We learn so much more about ourselves during challenging seasons than we ever would during times of celebration. Yes, it hurts. No, it’s not comfortable. It’s not even anything that we would have chosen for ourselves, but it is worth it.
When I was hiking yesterday I started thinking about the first hike I ever went on because it started during one of the hardest seasons of my life-emotionally. The summer after college, I traveled to California to complete an unpaid internship in preparation for my job. Even though my dad had given me money for my new apartment’s deposit, as an adult, the first month’s rent was on me. Needless to say, I was saving every penny, and I had absolutely no money for the shopping sprees some of the girls took every weekend. I didn’t have an interest in spending 8 hours at the beach with the other girls, either. I hadn’t taken my car with me so I was dependent on everyone else, and oooh whee it was uncomfortable!
However, I knew I had to get out of my room because I was a mess. I was trying to get over a dramatic break up, learn how to do life away from the people I’d called friends for years, and live in an area where I had no family and an incredibly intense schedule.
Thankfully, two of the people I knew invited me to go hiking.
Is it free? Yes
How long will we be gone? About 4 hours
Are you driving? Mm hmm.
I had no clue what to expect on that first hike, but it was surprisingly refreshing. The fresh air and the views were everything I needed to get my mind off of what I’d left and find gratitude for the things I still had. I started hiking every weekend, and I cannot imagine who I’d be had I never started.
I learned I enjoyed hiking when I took the time to love myself beyond the temptation to self medicate or hide under the covers in bed, and it’s still the thing I do when I need help finding gratitude for the things I have left. It’s the thing I do when I need to clear my head. It’s the thing I do when I need a change of scenery. And it always works.
I started out on a few strenuous hikes, but if you’re a newbie, you can go on an easy hike which is basically a walk. State and national parks usually have information about which trails are easiest at the entrance to the park so don’t get overwhelmed.
You’re learning something about yourself in this season. Explore it.
Can I share Romans 8:28 with you?
And we know that God causes EVERYTHING to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.