My family and I were recently in NC and were looking for something to do. When we need to find something to do, we always look at TripAdvisor which mentioned a spot called Shunkawauken Falls. It said it was right on the side of the road. Easy peasy right? Wrong. Way, way, way wrong.
I am terrified of heights. Mortified. Petrified. I’ll drive out-of-the-way to avoid a high bridge. If I’m on top of a mountain I stay away from the edge…preferably in the car away from the guard rail. If I’m in a tall building I don’t go near the glass. I didn’t always used to be that way. I’ve been to the top of the Empire State Building and the Trade Towers. No sweat. But I was much younger. My age has brought this insane fear of heights. And there’s few things that shake me up more than driving up a winding steep road on the side of a mountain with switch backs and no place to turn around. “On the side of the road” Trip Advisor said. They didn’t say that it was the road of terror. I have NEVER seen such hairpin turns in my life. I have been in cars and on roads all over the world, but this road took the cake. And my breath.
We were in 2 vehicles and I was following my husband. It seemed like a good idea and a nice plan. I’m all in. It was actually my idea. A nice leisurely drive to a beautiful waterfall. At first it seemed ok, but then the road started getting twistier and steeper and I started sweating. But by the time I realized what was going to happen it was too late to do anything about it. There was nothing to do but keep going until we got to the top. But at one point I stopped dead in the road at the edge of a switch back. I couldn’t see around it or what lay ahead and I felt like I couldn’t keep going. I panicked. I could feel all the blood drain from my head and I started to get dizzy. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I was scared to death.
But…I had 2 of my kids in the car and there was a car behind me following me up the mountain and there was literally no place to go but up. I couldn’t let anything happen to the people with me. I couldn’t scare the rest of my family in front of me and I couldn’t block the way of the people following me. So I started praying and self talking. I would talk to God in one breath and myself in the next. Asking God for help. Telling myself to get it together, that I knew who was in control. It was just a road, for crying out loud.
Just before we reached the top there was a sign that said “Road Narrows”. Are you kidding me? For the love of all that is holy and just, please get me off this mountain! I had a cold and by this point my ears are so plugged I can’t hear a thin…although I did sense a whimper coming from my own throat. Then the road opened up to a wide spot with a beautiful view and an enormous set of condos. People actually drive that road every. single. day. to get to their houses. No thank you!
We pulled over and my husband runs to my car to see if I’m hyperventilating. I held up my hands which were shaking like leaves. But there I was at the top. I told my kids I would kill them if they fell off the mountain or something irrational like that and guarded the door so Cadence wouldn’t get out of the car. But it was gorgeous. It was really breathtaking. It was hard for me to drive up that high road, but I think it was worth it once I got there. I’m glad I went that way.
Taking the high road is never easy. But we sometimes find ourselves in situations in life where we need to take it anyway. Taking the high road can mean doing the right thing even when you’ve been wronged. It can mean taking a road that is less traveled instead of the path of least resistance. Taking the high road might mean a career change or a pay cut. It might mean forgiving someone who doesn’t deserve it. It might mean ending a relationship that is pulling you down or it might mean sticking by someone when others think you should go. It might mean setting aside your own plans in order to help someone else or even chasing hard after Your dream. It could mean going against the flow or standing alone.
Taking the high road is never easy. We often can’t see what lies ahead. The road has twist and turns and some narrow spots. It can be scary and we just want to quit. I’ve felt that way before. I remember the panic that threatened to overtake me when Cadence was diagnosed with Autism. I remember wanting to just stop. I remember the fervent prayers. We’ve hit some high spots on this road and I’m grateful for the journey.
When we are traveling through life, there are often people we love on the road with us or following us and how we maneuver that road can have a big impact on the lives of others. When we’re on the high road we have to remember who is in control or we will panic for sure and panic never helps the situation.
After spending some time at the top, admiring God’s handiwork, which always makes the next drive more enjoyable, we made our way down again. The way down was much easier because I had been that way before. I had survived and knew it would be ok. I feel that way when new challenges come our way with Cadence. We know we will suvive.
When you’ve been on the high road in life and made it to the top, the next stretch is often easier because you’ve seen what God can do. That always provides strength, comfort and encouragement as you continue to travel.
As you travel, friends, I pray that you will find comfort in a Holy traveling companion who will not leave you alone in your journey. Know that He sees the way ahead…that He IS the way ahead and you are not on your own. The road may be a surprise to you, but He is never caught off guard and He is your guard. He is peace when you want to panic. He is solid ground when the road narrows and He is the light when you can’t see your way around the next bend. Travel safe. Travel well. Travel with confidence. His hands are on the wheel.