“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
So this is our final night. Tomorrow, Lord willing, we will be tucked into our beds at our house with hopefully much of the unpacking done. Today while driving Josh commented how we never have time to blog like we would like when we are out. We have talked about our next trip and that we will try to stay in one place for longer so life can be at a tad slower pace. Our internet connection is also always a stumbling block when uploading pics or video so when we get home we have a lot to catch up on!
This trip has stretched me far greater than I thought possible in a 5 week time. I went into this trip with a lot of fear. Fear of driving so much and so far from home. Fear of driving through the mountains while towing 8,000 pounds behind us. Fear of wildlife and keeping all the kids safe. Fear of running into bad weather. Fear of jumping into already organized ministries and hoping they would welcome all our clan even though some of them are small and in many peoples eyes not old enough to serve alongside adults. Now worrying is most definitely in my genes. My grandma worries enough for both of us when we go on these trips. Before we left she was convinced that we were going to be sucked up by a tornado or taken away by floods in Texas. She told me countless times to hold everyone’s hands so no one would fall into the Grand Canyon. That a rattlesnake could be lurking around every corner and I won’t start on the bears. Now all these things were legitimate things that could happen. So I have spent much time praying for safety these days.
We hiked where there were many dangers and whenever I felt that fear rise up I would give it to the Lord immediately and enjoy the moment. There was just one hike where I couldn’t. It was where a Star Wars scene had been filmed so Blake was super excited to go. The hike right before had been desolate but there were a few other people there hiking through the Redwoods. When we got to this trailhead we were the only ones there and would remain the only ones there. It was dark from the tall canopy of the massive trees and it was eerily quiet. Did I mention the trail was named Grizzly Pass? We made it through most of the hike but ended up turning around a little early because I just wanted to be back in my safe vehicle! Now supposedly there have not been grizzly sightings there in decades but it just felt like something was staring at us. Blake said it was probably just the Ewoks. This didn’t ease my fears.
This last week has been incredibly tough. It started off with me having terrible stomach troubles. The same thing happened on our last trip so I didn’t think much of it. Last Saturday I was crying and begging Josh to just take me home. I started feeling a tad better and even hiked on Monday. The next day two of the kids were the sickest I’ve ever seen. I really didn’t know what to do so I just prayed for wisdom and healing. The following day those two were on the mend but the other four were now sick. It was an exhausting day. I basically went from one kid to the next cleaning up buckets and trying to offer some comfort. For seven straight hours we didn’t go more than ten minutes without somebody getting sick. Sweet Hannah then went into one her migraines and cried for most of the night. The next morning I was exhausted. We had many tears of kids begging us to stay where we were because they still felt so sick. Staying was not an option as the RV resort was booked and we really needed to try and make miles towards home. Hannah and I rode in the trailer because she could not sit up. I sat next to her and I read Psalms. The first Psalm I turned to was 125.
Those who trust in the Lord
Are like Mount Zion,
Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
So the Lord surrounds His people
From this time forth and forever.
I just read that verse over and over again which then brought a favorite song/Proverb of the kids to mind.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
I felt refreshed and felt like I could do anything set in front of me. Which would be tested much sooner than I would have imagined. About 90 minutes into the drive I felt that we had pulled over and stopped. It was really early for a gas stop but thought maybe Josh just wanted to get it early. I was wrong. Josh had come down with the stomach bug and needed to lie down. He asked if I thought I could drive. I had never driven while towing the trailer and I really had no intention of doing it on this trip. At first I said I didn’t think I could. But after about 5 minutes I realized that I had no choice unless I wanted to stay in the gas station parking lot with a car full of kids who were recovering from the days before. I set Hannah up a bed on the back seat and loaded her in. As I locked my husband in the trailer I got a few last minute tips and I took deep breath and got behind the wheel. Blake gave a “You got this mom” and we were off. It was terrifying at first but I finally relaxed a little. Then we hit a high wind area. I made it through. There was a whole lot of praying going on from that drivers seat.
You hear people say, “God will not give us more than we can handle.” They get that from 1 Corinthians 10:13. But if you read that verse it talks about temptation and not trial. I personally think that we can go through things that we can not handle. But there is nothing that God can’t handle. So as long as you have your focus on Him then you need not fear or worry. If you try to deal with things in your own strength though you will most definitely be overwhelmed. It also really helps to have others praying alongside you! I most definitely have felt the prayers these last few days!!!!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.