Let’s just put it out there – I am an inexperienced mountain girl. As much as I would love to say I am a flannel-wearing, Kavu-carrying, hiking queen who thrives in the wilderness…I’m really not. But, on this trip to Idaho, I was down to become one. So, when my man suggested going on a 5-mile hike with 1400 feet elevation gain, I said, Sure!
Little did I know how challenging this hike would be for me…
We parked at the base of the hike and were faced with two different trails. One, nicely paved surrounded by wildflowers, and another, more rocky and incredibly steep. So, obviously, I began walking up the nice path with the flowers and Michael quickly corrected me – I chose the wrong path.
So up we went.
And I lost my breath.
For the most part, though, I was humbled by my lack of physical ability to hike this mountain, but I was proud that I was making it.
About 30 minutes from the lake, our final destination, we came across this outstanding gorge that was staggering with rocks. Standing on top of a rock outcropping (FYI I had to ask Michael to help me even describe to you where I was), looking down at the rocky gorge we had just hiked, I was terrified. Like shaking, almost crying terrified. I almost forgot I was so afraid of heights until I stood, looking, so far down, afraid of falling.
In this moment, I thought, Is it worth it? Should I keep going? I’m scared and uncomfortable and don’t know if I want to finish this thing. But then, I remembered God’s promise to me
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.~Isaiah 40:31
And I knew I could finish. God doesn’t make false promises and He always comes through. With this renewed strength and remembrance of my heavenly Father’s love for me, plus the faith Michael had in me, I knew I could make it. Michael helped me down, I began to gain my bearings, and we hiked again.
We hiked another 25 minutes or so and arrived at Norman Lake. Immediately, I felt myself relax and let out a breath of fresh air. I was simultaneously so relieved we had made it while also being in complete awe of what I was seeing. A peaceful, untouched lake in the middle of these mountains. Streams flowing to the lake filled with frisky fish. Flowers and fields with logs to sit on. And lush fir and pine trees surrounding the perimeter of the lake.
Taking hold of the promise that God would strengthen me to fight past my fears and insecurities was all worth it. From it, I found vast peace.
Sometimes, no, most of the time, that which is most rewarding and beautiful requires sacrifice and facing fears. Just like I had to hike up this hill and face my fear of heights and insecurity in not being the mountain woman I wished I was, in our daily lives, we have to pray for the strength and belief that God will equip us to face our fears in order to discover peace and potential that lies ahead. At the end of my hike was a lake filled with peace. Consider all the peace and possibilities that might lie ahead for you as you take risks to do things that scare you.
Our greatest fears are the greatest waste of time. – Jen Sincero
It would have been a lot easier if I had just chosen the other path for our hike that day. Sometimes in life we want to take the easier path, the one that looks more nicely paved ahead of us. But that’s not always the path we need. Sometimes, God leads us to the steeper path with more challenges along the way in order for us to really grow in our dependency on him and realize that we had the strength to conquer these fears all along – in Him.
So, yeah, I’m definitely still not a REI-shopping, hiking expert, but I am stinkin proud of myself and grateful to have been shown, via nature and God’s rockin grace, what it looks like to push past your fears and have faith that there is something so worth it on the other side. My prayer is that you will believe that on the other side of your fears is peace beyond your wildest dreams and for that reason, it is so worth it to take a risk and, in faith, know you have the strength to make it to whatever it is that may lie ahead.