Faith Say’s Yes, When The World Says No……

There are many days when I need a shot in the arm of “Get Over It”. This past month, my family and I were on a trail hiking in the Tetons. Now this particular trail is what you would consider a moderate hike. In hiking terms, you have easy, moderate and difficult. The 6-mile trail leads to a beautiful waterfall and a place called “Inspiration Point.”  On this day, I would receive a gift of inspiration from an unexpected source.

Walking through the beautiful pines and traversing along the lake shore, you cannot help but believe that God is real. Everywhere you look, life and beauty abound. But as in life, we sometimes take our abilities for granted. Just like the trail, in life, we have to walk over stones, through creek beds, around obstacles and sometimes we quit because the trail is too difficult. It was at a very steep point where I met Sandy. She and her family were from Kentucky and she was part of a dance troop. She and her team were traveling to Canada for a dance competition. Now at this point you are probably wondering, what is the inspiration? As my family and I were walking up the steep rocky path, we noticed how slow a group in front of us was going. I had already been complaining about my legs hurting and my back giving me fits, and now to have to take this steep part so slowly was not helping.

As we finally reached the top of this rocky plateau, the group in front moved over to the side, except for two individuals; one who was walking normally, and the other who was placing her every step very methodically, then strategically placing her hand crutches with fierce determination. I stopped in absolute awe as this young lady would place her left leg at one point on the trail and, with great effort, drag her right leg up to the same point. The crutches she was using were the metal type, with a metal support around the wrists and handles below to rest your hands.

Picture if you will, this steep and challenging hiking trail, full of rocks, branches, wet and muddy areas, boulders over six feet tall in many places, not to mention the strong possibility of encountering a bear at any point. As we continued to make our way up to the falls, I noticed her friend occasionally placing a hand on the back of the young lady with crutches (Sandy), and I would hear Sandy say “no, I can do it.” At one point I heard her say, “Please, I have to do this on my own!” Her determination and faith to say yes, when the world would likely say no was astounding.

Now, most of you who know me, know I had to meet this young lady. As Sandy and her friend made their way to the falls, I took advantage of their next rest stop. I quickly introduced myself and inquired of them. I found out that Sandy was 23 years old. She was one of the original dancers of this team from Kentucky, and had been dancing since she was 5 years old. She had chosen to remain with the team to continue to offer guidance and help with choreography. She told me that, at the age of 18, her doctors had given her the diagnosis of MS (Multiple sclerosis), and said that she would be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She said her doctors told her she had the worst form of MS and to expect very little mobility as she got older. With a beautiful smile and a resolute tone in her voice, she said to me, “God is my source and my provider; it is through my faith and determination that I will not be beat. I know God can heal, and I am going to move forward to receive my healing.” At this point, I was in tears and I just knew the mountain itself might shake at any moment with joy. At the end of our conversation, as I moved on up the mountain, I heard Sandy say, “Have a Blessed Day!”

You know, we all have so much to be thankful for. No matter how difficult our circumstances, we have an opportunity to serve the One who walks with (and often carries) us through our hardest times. So, I am even more determined, thanks to Sandy, to place every step, every move, every word, every thought very purposefully toward the open, encouraging arms of my Father. I will NOT allow the world to tell me something cannot be done. Rather, I will keep pressing on and, in faith, demonstrate that… with God, ALL things are possible. Love you all and Blessings, r

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photo by Cameron Holt

 

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