It’s been such a long time since I blogged that my computer no longer remembers the URL when I start typing it in… So I figured I should change that. Haha. School has been pretty busy lately, pluuuuus I’ve begun dating an amazing man, Alex, who I’ve been privileged to spend a lot of time with! Just for fun, here’s a pic of us on a hike!
He’s a keeper! He and God have taught me a lot about relationships in the past few months, so I have lots of new things to share! I feel like I’ve picked up a lot of mistaken ideas about relationships and God’s will over the years, and it’s caused a lot of fear and uncertainty in my heart. I’m sure many of us have struggled with the effects of wrong ideas. God has been doing a lot in my heart to change that, and I’d love to share those things with you all in hopes that the wisdom that was invaluable to me would also help you! Today, I’ll begin with a lesson I learned on a run through Section 16.
Last Saturday, my roommate from school last year (who stayed with me over thanksgiving) and I went on a 6-mile hike/run through the beautiful Colorado mountains. Only, we had no idea it would be 6 miles, and that was the scary part. To get to Section 16, you have to travel over one of the sketchiest roads in town. At night, the monsters come out… kinda. If you know what I mean. The sun has been setting much earlier lately, as you’ve probably noticed, and Chantelle (my roommate) and I are not exactly early risers. We got down to the trail at about 3:00, guessing that the sun would be down around 5:00. I’ve been on this trail once or twice before, and I remembered it being around 30 minutes for a round trip… I was wrong about that. About a mile and a half in, one of the passersby told us it would be about five more miles from where we currently were. We couldn’t just turn around, it was too snowy! And climbing up a slippery trail is a lot easier than climbing down it when you didn’t wear the right shoes. So we pressed on.
We crested the foothill and looked down on the beautiful and wild landscape below us; not a soul could be seen for miles. I didn’t mention it to Chantelle, but I didn’t remember this trail being so long. I began to be anxious as I looked at the setting sun, growing closer to the horizon with each passing moment. Even though Chantelle struggled at the high altitude, I pushed us on, unsure if we would make it before darkness fell–and I didn’t like the idea of hiking through these particular trails at night, especially since there would be only a small amount of moonlight.
When I considered the position of the sun, God brought a verse to my mind: “I will lead the blind along ways they have not known; along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness to light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do for them; I will not forsake them” (Is. 42:16). I thought of my experience in my relationship with Alex. Our relationship has been different from any I’ve had in the past, since I’ve never been in one I thought would last, and this fact both excited and scared me. I felt like I had been walking through uncharted territory for the past few months, and I’m not very good with uncharted territory. That morning, however, had been a very illuminating and encouraging one; I felt like God showed me things about my heart and situation and encouraged me that I’m on the right path. As I ran through the forest, wondering if we were going the right way and if we’d make it in time, I was comforted that, in both the physical and spiritual worlds, God is leading me through places I’ve never been.
As we continued, I marveled at the speed with which we progressed. Running felt effortless, which struck me since I haven’t run consistently for about six months or so. Heck, I haven’t done cardio for three months! I shouldn’t have been running so fast and with so little effort, but we flew over the snow-laden paths for four miles straight. I thought of that verse again, and I felt like God impressed on me that, even though I may not have the strength to press on, he would carry me safely over the path he’s chosen for me–all I have to do is pick up my feet and allow him to guide me, just as I was doing on the trail.
Then we came to the place where the path meets a road, and I was at a loss. I had no idea which way to go on the road, and my GPS had no service. Darkness had almost fallen. But then, we overtook an older lady ahead of us, the only human we’d seen for the last hour and a half. She told us how to get back to the parking lot from there. Without her help, we could have easily gotten lost. She was there at exactly the right time! Coincidence? … it didn’t seem like it.
We made it back to the car safely before sunset, and my body and spirit felt awake and alive. Not only did we have an amazing run, maxing out our speed at 9 miles per hour (which shouldn’t have happened, since Chantelle was struggling with altitude and I hadn’t done cardio for ages), but I felt like God was reassuring me that, although I’ve never been along these paths before, I can depend on his direction to guide me. He also showed me that he will send direction exactly at the moment when it is needed, just like that woman on the trail showed up right when we needed her. This was just what my anxious heart needed to hear, and I feel like I now have the conviction to continue trusting God even in the face of the unknown.
I want to encourage you in this as well–even as you travel through uncharted territory, the path is known to God, and he will guide you exactly when you need his direction. He might not direct you when YOU think you need it, but he will direct you, and he will not let your feet slip. I hope you all have a blessed week, and I’ll be writing regularly again, I promise!