Premonition

filepicker_6anza3iXQKyKZH7nqcAe_broken_glass_on_the_floor

 

Even though I’d had an early start, I was restless and eager to get to where I was headed. My mind was preoccupied with venturous thoughts and little did I know that my carefree attitude would soon lead to my demise. The drive was relaxing and gave me time to think about what it would be like when I finally got to my destination. These feelings of excitement left me giddy and it was with great anticipation that I drove onward in my quest for adventure.

After a quick stop, I was refreshed and ready to drive the last remaining distance. Once back on the highway, I became briefly flustered, forgetting which way I needed to go. Just as the thought crossed my mind, I passed an alternate highway on my left and wondered if I had just missed my turn.

Panic stricken, I looked into my rear-view mirror and watched the road to the left quickly disappear from view. Remembering that I had seen an exit to the right coming up ahead, I shifted my eyes to the front and began to slide over to the right lane to head for the exit. I suddenly realized that the road was now two lanes instead of three, and the lane I was trying to slide into had suddenly disappeared.

Panicked once again, I veered to the left to avoid the ditch that I was headed for. The sudden swerve left me facing oncoming traffic and after realizing my mistake, I pulled the steering wheel to the left in hopes of avoiding a collision.

Now in a tail spin, the velocity forced me back against my seat. The spinning continued and left the car moving closer and closer to the concrete barrier that now separated the highway. The car skidded towards the barrier faster and faster. The force thrust me against the driver’s side door and at that moment I knew that my life was over.

I thought of my family and how I would never get to see them again; never say goodbye… I thought even if I did make it, I would surely be battered and broken beyond repair. The impact hit with tremendous force and I felt as if I were suffocating. The world became pitch black in that moment. A heaviness engulfed my entire body and I couldn’t move. I didn’t feel any pain, but felt as if I had been buried alive.

I continued to breathe, but the breath was not my own. I felt as if I needed to open my eyes. I needed to awaken and wanted so badly to be able to speak. I had a strong will and desire to break free of whatever constrained me. Even with this overwhelming desire, I couldn’t make my body do what it asked. My chest grew heavier, more constricted. The weight of a thousand bricks was surely upon me and still my chest rose in breath, but no breath did I take. I was frightened by the darkness that I couldn’t escape. Lost in a world that was neither here nor there. Surely this couldn’t be death… or could it?

Day 15 of our 21 day adventure

IMG_1616

Today is finally here. The day I have been looking forward to for months now! We will be hiking up to Angels Landing, but that isn’t the best part; we will also be renewing our vows and I am so excited that I just want to scream! The problem is, it’s 5:00 a.m. and so screaming isn’t allowed at the moment. I must be civilized and act like an adult, like everyone else. Who am I kidding…? I’m surrounded by three boys at the moment, so I’m probably the most mature person around right now.

IMG_1463This morning is much the same as yesterday. I am preparing lunches and packing everything that we will need for the day. We are leaving a little bit earlier today so that we don’t face as many crowds as we did yesterday. As we approach the shuttle, I notice that there are quite a few people here. Most seem to be prepared for climbing, as they are loaded down with ropes and all kinds of other gear that I suppose one might need for that sort of thing.

IMG_1468We arrive at the drop off point for the West Rim trail that will lead us up through Walter’s Wiggle’s; these 21 switchbacks look like a beast to climb. I am ready though and excited to see if I can make it up the 1488 feet that we will need to climb. The hike is 5 miles round trip and the hiking guide shows that it should take us about 5 hours to complete the hike. I am nervous about my 6 yr. old nephew coming with us. This is a strenuous hike and it isn’t recommended for children.

IMG_1493As we make our way up the steep sandstone incline, I start to wonder if I am crazy for attempting this. I have been a stay-at-home mom for several years now and so just walking around the block often wears me out. But I remind myself of our hike up at Mt. Charleston and yesterday’s hike was no cake walk either. It isn’t long before my nephew Levi starts to get tired and my brother David tells me that he may have to turn back if Levi cannot continue on.

IMG_1507Brian and I continue on without Levi and David, hoping that they will catch up to us after they rest for a while. I know that if I stop now, that I may never make it the rest of the way myself. There aren’t too many people on the way up. It’s still really early in the day and I am happy that we decided to leave so early. To my surprise, my brother and Levi catch up to us within a few minutes and I am excited to see them.

IMG_1508After finally making it through all of the switchbacks, we are now at Scout Lookout, which is the saddle that lies between the West Rim trail and Angels Landing. I am thankful that they have bathrooms all the way up here. I would hate to be the one that has to climb up here every day to replace the toilet paper though! Walking over to the beginning of Angels Landing trail, I begin to feel a little apprehensive. This is not for the faint of heart. I can tell by the posted sign that talks about how many people have died falling to their deaths because of the sheer cliffs.

IMG_1510Taking a deep breath, Brian and I proceed to hike the last .5 mile which is what will take us to the final lookout for Angels Landing. There are anchored support chains along the trail to help people climb the steep sandstone ridge. I am able to barely pull myself up the first few chains until I am resting on a large boulder that overlooks the entire park. Great White Throne Mountain is to my left and we are sitting at an elevation of 5,785 ft. The views are breathtaking and horrifying at the same time.

