This weekend my fam and I traveled to the beautiful area of Black Mountain, NC. It’s gorgeous there and our time was wonderful. Being there is a bunch of us and our oldest daughter is Autistic, we have to really think through family fun. We don’t do movie theaters as a whole family and we try to avoid closed in spaces or a big crowd. We sort of enter the scene like and invading army so we don’t want to spook others with our ruckus. So that usually leads us to outdoor activities with wide open spaces. Daughter #1 manages better that way and when she is happy the rest of us are happy too.
This weekend we pried the ipods, ipads, and iphones out of the hands of our brood and we did some hiking, mini golf, exploring, rock hopping, that kind of thing. The end result is a crew that is refreshed and ready for the challenging holiday months ahead. It was a great weekend.
After being outdoors and enjoying nature on Friday and Saturday we decided to do one more trail before leaving on Sunday. Hubby says to his loyal family, let’s do one more trail so we can see the lake. That sounds cool. Who doesn’t love a lake and mountain vista. For some reason we are led to believe that this trail is easier than the last one we did. More level. Simpler to navigate. Of course we are all in. We weren’t really planning on this. It was sort of a spur of the moment decision so some are wearing sandals, no socks, etc. But it’s easy, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?
Well, when we had to hike a quarter of a mile straight up to get to the trail head we should have known that we were heading for trouble. Turns out this trail wasn’t simple at all. It was hard. There were more roots than there are cars on black Friday at the mall. The trees were overgrown like some old forest in a fairy tale. One of the stair cases was washed out and before it was over there was falling people, bruises and scratches and I almost got pushed off an embankment.
Here’s what is interesting, 4 of the kids were running ahead, hooting and hollering enough to scare any possible bears away. But my oldest girl stuck to me like glue. Sometimes it’s hard to know what she takes in. She doesn’t talk, so we don’t always know how she’s feeling. But as we walked the trail I could tell she was unsure. She watched the ground closely. She was careful where she put her feet and she rarely let go of my arm. She kept looking over her shoulder to make sure her adopted Grandpa (who often travels with us) was keeping up. She wouldn’t go far before she would check to see if she could still see him. She didn’t pay a bit of attention to those loud younguns that left us in the dust. But she wore me out pulling on my arms for steadiness, strength and direction. (She is 10 years old but already 5.8, two inches taller than me, and 30 pounds heavier) My arms felt like jello when it was over and my shoulders were achy. And when she got tired, she just stopped in the middle of the trail, sat down and took a rest.
Life can be like that lake trail. You think you’re going for an easy Sunday morning stroll when suddenly you’re faced with washed out stairs, treacherous trails and you don’t feel equipped for the path (sandals are no picnic when you need hiking boots). We’ve all been there. We think we know what’s ahead of us and we find something entirely different, leaving us feeling very unsure.
Here’s the lesson from my daughter. When she is unsure, she holds tight to me. When she’s scared, she sticks to me like glue. She keeps her eyes on the step in front of her instead of worrying about the people running ahead. She counts on her mom for direction, steadiness and strength. She rests when she needs to instead of pushing to the meltdown or breaking point. And she doesn’t leave anyone behind.
When we are on that uphill, hard path, hang onto God for your strength. Stick to Him like glue. Keep your eyes on the step in front of you and don’t worry about what others are doing or how far ahead they might be. Count on God for direction, steadiness and strength. He won’t grow tired like I did. She might be bigger than me, but God is bigger than you and any path you might be on, any problem you might have. Take a break when you need to and catch your breath. Don’t leave anyone behind.
The trail was hard, but the view was awesome. It was hard, but worth it. Whatever trail you are on, God has a view for you at the top. It might be hard, but it will be worth it. Don’t quit.
Cheering you on!
Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 – “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”