Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lewis, Clark, and Me.

I was standing in my kitchen about a month and a half ago, when Adrain walked in, spun me around, and looked deeply into my eyes.  What he said next has been spinning in my brain ever since as I've worked to unravel the deep and unfathomable mystery of God's plan for our lives.  Adrain had just finished reading an article about Lewis and Clark’s exploration that he was able to really relate to.  (I know it sounds crazy... wait for it though.) 

He had read that Meriwether Lewis had advance information that led him to believe once reaching the continental divide, they would be about a half day away from the Columbia river, which would lead them to the Pacific Ocean.  Piece of cake, right? Two long, rigorous years of exploring, struggling, fighting the land, dealing with Indians, navigating uncharted territory, fatigue, hunger, and sever illnesses lay behind them.  It was nearly within their grasp.  They could almost taste the salt spray on their faces, and strained to hear the sounds of waves crashing against the land.  Lewis climbed the bluffs up ahead of his party.  You can imagine his dismay, when he scaled that ridge, looked across, and his eyes were not met with the near end of his journey, and the reward of an ocean view, but rather the massive and imposing sight, of the Rocky Mountain range.   

Adrain’s face crinkled in frustration the day he relayed this story to me, because we had been feeling “so close” to the end of the first part of our journey, only to meet with an impassible mountain range sitting squarely in our path.  We actually happened to be studying the journey of Lewis and Clark in our home school studies, and were able to experience a film on Lewis and Clark at an Imax theatre over spring break.  Being the dork  lover of history that I am, I was super excited about this opportunity. 

I sat, watching the footage splayed across the gigantic screen, all the while, tensely anticipating the moment they would surely show Lewis encountering the Rocky Mountains.  Frankly, I didn’t want the reminder.  What was interesting, was the narrator’s voice interrupted my thoughts, and explained a piece of this story I hadn't heard.  Apparently around the same time the explorers saw the Rockies, they had also been seeking the Shoshone Indian tribe, because they were in desperate need of horses.  They had been looking for the tribe for some time, but had not seen any sign of them.  Lewis stood discouraged, at the top of a ridge, looking into the face of snow capped mountains.  But the very next day, guess who they “just so happened” to bump in to?  Yep.  The Shoshone Indians.  They plunged into horse negotiations, but weren’t getting anywhere in a hurry until Sacagawea “just happened” to recognize her long lost brother across the group.  After hugs and kisses and (presumably) peace pipe passing, (too many John Wayne movies speaking?  Oh. Sorry.)  the joyful reunion resulted in guides and horses for the travel weary men. 

I can’t imagine the things those men must have felt over the next week, as they replayed the events in their minds.  Kind of reminds me of that romantic story I relayed about Ruth, from the bible.  Remember all those, “just then’s” and “as it happened’s?” 

Yeah.  That was cool. (I’m pretty sure none of that story happened coincidentally.) 

Needless to say, I was probably the only woman sniffling and softly crying in an Imax theatre, watching a documentary on Lewis and Clark that day.  But I’m okay with that.  My man sat beside me, and as I sat there thinking deep thoughts, the patting of his hand on my leg told me that he was too.  I glanced up at him and we just smiled at each other, knowing that sometimes when you cry over a Lewis and Clark documentary in an Imax theatre, you’re not really crying over a Lewis and Clark documentary in an Imax theatre.  As the images on the screen changed, Lewis and Clark finally saw the Pacific Ocean.  All I could think was, "I hate the mountains!  I want to see the Ocean too!!"  

I know many of you feel like you are struggling through your own Rocky Mountain pass right now, on your way to the Ocean.  I'm right there, alongside of you.  But in that space of wondering if we'll ever actually make it to the Ocean and see it first hand with our own eyes, or splash our loved ones in the salty water.... we can know that we have a Father that provides just what we need along the way.  I don' know why He doesn't just zap us over those mountains, and when I'm in mid-climb, I have to reign in my emotions and not get mad at Him because He doesn't. The only thing I can think is, if you want to swim the Ocean, maybe you'll need the muscles you built from hiking the mountains. 

Hang in there. One foot in front of the other, and don't forget to take in the view when you stop for a breather.  

"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea."  Psalm 46: 1-2

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  1. hm. well, that's all kinds of awesome. it's funny because our journey landed us in the foothills of the mountains. So many of our obstacles were about leading us TO the mountains...and not over them. I'm speaking literally of course, but I am constantly amazed how God gives us the words and stories and images we need for OUR journey at exactly the right time.

