Tuesday, September 6

fear and joy.

this weekend was very eventful. friday did not exactly start or end well (though the middle was quite fine). friday started with a 6am fire alarm wakeup... my first one as an RA so that was nervewracking and as always, adrenaline-pumping. friday afternoon i went to pick up our triathlon packets and then headed to the campground where my parents and i would be staying for the weekend. well, long story short, i got rather lost. i thought i was supposed to take highway 90 until i hit 181, so i was just driving along, enjoying the scenery. the road turned to gravel instead of pavement but i didn't think too much of it because i was near/in a national park... well i kept going for quite some time and then came to a sign saying 'highway 90 ends here'. not the best sign to see... at this point my cell phone was almost dead and had no service, i was being arrogant and did not bring my gps and don't have a good map in my car, and also being arrogant, i didn't fill up before i set out so i was practically out of gas, and almost an hour drive away from any gas station. so i turned around, returned to where the triathlon was, got gas, got directions from my friend that lives where the triathlon was and the campground lady, and set out on a different route. i had had intermittent cell service so my mom knew i was lost but didn't hear back for a while after that and therefore was freaking out (and mothers do well ;)). and as i'm leaving the gas station, it starts to pour, like POUR. thanks to the tropical storm or whatever it was Lee, i got to drive to this mysterious campground in the dark and in one of those thunderstorms where you can't see but like 5 ft in front of your car... by this time i was confident enough in finding my way that i just broke down. i haven't cried that hard/much in i don't know when. not just crying, open-mouth, ugly, gasping-for-breath, almost-gagging crying. there was such a mix of emotions. i was so thankful that i was on my way but still scared i wasn't gonna find it, mad at myself for getting in that mess, tired and hungry and just wanting to go home and be with my family... it was just one of those times where you feel completely broken and alone, but i could still feel Him there holding me, that i would make it. powerful.
lately, i've been reading one thousand gifts by ann voskamp. so good. it's really inspiring me to look at EVERY situation with thanks.. that thanks turns into faith and trust. that if we can't find a way to thank God for whatever it is we're in, how can we really believe that where He's put us is best? and that all those thanks are really just reflections of the beauty and love of God. it's so easy to get wrapped up in all the junk and stress and things that can and do go wrong... but we must stop and really look, think, see His love. to breathe in and out thanks, and share that with others. to let yourself rely on other people and God to get you through, realize my little humanity and that i can't do it alone and that others really do care.
like this past weekend, the whole getting lost thing... i could look back at it and just be angry that i got lost and was arrogant and tried to do it myself. or i can look back and see how He brought me through, the little graces of having enough gas to get back to a station, that the rain didn't start until i had gas and directions, that i had people i could call/who called me to help me through, that my mom loves me enough to freak out too, that i finally got to cry and get out all this builtup stuff from the last 6 months or more.. it's all about perspective. finding the joy in the fear.

(oh, and i did make it to the campground, and finish the triathlon the next morning, getting 2nd place (out of 2, but i got a medal!) in my age group and being second from last overall (i dont care, i'm just glad i did it!), and see my closest camp friend :)

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