This past week, I was incredibly blessed to get to take a Mother-Daughter getaway alongside my best friend and her daughter to Atlanta, GA for the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain. I have been counting down to this trip for months as it was my first time to take a trip alone in years and I knew it would be an incredible experience for me and Miss M to have together. I look at her and realize how very quickly she is growing and how very quickly she will be off to college and making her own decisions. I feel like my time to create memories she can look back on is so minimal so I want to take advantage of every moment I can to make as many as possible.
The weekend was filled with vendor booths, amazing food, laughter and amazing views. The entire fair is inside Stone Mountain Park at the foot of the mountain. There are trees everywhere, beautiful landscapes and the weather was so amazing. It was my first fall in almost three years and I loved every moment under the color changing trees with the winds blowing over me.
On our first day, we decided to hike all the way to the top of Stone Mountain. 1,700 feet. To be honest, I was not really sure I could handle it. I am not a physically active individual and I struggle these days with attempting any form of exercise. As we stood at the foot of the mountain and I looked up at this huge beast of beauty in front me, I felt so small and incapable. I was already dreading the racing heart that I knew would soon encompass my chest and I was picturing me defeatedly turning around because honestly, when it comes to physical endurance, I have never had enough and my past history with quitting my physical fitness endeavors is…well, embarrassing to say the least.
And just as I imagined, very quickly into our hike, I was falling drastically behind. My pace was slower than a tortoise. I watched as my friends and daughter zoomed ahead of me while I struggled to breath and slowly make my way over each new rock and slope. Poor Miss M finally got so worried she just stopped and came back for me, certain I was probably not making it.
Each step was more painful and tiring than the last. My chest felt like it might explode from my heart beating so fast and I just wanted to quit. I really did. I wanted to just say, well, I went for a hike. That’s better than nothing. But I kept looking up at that beautiful mountain and wondered what it would be like at the top. What beauty would I miss out on if I didn’t finish the climb?
So I kept going. I had to make a couple brief stops to catch my breath but I pushed and I pushed until, over an hour or so later, I made it to the top. And oh…the beauty that I would have missed if I had given up. I have never seen something so beautiful. I could see for what felt an eternity all around me. The skylines in the distance, the clouds and the way the sun felt as if it was right there with me. Seeing all that beauty made every single bit of the struggle to get there worth it.
Climbing that mountain reminded me a lot of the trials we face in our walk with God. Far too often, it is easy to give up on the things God is calling us to do because the journey to get to the place He is calling us to is far too hard on us. It hurts, it’s uncomfortable, it’s exhausting. So we give up. We just settle for half the journey and turn back when it gets too hard. But imagine the blessings and the beauty that God has waiting for us at the top of that mountain. What if we didn’t turn around and go back? What might we encounter? What might we experience that might make all of that struggle worth it?
As you journey up your mountain of faith, remember that it’s okay to take a break; to catch your breath, to ask God for strength but don’t just give up and turn back around. KEEP CLIMBING. The beauty and blessing that awaits you at the top of that mountain with God will far surpass anything you have laid eyes on at the bottom and I promise you will be so glad that you didn’t give up.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong…” 1 Corinthians 6:13
In Christ’s Love,