A Chicagoan Climbs a Mountain in the Highlands of Scotland…

Sitting on top of a mountain with my Bible and journal in hand, I look down onto the valley that stretches for miles. A rainbow disappears as the sky clears and the only noise is coming from my own breath — I am a Chicagoan who doesn’t understand altitude — and yet, this breathlessness is more than just exertion. This moment is overwhelming.

I am not overwhelmed by this view (though it’s worthy of adoration in its own right) but it’s everything that has led up to this very point in time. A mixture of past, present, and future possibilities; an integration of hope and fear; the known and unknown; an assault on all of my senses.

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My 32nd Birthday

My favorite number is 32, so it comes to no surprise to my friends that I wanted to do something memorable for this birthday. Set it apart from the rest. As God would have it, I was going to spend my birthday in the Highlands of Scotland at a lovely cabin. Yes, a cabin in December, far from the city — my introverted haven.

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I had expectations of this trip. That not only that my experience would be filled with rest, but also answers. Answers to questions that I had for months but was consistently told to wait. So, I did. I waited. I anticipated. And then the day came when I knew that God would reveal and share some of His Will for my life. So, I put on my sneakers and took a walk.

Without going into detail as some things are not ready for the public and some may never be told, I wanted to share some of my experience.

But first…

Mountain Lady?

I am not one to be outdoors. I’m a comfy chair, tea, blanket, with a good book, type of lady. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good walk. I love commuting by feet and train to work, but me and nature have never been on the best of terms. I appreciate it from a distance.

It’s not that I don’t like trees — I love them. I would hug them if I could. I don’t like insects and creatures that can bite, sting, or eat me. I am also not a fan of the sun as my skin likes to burn. I also lack coordination and will fall. And falling on carpet is much better than falling down rocks — just sayin’.

So the ultimate irony of my life is spending my 32nd birthday outside in the Highlands climbing a mountain. Although it was in winter when everything that I am afraid of is fast asleep, dead, or hidden. (Except for the sharp objects to fall on.)

Don’t worry, I didn’t fall.

Climbing a Mountain with God

I spent my birthday on a journey with God. After praying over with God on some things, on some questions I’ve had for a couple of months, God had me take a walk with Him. The walk turned into climbing a mountain.

As I went up this hill, He reminded me of everything I had learned in the last five years. The people I have met. The grace that had been given. The love shared. The community created.

With each step also came fear. Fear of what was before me. Where was I going? How far was I going? What would I experience on the top?

Also, the fear of what was behind me. Knowing that soon I would have to turn around and climbed down the mountain. Afraid of slipping into old ways.

Overwhelmed by emotions and just the exercise, I would stop and yell to God, “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t.”

He would tell me stop and to turn around. So I would.

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And I would see a valley before me. It’s beauty indescribable. And I would weep.

“Do you trust me?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“Then keep going.”

So I did. I continued going up the mountain unsure of what was before me but knowing I was with my Lord. Seeing what He just brought me through gave me the courage to continue on.

When I finally got to the finish line, I saw a rainbow stretched across the sky covering all that I could see.

Honestly, tears were just flowing.

You know how there are just those moments where you are so overwhelmed by God’s love that words or even pictures can’t do it justice? Well, I tried taking a photo my face to always remember this moment.

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Proof of tears

At the Top

When I arrived to the top, the answers flowed. I had to be real with where I was at, what had transpired these last years, and how I felt before I was ready to hear answers. I spent hours up there cherishing each moment.

I even talked to an older gentlemen who climbed the mountain too and he was heading down. I laughed at the situation — this man, in his 60s, having no issue walking up and down which was a momentous hill for me. I realized that our maturity in Christ has a lot to do with what we can handle. This was a mountain for me. A nice afternoon jaunt for him. And yet that doesn’t discourage me at all because I know anything is possible with Christ.

And how do I know this?

BECAUSE I CLIMBED A MOUNTAIN.

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I had the best 32nd birthday.

An adventure for the soul and the body.

A time of rest and restoration. A time of resetting my heart, mind, and body.

I am incredibly grateful for a God who answers prayers and who knows me intimately — and it’s my heart’s desire to know Him intimately.

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