    Get your hiking boots on, girl... it's gonna be a lovely climb. And when you're at the top of that mountain, take a moment and feel that sunshine on your face, that wind blowing through your hair and inhale a deep breath...because once you're at the can head right on down the other side.


  2. this is so good sasha...i'm in such an icky place right now, just having to be patient and wait for something, but i've got so many cool things happening too and i need to remember to take those in too, even though i'm waiting and it sucks! thanks for the reminder :)

  3. Thank you for sharing, Sasha. You're such an encouragement. ♥

  4. Amazing Post!

    I spent 4 years in a horrid marriage, suffered and equally horrid divorce and then had my job, home and tons of things ripped out from under me. Through all of that, God opened my eyes to ME, my sin, my "issues" and my needs. He pulled me closer to him and now I feel my faith is so much stronger.

    I am facing (still) so many huge obstacles, but I feel stronger now. I can make it through this - no matter how tough and unsavory - because I know who has pulled me through everything else so far.

    He has given me "muscles" from hiking through the mountains I have faced. And now, they seem more like little hills than mountains to me!

  5. As usual, what a GREAT post! Hugs! :)

  6. This is *exactly* what my hubby and I needed to hear right now. We are in the process of moving and it is very fusterating. (Maybe you can relate?) ;)

  7. Great post.... joining you as you make that mountain climb. I hear there is a Starbucks at the top from which you can sit, drink and enjoy the view of the ocean.

    "... underneath are the Everlasting Arms"

  8. Thanks, Sash. Several of my loved ones (and myself as well!) needed to hear this tonight.

  9. Thank you so much. My family is in a very similar boat. We have been waiting to move since mid-January... short sale home nonsense. This post was annointed and I appreciate you encouragement. Climbing over those mountains with you girl.


  10. Wow. I'm definitely relating to this post cuz the mountain I'm climbing right now is really high. You really encouraged me and I love the Scripture verse. I continue to pray for you to get your house sold. The market here in Lincoln, NE is picking up and I'm finally getting showings on my listings and am seeing lots of houses go under contract. You'll get an offer soon I bet!!

  11. Beautifully written truth. I love the imagery associated with our struggles. Thanks for the encouragement!

  12. Beautifully said. I really like that"if you want to swim the ocean maybe you need the muscles from climbing the mountains." That is so true of life. Thanks for the reminder that there is light at the end of the tunnel!

  13. That's humbling and beautiful, Sash. I'm watching my dad go through the mountains on his way to the ocean. The climb is rough, but God is faithful. Thanks for the word.

  14. I just found your blog and I hav ebeen reading it for 20 minutes now.I love your chicken wire mem boards,perfect for our family of chicks(we have lots of chickens).
    Please come on over and visit for a while.


  15. Coming out of stalker mode.....Wow, this post is amazing, inspiring and full of truth! Amazing how you are reaching so many women through your mountain climb, it will make the sight of the ocean so much sweeter when you finally reach it! God is Good and Faithful.
    Thanks for your encouragement.

  16. Love this story - I'm a history dork too!
    Sadly so many people are so busy to get to the ocean they miss what the mountains have for them...A closer deeper relationship with God himself. Think of Moses and his mountain climb.
    Enjoy every minute of getting there.
    I've never been one to believe in coincidences...Just confirmations from God.

    Love you girl!

  17. I love this story. SO much that i linked back to you from my facebook page.

    This is wonderful inspiration. Thank you!

  18. I really appreciate the journey you all have gone through these last few months and I totally relate to wanting to feel the water like NOW, but there are other times when I start to get that God is teaching these wonderful virtues that I thought I had (before I had kids and a family) like patience and thankfulness for the grace along the way.

    I'm a dork...I mean history lover too...we're gonna have to check out that IMAX, thanks:)

  19. Beautifully written Sasha - we all seem to encounter those mountains from time to time and it's such a blessing to know that they are there for God's glory and our good!

  20. this was a wonderful post. I dont normally comment but this was just amazing.

  21. Thank you for this! I am at the bottom of the Rockies, looking up at their great heights and wondering how I am ever going to scale them. I'm hoping the ocean appears soon too!

  22. Love this SO much! Thank you for the encouragement. We're feeling a little without a map on the way up those mountains right now... it's good to be reminded that God has the map, and is directing us, even though it may not feel like it at times.

  23. sniffle sniffle. I am so thankful you just open your mouth and share this stuff. (Do you hear that often enough?) I am. Both of the posts I read today soothed my irritated soul.