go with my good friend and cousin MaryAnn.
The hike was difficult, but so beautiful. We hiked up the face of the mountain, which was very steep. After about 3 hours of trudging uphill, my legs were like noodles, and my lips were sunburned. It was hot, and I was hungry.
My cousin and I were relieved when the hike leader told us that we were going to take a rest. We came to the top of a very steep incline to a very beautiful meadow, filled with wildflowers of all colors. My breath was taken away at the beauty of where I was. I couldn't help but acknowledge God and His handiwork. I was so grateful we had kept hiking and felt so much satisfaction in our accomplishment of coming so far.
I was ready to pull out my sack lunch from my pack, when the leader instructed us to gather up our packs because we had a little ways to go before we came to the top of the mountain...our actual destination. I looked forward, and saw in the distance, the Grand Tetons. I was refreshed and ready to get to the top!
Unfortunately, my zeal for reaching the top, was short lived. The closer we got, the steeper the mountain, and the more rocky the trail became. My cousin was ready to give up. She suggested going back to the beautiful meadow and eating lunch. I was almost convinced until I looked up at the top of the mountain and saw friends and acquaintances cheering us on, and encouraging us to keep going.
My cousin and I both knew we couldn't give up. We had to keep hiking. We then came up with a system. We walked ten steps, and then stopped, and rested, until we could convince ourselves we had the strength to go ten more steps. We continued in this fashion until we were greeted by our friends at the top of the mountain.
When I got to the top, I turned around and looked at where I had been. I saw that nasty, rocky, trail and felt empowered because I had conquered such a difficult thing. My cousin and I talked about the beauty that surrounded us--the glorious Teton Mountains were almost within arms reach. God was indeed near. We were witnessing His creations.
Today, Ace and I are continuing our "hike" as we take Bogey back to Stanford for some more heart procedures and cleft repairs. I feel like we've been in the "meadow" these last couple of months, enjoying the blessings and accomplishments of where we have been. We are all tired, but know we have more to endure.
As we say goodbye to our little children, our hearts are heavy, (much like my legs during that uphill battle!:) but we can feel and hear the support and encouragement from our friends and family. Ten steps (or, one day) at a time, we will get through this. We have again put our trust in our Heavenly Father, and know that He is near.