My oldest daughter recently turned ten and for her birthday she waned to go up to Lake Tahoe to celebrate. I thought it was a great idea, as a matter of fact, I made it my mission to convince my Husband to take us up there! You should have seen how excited I was about all the fun we would have. I had everything all planned out. The whole family was looking forward to it, however there was one thing that I couldn’t plan for…the road up the mountain.
I grew up on the plains of Georgia, so I always wanted to see mountains, but it wasn’t until we moved out west that I actually got my chance. That’s when I found out that I’m prone to car sickness! That’s right, apparently curvy mountain roads above 5,000 feet make my stomach turn, and my ears pop relentlessly. I was fine as we began the climb up, but the higher up we went the more uncomfortable I became. I started having thoughts about turning around, or how I wish we would have gone skating instead. My husband was trying to get me to, “loosen up and enjoy the beauty around me,” but I was not able to do that! My oldest son, who also gets car sick, had forced himself into falling asleep.
I was anxious and uptight the whole two hour drive up to Tahoe! It was pretty rough for me, and there were plenty of times when I begged Hubby to please just turn around or knock me out! I was done, I wanted to quit and go home! Along the way there were some things too beautiful to pass up so we stopped at the observation areas and took a few pictures. We all hopped back in the car and continued up the mountain. Finally, we were only about twelve miles away and we saw more warning signs about falling rocks and curvy roads, and then I looked up and noticed this huge snow covered mountain that is so close that it looked like I could reach out and touch it! The kids were so excited and I made the mistake of looking over and out the passenger side window. We were so high up that I immediately got dizzy, and I told my husband I was going to be sick. His response was, “Just take a deep breath and calm down.”
Thankfully I did mange to calm down and not throw-up all over the front seat. When I finally lifted my head we were there. We had finally made it to Tahoe and it was the most beautiful place that I had ever been. Honestly it was breathtakingly gorgeous. I loved the mountains, the strong scent of pine in the air, and the water was so clear and blue! I feel like the sky was bluer than what I’m use to and the scenery, OMG!! I have never in my life seen so many log cabins and Chalet’s in one place. The trees were all so tall and the people all seem so happy and care free. We went to the lake and had the best time ever, and all I cold think about was how glad I was that we didn’t quit and turn around!
I instantly realized that the trip was worth all the trouble. I felt like I was getting a sneak peek of what heaven must be like. That’s when it dawned on me, hard roads can sometimes lead us to the most beautiful places. In life we all have seasons where we feel like we’re on the back side of the mountain, or journeying through the valley. It’s in those tough times I believe that God is creating in us a clean heart and renewing a right spirit with in us. We need those mountains to climb and those hard roads that make us want to quit, turn around and give up. These are the times when our character is developed and created. Those challenging roads are critical to shaping what kind of people we will become.
I know you all are probably very tired of hearing me say how important adversity is to personal growth and spiritual development. After the fact when I realized that I didn’t die, I could admit that I was scared and that my fear of falling off a cliff, ruined the beautiful drive up the mountain for me. I’m no expert in car sickness, but the root of my car issues seem to be based on high elevations and curvy roads! Knowing that about myself brought up the question, “how many times have I quit half way up the mountain?” How many times did I get so close to breaking through and seeing the splendid beauty of what was on the other side of my struggle. I truly wonder how many things I could have accomplished if I hadn’t let my fears stop me.
I feel like looking back the mountain road is what God uses to turn us into more than conquerors. It’s what He uses to build our muscles and to teach us how to fight the good fight of faith. Tonight as I write this post, I’m so thankful for every mountain and every trial. I’m so grateful that I serve a God who has shown me over and over again that He is everything that I need.
Have you been up the mountain lately? Let me hear about it in the comments!