Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Determination

Mindy here. At the end of May, my husband and I took an anniversary trip to one of our favorite spots in Colorado. We had a few things we hoped to do while there, one of which was a hike up to an abandoned gold mine, research for a book I'm working on.

We trained for the hike and, considering we live at about 500 ft. above sea level and the town we were visiting sat at 7800 ft., gave ourselves a day or two to acclimate to the altitude before setting out on our trek. We knew it wouldn't be easy. The climb would take almost 3 hours and we'd be gaining over 2000 ft. in elevation. But we were determined to do it.

We set out early, before the sun's heat could produce too much run-off for us to get across the creek. We stayed hydrated, rested as needed, and took in beautiful vistas. With countless switchbacks behind us, we paused to rest and look down on the town before making the final part of our journey.

Our excitement built as we stowed our water bottles and rounded the mountain. What we didn't expect was snow.


Yes, the shady side of the mountain was still covered with snow. Or, more to the point, our trail was covered with snow.

Not easily deterred, I marched on. The snow pack was firm. I merely walked on top. Then it would dissipate for a stretch and we could see the trail. So, we continued.

After the first 100 yards, the snow wasn't quite so firm. We'd sink, sometimes to our knees, others our thighs. Still, we could see our destination. And as soon as the trail jogged to the left, we would be out of the snow.

200 yards in, my husband slipped. As you can tell from the picture, there was a bit of a slope. He slid 10-15 feet before a tree graciously put a halt to his shortcut. Battered and bloodied, he picked his way back up to the path, what we could see of it anyway, and we carried on.

Then, it was my turn to do some sledding. Albeit without the sled. My heart beat a staccato as I skidded down the muddy slope, praying for tree to cross my path.

Thud.

Ouch.

"You okay?"

"Yeah."

Slowly, but surely, and with the aid of several spindly trees, I made it back up to my husband.

"I don't think we should be doing this," he said. "I think we should go back."

Go back? But I can see our destination. The goal. The snow won't last forever. Sure I can't see where it ends, but there's no snow after it turns. Come on turn.

So, we continued. Well, after my husband realized I was going to keep on even if he turned back. Remember, I was determined.

More slipping. The slope grew steeper which meant we slid even farther. My hands stung from digging them into the snow. Then, we lost the trail. The white didn't break anymore, it just went on.

My heart broke. We were so close and yet so far. Yet, for all my determination, how could I go on when I didn't have a clue which direction to go.

I cried. Yes, real tears. I can't remember when I've been so disappointed. Then, I dried my eyes and we turned back.

It wasn't until we had to trek back through the snow that I realized just how far we had gone and how dangerous the journey had become.

Have you ever wanted something so bad, your goal was in sight, and, suddenly, been stopped in your tracks? For whatever reason, God didn't want me to complete that journey. At least not that day. We will go back and we will make it to that mine at some point in the future.

When God sets us on a path, we never know what obstacles will stand in our way. Some are maneuverable, some require more effort than others. Some leave you dead in the water.

Relinquishing my desire to reach my goal was harder than climbing all those switchbacks. Yet once I did, God shifted my focus and still provided me with what I needed for my WIP, which had been my ultimate goal. And all without another scratch or bruise.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I'm so glad that even when my plans fail, plans that sometimes do harm me, God has an even better plan for me. He is indeed my hope. He is my future. The One Who holds my future.

I hope you'll trust Him with yours today.

Happy Tuesday, y'all.

10 comments:

  1. Mindy,
    What a great post for me today as I had to really trust God with my hubby today as he had surgery. God really showed Himnself strong on Dave's behalf and he is going to be fine.

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  2. Edwina, I know I already congratulated you, but I must again, because that is such great news!

    Mindy, I can understand how you must have felt with the adrenaline pumping, but I'm glad you didn't risk more serious injury. And you have something to look forward to. Good luck next time you scale that mountain :) And I think you and your husband would make good contestants for that reality show The Amazing Race :)

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  3. Edwina, I am so glad things went well. God knows exactly what's going on, even when the doctors don't. Praying you'll have answers soon.

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  4. Eva, we LOVE amazing race. My boys do too. The only thing stopping me is having to eat something totally gross. I don't do fried scorpions, snake, sheep heads, or anything else out of the realm of ordinary.

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  5. I love the Amazing Race! I'd slipped from watching it the past few years, but still love it!

    Mindy, your post almost made me cry. Awesome story and great devotion.

    Edwina! I wrote you a note on FB just now, didn't know all you were dealing with. Will be praying!

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  6. Mindy,
    Great post. As Deb Dixon said you guys were climbing the slippery slope! Great story/character building.

    Edwina--glad your hubby is doing okay. :)

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  7. I can't believe I didn't get by here yesterday. Thought I did! But I missed this great post.

    Mindy, I'm proud of how far y'all went!

    Edwina, so glad to hear your husband's surgery went well!

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  8. Cry, Christy? You must've been feeling my pain:-)

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  9. Lindi...girl, it was definitely one slippery slope.

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  10. Thanks, Missy. It was quite a let down to have gone so far and not make it. But who knows what would have happened if we'd kept going. One of us may have ended up hiking back down alone.

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