I cannot believe how fast the time is flying by! I have already been home for three weeks! I bet you might be wondering how I am transitioning from waking up to majestic mountains to waking up in a home, surviving off rock hard jerky to indulging on an occasional steak, sleeping on a leaky air mattress to sleeping on a warm cozy bed, and most importantly, freedom from society to being completely engulfed by it. The answer? Incredibly well! To everyone who was holding their breath to see whether or not I would crash and burn, feel free to take a sigh of relief.
Since I have been home I have not used symptoms ONCE. Not once. Food continues to be nutrients instead of an enemy that makes me “fat”, and exercise continues to be a means to attain better performance on the courts instead of a means to attain a better body. I can’t explain it, but since being back, I feel like a victor instead of a victim. I feel so strong and not afraid of anything. A feeling too good to be true and as it leaves my lips it sounds like a cliche or something someone would say to hide their underlying fears, but I genuinely feel this way. I am changed-hopefully forever.
I cannot lie that the temptation hasn’t been there, because it has, but it’s usually a fleeting thought that I can easily distract myself from. Ed’s voice has never been so weak, almost laughable. It reminds me of Proverbs 31:25: She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. It nearly brings tears to my eyes to think how much power not long ago Ed had over my every thought and move. But I am finally stepping into who God created me to be; fearless. One who can laugh at the enemy and say as confidently as David, “My God is Greater”!
Every time I hear that a friend has fallen back into the arms of Ed my heart cries, “But God has so much more than this for you!” I want nothing more than these words to resonate with them and I have to believe and trust God that in time, it will. I know people have prayed this prayer for me thousands of times, and finally, I am nearly out of the dark hole I felt was once inescapable. I was in their shoes not long ago; utterly hopeless and just trying to survive in this seemingly harsh world.
Since I have been home, I have been moving nonstop! I couldn’t tell you how many things I have checked off my list and how many more I have added. I do know that I have had a wonderful return by spending lots of time with friends and family and have somehow managed to swing right back into working part time with my PCA client, and signing up for my CNA (Certified Nurse Assistant) program with the Red Cross.
For the first time in the longest time, I feel normal. It’s as if a dark dreary cloud of self-doubt and victimization has been lifted. I get dressed in normal clothes without thinking about how “thin” or “fat” I look. I go to the gym on a regular basis without criticizing myself. Stressful situations arise, and I deal with it in a healthy way by either accepting or working through it. For the first time since my sophomore year in college, I have direction and am moving in a forward motion; Something I’ve prayed for years has finally become clear.
God spoke to me and opened so many doors for me while I was in Colorado. So much so that I knew that no matter what, I was going to finish climbing the mountains because it a part of my plan (Jeremiah 29:11). He continues to speak to me even still. While I was away, and further removed from society, it was easier to not partake in activities that weren’t beneficial for me. I was so focused and on a mission that there was no time for distractions. Now that I’m home, these activities present themselves again to me, and I am so tempted to participate. What I’m talking about in particular is the act of “going out”.
It’s permissible, but by no means beneficial. I absolutely know this, but I still love to dance and I still love to get all dolled up- especially since I was roughing it for so long over this summer. The problem with going out, is that it’s toxic and the people are intoxicated- myself, not exempt. I know these people are numbing and are bored, and I know most of these people are lost.
I have prayed to God to take away many of my sins, urges and to change my heart and He has always answered. Probably the biggest change within me has been my desire for what I want out of life. I had my own agenda in what I wanted to accomplish and I didn’t want to give that up for God. But I still prayed for it, because I knew it was right, and I knew His plan was supposed to better than anything I could ever come up with. It has taken some time, but the more I get to know God and His Goodness, the more I want to honor Him with my life. You could see how “going out” conflicts with this new found ambition.
In the first week that I was home, I went out three times! Each time I went out I drank a little more, each time I compromised myself a little more, and each time I felt sick, conflicted, and convicted. I knew God was speaking to me the night I went to the Zombie Pub Crawl. . Someone stole my phone and my passport that night which was my only means of allowing me to get into any bar. As soon as I realized they were gone, I knew it was God. I knew He was saying, “Knock it off!”. God disciplines the child He loves (Proverbs 3:12). Although I was angry with the person who stole my things, I was more concerned with where I was heading and my character.
It’s been a tough decision and I still struggle with it, but I know that if I keep this up, that I cannot promote the kingdom at the same time, nor will I be promoted while I try to advocate more. I must continue my life with the same determination, focus and purpose as I did while I was out in Colorado. I know that’s what my Abba wants for me.
Things are about to really pick up around here!
I was texting a gentleman today who Alix and I had met at the Vail Brewing Company the night before we left for Harvard and Columbia (yummy beer and fun atmosphere, by the way). His name is David, and he is actually a part of the Mountain Rescue Team in Vail. So as you can imagine, he’s seen some s**t. He was asking me if I planned on hiking in the snow this fall. I was naively hoping that I just wouldn’t run into it, or not enough of it to slow me down too much. Then I realized, “Crap, if I continue the way I’m going, I’ll be hiking the most technical mountains in the snow!!!” Not only do I have little technical experience, but to put snow on top of that, is just plain stupid. I bet some of you were already thinking that before I became enlightened today! I did get a month membership at Vertical Endeavors and climbed as often as I could before I left and I was fairly good at it. BUT, I never got certified to self-belay or clip ropes or anything like that… side note… I should probably go to Sports Authority today and buy a helmet- yup- that’s a great idea.
So with my new epiphany, I’ve spent my day rerouting my course and looking over the class 4 mountains carefully. Here’s the data I have:
- Like I mentioned, to get them all done, I need to hike two days, and rest one day until the very end.
- I have one, class 1 mountain; seventeen, class 2 mountains; ten, class 3 mountains; and four, class 4 mountains left to climb.
I’ll be heading to the Elk Range this week. There are two class 2’s, two class 3’s, and two class 4’s. After attempting Pyramid Peak, I’ll make my decision if I’m ready for Capital Peak. This mountain has the highest exposure of the 14er routes I’ll be doing, and has the dreaded “Knife’s Edge”.
I’ll then make my way to the Sangre De Cristo Range, then San Juan, hopefully climb Longs Peak with Jessica and friends, and finish the remainder of the Sawatch Range which are all class 2 mountains which by that time there may be snow.
So far I’ve been climbing nothing but class 1 and class 2 mountains.This should be a real wake up call! Is it strange that I’m completely floored to climb Capitol?! I know I can’t get too proud, and I know I can only truly do this with God’s grace, wisdom and protection. David was trying to instill fear in me, but somehow it just instilled determination. “Faith Greater Than Fear”, right? I have to at least try! I can always turn around and go back and come back with a buddy. Speaking of which, David also gave me the great idea of trying to team up with some of the people on 14ers.com. This is such a genius idea! Pray for me that I would have experienced hikers to come with me on these class 4 mountains!