“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Clothe Yourself With Strength and Dignity
Even When You Are Hiking the Grand Canyon

 Looking Over Ooh Aah Point and Cedar Ridge from Yavapai Point 
(Saturday, almost 24 hours after the hike.)
Anthony brings the tripod to capture the three of us!
On Friday, we hiked to Ooh Aah Point (and Cedar Ridge) from the South Kaibab Trailhead in the Grand Canyon.  It was a 1.8 mile hike down into the canyon.  Descending 1200-1500 feet.  And with all the ooohing and aahhing we did... it took about 2 hours to get down to our goal destination.  We took the recommended amount of water per person.  We lathered the sunscreen.  We had hats and light clothing.  We had a lunch and snacks.  And we took plenty of rest breaks and photo op breaks.

Needless to say that this 43-year old mama was pretty durn proud of herself when she reached Ooh Aah Point (and Cedar Ridge).  Success!  What a goal for me... and what a view.  360 degrees of Grandiosa Canyon!  We were IN the canyon.  Seeing vistas that a majority of visitors would never see.  It was hot, but worth it.  We sat eating our lunch and swatting off the very aggressive red ants.  Looking at every detail far and near.

And then it was time.  Huh?  So, what you are telling me is that the real goal... the real success... would be getting this mama out of the canyon!  Still with plenty of water and rest, we headed back the way we came.  I knew it wouldn't be as scenic this time.  It would require every ounce of energy I could muster to get myself to the top.  

Worried?  Yup, he was.  Anthony was worried that I might suffer heat exhaustion.  So he hiked behind me.  Step by step.  Checking me every so often.  And making me rest and cool off as best as he could.  But the inevitable happened... and I was starting to suffer... and we knew it.  Our beloved water was becoming rarer and rarer.  Time to pray?  For sure!

And who would have imagined it?  But that a light rain began to pour down on us.  Just at the right time.  What a gift from God... because we knew without the blessing of raindrops we were going to have a situation on our hands.  It cooled my body temperature and I was able to pull/drag/tug/heave myself out of the canyon. 

She is clothed with strength and dignity... 
Proverbs 31:25

And as I was relishing my success... and dousing myself in water that was now so readily available... I found a rock to sit on as we waited for the bus to take us back to the car.

And as if I needed an example to share about my insecurity... I was about to get it.  Like it or not.  As we were waiting, I overheard a group of twenty-somethings say something about "how tired she looked... how worn out... how ragged."  And I looked up.  And they were all staring at me.

Immediately, almost instinctively, my head went straight down in shame.  I felt shame.  I knew how I looked.  I hadn't brought make-up or a hair curler or even a brush.  Barely any jewelry.  And even my top and shorts didn't quite match.  I knew my face was flushed red.  And I was still struggling to get my breathing back to normal.

And then almost as immediately, I felt this strange urge within me.  Shame?  I have NOTHING to be ashamed about it.  I am the same woman who was so proud of herself for pushing through and finishing this hike.  I am the same woman who decided not to worry with makeup.  Not to worry with my hair.  I was the one who decided to seek comfort over couture.  

And then in my strength and dignity, 
I raised my head.  
And looked them square in the eyes.  
And then I smiled.  
And my insecurity vanished 
as quickly as it came.

I have to admit that I am not sure of which instance I am more proud of... conquering the hike to and from Ooh Aah Point... or so instantly refusing insecurity to get the best of me.  Both things took a lot of hard work to do.  And I will always treasure the day that I hiked with my family and I will look at the photos and have the memories with me.  But knowing that I am getting to a point where I am not allowing my feelings and actions and reactions to be controlled by my insecurity... well, you know... that... is... PRICELESS!

Whether you are taking a hike... or trying to overcome your insecurity... make sure to invite some friends to go along with you!  I am so very grateful for the women who joined me this summer as we said, "So Long, Insecurity!"  We will complete our study on this Tuesday, but we are not finished.  We will continue on the journey, but this time we have one another!  Thank you, precious sisters, who helped me stay in the Word this summer.

Wordle: summer names 2


gideonmommasita said...

Both are equally proud moments. Beautiful, inside and out!

Everyday with Ethan said...

This is so poignant. So often when have worked through such hard and painful times we come out the other end ragged looking. Only to have that glance by another that can be such set back.

We can never know the journey of another and if you ask me I think you look organic, fresh and beautiful.

Laura said...

I absolutely love this! Many years ago my son and I hiked to the top of a small mountain in our area with another mother and her son. When we reached the top I was barely able to move. As I sat there recovering,a little child...maybe five years old came scampering past me after having made the same hike! At first, I felt humiliated, but it didn't take long before the pride and satifaction set in over what I had accomplished, regardless of what anyone else did or said! I'm very proud of YOU! Great job!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Seeing your victory (and your exhaustion) reminds me of the recent vlog I did after running. If I thought about it long enough, I would have cleaned up a bit. That being said, most victories aren't pretty. Instead, they're filled with the blood, sweat, and tears of surrender!

You wear it well, sister! Congrats on the ascent.


Cynthia said...

You are my Hero! For hiking that hike, for overcoming a real temptation-I love how you described that moment, and for being transparent, vulnerable and Real so that we can share in your victory. You are Amazing!! So very Proud of you!!