Since I am a woman of faith. One who speaks of God, and His power, of Jesus and His presence living inside of us when we ask Him to wash us clean from our sin...it is hard to reconcile these two realities. A woman of faith who experiences fear.
On Saturday, I made my husband turn around instead of going around this corner: (it looked WORSE in person, trust me!)
The road seemingly continued to narrow with the "look-out-below!" getting deeper and having rolled in a car once when I was a passenger while we were going around an outer curve, I simply didn't want to feel the fear. We were looking for a lake, the road was going on forever and we wondered if we had already seen it in the pond we had just passed since we were going UP. (And who thinks a lake might be UP a mountain?) So he graciously pulled the truck into the expanded area on the left of the photo and I got out to take pictures. Soon a little truck came around this corner and slowed as I approached to talk to me. "YES there is a lake, it's beautiful... just spittin' distance away...you are almost there! GO!"
I considered walking up for a brief second. Really I did! But I got in, them having come around the curve giving me courage. It really was no big deal, but my mind...
Here is what we would have missed due to my fear: (I am learning that there is grace for my fear)
You see, I used to think God would be severely irritated with me for not honoring Him with faith enough to overcome my fears. I used to think He had a short fuse; that He had little patience. (EVEN THOUGH I read love is patient....love is kind...and God is love.....) But He is enabling me to experience his loving kindness, tenderness and patience in facing my fears with such grace. My husband was understanding and not frustrated with me. The couple came at just the right time to encourage me on up. And the best was yet to come.
Our plan for the next day was to go to Red Lodge and visit my cousin. I had driven from MN to Red Lodge when I was 16 years old with my younger sister and my cousin of the same age as me. I had experienced such anxiety driving up the narrow mountain road with no guard-rail and a trail of (I imagined) irritated drivers behind me anxious for this rookie to get out of the way, that I acquired hives upon my return from the trip. Stress causes them the Doctor said.
Just thinking of that experience on the way down this time made me feel anxious and feel short of breath! Little did I know that my cousin, who once had worked at the Red Lodge ski area had been working on the top of Beartooth Pass for the greater part of 30 years and would invite us to ride up that pass with him and his wife.
I thought, "how bad could it be? He commuted up there daily after all..."And then when I saw the road up. And how high it was. And how scary it looked. I sucked it up as best as I could. It helped immensely that I was in the back seat with his wife and my experienced cousin was driving (I kept reminding myself of that fact). My husband agrees that had he been driving, I would have made him turn around. (and he said he was proud of me when we got down, that I had done very well. :))
So a woman of faith who has fears finds grace in a God who is loving and patient and who lovingly orchestrates opportunities to show her that very thing.
Now I want to shout it from the mountain, I'm not the same as I used to be....
and I will continue to wonder about the power of faith and how little I must have if it only takes a teeny amount to move one of these Magnificent Monuments of God's Might.