Do you have just a moment?
When I first started this Blog, I promised myself, and you, my readers, that I would always write truth…. even if it wasn’t pretty.
Normally, I go through life pretty upbeat and content. I am firm believer that life is too good to be grumbly, cranky, worried, fearful, or lazy. God has given us so much, and it is up to us to go out and enjoy it.
But sometimes life can be hard.
One day the birds are singing, the sun is shining, and you have pep in your step. The next it is cold, damp, and you are dragging your feet.
Throughout my life I have been fairly confident, however from time to time those pesky voices show up and take residence inside my head.
That is what happened to me this week.
Saturday I set off on a pretty big adventure. I was going to walk/hike the 11 mile loop road in Cades Cove. This is a beautiful area in the mountains where a community once thrived before the National Park Service took ownership of it in the 1930’s. I have driven and biked the loop a thousand times, but I had never seen it from foot.
Until this past weekend.
I grabbed my two hiking buddies and off we went.
The weather was PERFECT. It seemed winter had finally left and Spring was here.
Things started off great. We walked with gusto, and the steep hills and occasional traffic didn’t bother us at all. “Piece of cake” I thought. I even stopped to play in the daffodils just starting to bloom.
And take in the breath taking views
It took us just right at 2 hours to go the 6 miles to the grist mill to rest and have a snack. After spending an hour there we knew we needed to finish up. It was Noon, and we wanted to get done fairly quickly.
If you have ever been to Cades Cove you know the last 5 miles are the hardest. The road narrows, the ups and downs are more frequent, and typically this is where traffic gets backed up from stopping to look at the views or finding a bear.
My mood began to plummet. The sun was unrelenting, and there was little shade. I was low on water, and good spirits. It was hard. My feet hurt. I was hot. I was thirsty. I was tired. I was done.
I have done harder walks then this. I have hiked some steep mountains in some pretty nasty conditions, yet this one was going to be the one to do me in.
That’s when the voices appeared:
“You are such a wimp. What made you EVEN think you could do this?”
“Are you sure you are strong enough to hike the ENTIRE Appalachian Trail?”
“You are going to quit.”
“Give up now while you can. “
I went on to finish fairly quickly, however instead of feeling a sense of accomplishment in what I had just done, I was defeated in my mind.
Who am I to tackle such feats? What makes me think that I won’t flake on the next hard trail or road I chose to tackle?
All week those voices chattered. They NEVER stopped.
“You are NEVER going to accomplish what you think you can!”
“People will laugh at you when you fail. And you WILL fail.”
For two days I walked around…defeated.
Then yesterday, out of the blue, I got a text at work. It was just one simple picture.
The friend who sent it to me, had no idea the struggle I was going through. She just felt compelled to share it with me.
God, once again, You humble me and remind me that I accomplish NOTHING on my own. It is always YOUR strength that pushes me through.
I write this because I want you to know I am NOT perfect. Several have commented that they love how cheery, upbeat, and positive I am. Most of the time that is true. However, I sometimes feel bleak, hopeless, and unworthy.
What makes me so positive is the way God shows up each and every time I fall into the pit of self doubt, frustration, and anxiety.
Life isn’t always fun. It isn’t always sunshine, rainbows, and roses. Sometimes we have to deal with the rain, the muck, and the stink. However, what matter is what we do during the crappy times. When we fall, do we stay down? Or do we get up, dust ourselves off, and go out and try again?
Life is a phenomenal adventure. Don’t let the opinions of others or those pesky voices in your head keep you from living it to the fullest.
Now…excuse me as I go serve an eviction notice to the crazies living in my head.