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B​y: Mary Martin

When I decided to go on this trip many people asked me why? I asked myself why? Why would you put yourself in so much discomfort? Why would you choose to do this? Believe me when I say I asked myself that every day I was on this trip. It was uncomfortable. I was not prepared enough – physically and emotionally. I was anxious on the trail. Why was I there? I could have stayed home and stayed comfortable. Looking back I realized that I learned so much more from pushing through this trip then I could have never learned sitting at home.

Day one. On Sunday, we loaded on to the train from Durango, Colorado with just our packs. We were headed to Needleton where we would leave all civilization behind for almost a week. The thought of this while we were standing in Durango wasn't too daunting, but when we were getting off the train it seemed impossible. We headed down the trail, some of us were excited, others were pretty apprehensive, but we walked away in spite of that all. The first day was pretty flat with some incline, but overall doable. We walked about six miles before getting to camp. We ate pizza that night, and pretty much headed to bed soon after to rest up for the next day.

Day two. Probably one of the hardest days for me. I already didn't want to keep going, I just wanted to turn around. Facing this pass was hard, and I usually run from hard things. We did the bottom part pretty easily, and I thought that it wasn't going to be as bad as I had thought. I was wrong. It was so much harder than I had imagined. I started getting very anxious, and didn't want to go on. Pretty soon everyone was way ahead of me except Clayton who was stuck with me. As we got closer and closer to the top I wanted to stop more and more. I could see everyone getting to the top, but it didn't matter that we were close. I didn't care to join them up there. I just wanted to sit down. At one point I turned around and asked Clayton if I could have a drink of water. He said, "No, we aren't taking any breaks. We are getting to the top." Throughout that stretch Clayton kept encouraging me to go. At this point I was feeling super anxious, out of breath, tired and almost angry at Clayton for not letting me stop. That night when we got back to camp I had a chance to think through that situation more. I realized how much that is my attitude in trials. I just want to stop. I want to numb myself. I want to be comfortable again. I just want a little rest. When things get hard I like to run away. When I don't get those things I can easily get angry at God. This isn't the way God wants us to face trials. He wants us to rely on Him, and push through. Suffering is supposed to produce endurance (Romans 5:3-4). If I continually shy away from it or numb myself to it I will never have endurance to push through. Another thing that stuck out to me was the fact that I would have never made it up if it wasn't for the people up there waiting for me and Clayton behind me encouraging me and not letting me stop. Community is so important for one to be able to push through.

Day three. We got to the campsite early, and got to take a bath in the stream which was freezing, but super refreshing! A group of us played Frisbee golf until late afternoon. This was such a good time to relax and get ready for the next day. The hard thing every day was waking up, and realizing that you had to hike x amount of miles in order to rest again. The hikes were beautiful and definitely worth it. Most of them weren't even that hard, although there were some hard ones. It was just daunting to think of how far we had to go. Bandaging blisters, putting boots on and putting that pack back on day after day wasn't fun. It was such a tangible picture of obedience though. Obedience isn't always fun. When God says I want you to go here when all you want to do is stay is hard. The hardest part is getting going. When Jeremy said, "Packs on!", I had to submit to that and do what he said. When God says to go, we have to submit to that no matter what it means we are leaving behind or what we are going to face in the going. No matter how hard obedience is, it's always worth it.

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Monday, 20 August 2018