I have been a Justice of the Peace for almost 20 years, and 99% of the weddings I have officiated have taken place in a chapel, a conservatory, a park, or someone's home.
So when a friend asked me to officiate her wedding at a local State park in the middle of July, I wasn't concerned. I had definitely dealt with my share of hot days while officiating weddings in New England over the years. But when I arrived at the park dressed in my usual wedding attire (black pants, heels and a jacket), she pointed to the beginning of a trail. “By the way, we have to hike to our ceremony location.” My heart dropped. She didn’t know this, but I had never hiked before.
I took a breath, smiled and said “Sounds like fun!” As we walked, that tiny voice in my head said things like: “you’ll NEVER make it to the top of that mountain,” and “you should have turned back a long time ago!” But I simply put one foot in front of the other and within an hour we were at the summit! The view was gorgeous!
As I officiated the wedding, eagles swooped above our heads and birds chirped in the distance. As they said their vows, the sun began to set.
As we walked back down the mountain, I thought about how worried I had been when we first stepped foot onto the trail. I really didn’t believe I had it in me to hike for an hour. But then I remembered one of the first Bible verses I ever learned: Philippians 4:13, which says: I can do all things through him who strengthens me
What did I learn that day?
Feel the fear, but move your feet!
Even though I had no idea how long the hike would be, or how high the peak would be. So instead of worrying about how long I would have to walk, I just put one foot in front of the other
No matter what the small voice says, I AM strong!
I reflected on all the ways I had been strong in my life. I birthed a baby, for goodness sakes! So a little 1 hour hike would be nothing compared to that.
Focus on the destination
I had seen the view from mountain tops many times in movies, in photos and online. But none of those images compared to the image that is now forever embedded in my brain from that day.
I have to be honest: I have not hiked since that day. But I know now that I am able to, if the opportunity presents itself again.
Are you facing a challenge and you don’t know if you’ll make it through? Pray about it and get moving! Trust that God has equipped you with all the tools you need to be successful.
Mama. Wife. Poet. Teacher. Maniac.