Have you ever been doing something so unordinary, so routine, so mindless, and suddenly something catches your senses and draws you back into the past? Maybe a sound, a glimpse, or a smell?
This happened to me last night as I was trudging down a hill, sweating, huffy, puffing, trying hard not to think of how tired I was. I recently purchased a new backpack for hiking and before I get it out on the trail this weekend I have been filling it up each and every night and marching 5-7 miles around my neighborhood.
Most nights I take the same boring route, but last night I decided to go wild and switch things up. This new route added a fairly large hill that I knew I was going to struggle with climbing back up with my full pack. Just as I was descending the hill…I stopped dead in my tracks.
This is what I saw… but it was the SMELL that took me back……
Back almost 20 years when I was a counselor at a Missions Camp for the Tennessee Baptist Convention. For 7 glorious weeks each summer for 5 years, I lived in the woods with several other college ladies, singing camp songs, swimming in creeks, playing in skits, and leading bible study for hundreds of girls aged 8-12 years. It was and still is, one of the most rewarding times of my youth. This is where I found 3 of my future roommates, and a multitude of life long friends.
There was something in the smell of the trees I was passing that transported me back in time. My mind suddenly became flooded with special memories I hadn’t thought of in YEARS. I recalled songs we sang, silly pranks we pulled, and I remembered dear sweet faces that I hadn’t seen in a very long time.
I thought of how much has happened since that young 20 year old drove away on her very first adventure by herself. The laughs, the tears, the failures, the victories….it all seems like it was forever ago, but it also seems like it just happened yesterday.
I look at these faces now I can almost hear the giggles and chatter. Oh how young I was! Full of anticipation for the years ahead. If only I could tell her what I know now….
-Cherish these moments….they will be gone soon. You will be adults with jobs, husbands, kids. You’ll be scattered all over the country. You’ll remain close, but THESE are the moments to cherish…. RIGHT NOW.
-Don’t stress over wanting a husband. God has some amazing things planned for you, and regardless of what you think….you’ll NEVER be alone.
-Hold tight to these ladies….you are going to need them later on, and at some point, they are going to need you too.
– In a couple of years you are going to think you have it all figured out… YOU DON’T. Trust God to lead you and embrace the changes ahead.
-There are some rough times headed your way… but don’t fret….what’s waiting on the other side is AMAZING!!!!!!
For 25 minutes I sat on the side of the road and I spent time with my memories, taking in the intoxicating smell of pine, honeysuckle, and fresh earth that make me go back in time. I arose, feeling refreshed and blessed. Right here in the middle of a road, on the side of a massive hill, I was reminded of how rich my life is and how much I have been given, and just how far I have truly come.