IMG_1511I turn around quickly when I catch something out of the corner of my eye. It turns out that Brian’s lens cap has fallen down from where he is sitting. He is higher up on the boulder than I am and as he reaches for his lens cap, he tears the pocket from the back of his shorts and his wallet begins to fall out too. This is not the place to be trying to catch things that are falling and I am beginning to become very nervous about going any further.

IMG_1518With nothing to hold onto, I start sliding back to one of the anchored support chains. It was hard enough getting up to this point and getting down seems a lot harder. I can’t quite reach the support chain and in front of me is a sheer drop-off into the valley below. If know the only way down is to sort of take a leap of faith from where I am and hope and pray that I can boost myself enough to grab hold of the chain.

IMG_1521It’s getting more crowded by the minute and there is no way to go around the other people that are coming up the trail from the other side. I am forced to hold my breath and reach out as far as I can to grab the anchored support. After what seems like forever, I finally grasp the support and hoist myself down onto the safety of Scouts Lookout below. I have never been so terrified in all my life and yet I am still glad that I am here, living this adventure with the man I love.

IMG_1529David and Levi are waiting for us on Scouts Landing and David decides to see how far he can make it on the Angels Landing Trail. As we wait with Levi, Brian and I begin to set up the camera so that we can film our wedding vows here at the entrance to Angels Landing. Sitting down next to Levi, I am surprised when a chipmunk decides to climb up my back. The squirrels and chipmunks are everywhere, always looking for food.

IMG_1538We haven’t waited very long before my brother returns. He wasn’t able to make it all the way to the end either because there are too many people crowding the paths and making it impossible to reach the end. It’s disappointing, but I think we all are just glad to have made the attempt and we proceed with setting up everything so that we can renew our wedding vows.

IMG_1563David helps steady the camera on the tripod and we take out the vows that we have written to each other and begin the short ceremony. Brian goes first and because of the noisy groups of people in the background, I can hardly hear what he is saying. Once he is done saying his vows, a bunch of people begin to clap. I am surprised that people have actually stopped and are watching our little ceremony. Feeling flustered by the onlookers, I begin to read the vows that I have written to Brian.

IMG_1578We have had a very hard year. The hardest year of our marriage so far. These vows mean more to us than anyone else will ever know or understand. Because of the problems that we have recently faced in our marriage and in our family, we knew that we needed a fresh start. To be able to start over and begin anew has meant the world to me.

IMG_1581When I first met Brian and when we were married 21 years ago, Brian wasn’t a believer and I wasn’t sure if he ever would be. It didn’t matter to me though, I loved him and that’s all I knew at that time. I didn’t think that his beliefs would ever be an issue in our marriage and honestly, I didn’t really care one way or another at that point. I just wanted to be with someone who cared about me and loved me, and who would be by my side for the rest of my life.

IMG_1587Years later, I would come to realize what this decision would cost me and my family more than I would ever know. I finally understood what being unequally yoked meant and certainly paid the price because of it. Do I regret my decision? No, of course not… but life would have been a whole lot simpler had we spoken about our religious views before we were married and if we had worked on that first.

IMG_1602God has been gracious to us though and it has been 9 years now since Brian became a Christian. It has made all the difference in our marriage and even though things will never be perfect, we can now get through the hard times a little bit easier because we have our heavenly father who ties us together even in the worst of times.

 

To be continued…

Michael W. Smith – Place In This World

Love these old 80’s songs…  I never get tired of Michael W. Smith.

I think most people would say that they’re searching for their place in this world.  How about you, have you found where you want to be?

The wind is moving
But I am standing still
A life of pages
Waiting to be filled
A heart that’s hopeful
A head that’s full of dreams
But this becoming
Is harder than it seems
Feels like I’m

Looking for a reason
Roaming through the night to find
My place in this world
My place in this world
Not a lot to lean on
I need Your light to help me find
My place in this world
My place in this world

If there are millions
Down on their knees
Among the many
Can You still hear me?
Hear me asking
Where do I belong
Is there a vision
That I can call my own?

Show me, I’m

Looking for a reason
Roaming through the night to find
My place in this world
My place in this world
Not a lot to lean on
I need Your light to help me find
My place in this world
My place in this world

Looking for a reason
Roaming through the night to find
My place in this world
My place in this world
Not a lot to lean on
I need Your light to help me find
My place in this world
My place in this world

Looking for a reason
Roaming through the night to find
My place in this world
My place in this world

 

Escaping Icy Prisons

Having our first snow in Wisconsin today and it brought me back to thinking about the story of Noah. We always think back to the end of the flood, as being a happy time where all of the animals went on their merry way and a beautiful rainbow then formed in the sky. But what if this really wasn’t the case at all? We won’t know for sure until we stand before God one day, but I wonder what it was like and I don’t believe for a second that it was a very easy task. Have a blessed day and thanks for reading!