What a year it has been!
I think back to this summer when I had the opportunity to live in Colorado. Having worked in Colorado Springs, I was in the prime location to be able to achieve one of my lifelong dreams: to visit and stand at the top of Pike’s Peak (part of the Rocky Mountain range). I remember learning about the mountain range in my social studies class in fourth grade, and since then I had always desired to see it.
During my time in Colorado, I met an amazing and sweet couple that lived near my work, and they volunteered to drive me to the top of Pike’s Peak one day.
The drive to the top is absolutely terrifying. The roads are winding with sharp turns, with no railing to guard you from the edge with thousands of feet of a drop. There were a few moments I did find myself gripping the side of the door, my knuckles white as I tried to enjoy the scenery without looking down too much.
After the nearly hour-long drive to the top of Pike’s Peak, we arrived at an elevation of 14,115 feet. I quickly made my way over to one rocky edge of the peak, and my breath was instantly taken away.
All you could see for miles were mountains. These mountains had peaks and valleys, and I was at a vantage point that allowed me to view all of them perfectly. I was also able to view the road I had driven up, seeing the different places I had enjoyed the ride and where I had been nervous.
I know I’m not the only person who was in awe of the scenery. In 1893, a woman by the name of Katharine Lee Bates visited the same spot on Pike’s Peak, which served as the inspiration for the famous and beloved song “America the Beautiful.”
As I look back at that day, I couldn’t help but compare it to the journey we all face.
Similar to how I felt as I drove up the mountain, a year’s events are often unpredictable and it can be challenging to see what the end result might be. There are moments that are pleasant and enjoyable, and there are moments that are scary and unsettling.
But at the end of that journey, we reach the top of the peak. We see the progress we’ve made throughout the journey, through both the good and the bad, and we can celebrate our accomplishments (cue “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus. But it’s seriously so true).
This year was quite the adventure for me. It was very eventful, with the events leaving an impact on me that will last for a lifetime.
The joy, excitement, and hope from new dreams, accomplishments, and amazing people.
The sense of independence and confidence I have grown from adventures and entering new situations.
The discouragement of health and not being able to recover from sickness.
The hurt, sadness, and loss I experienced throughout the year.
In many of these situations, I didn’t know what the end result would be. But as I mentioned in the story earlier, as I’ve reached the “peak” of 2017, I’ve been able to look back upon the year and observe my journey from a new perspective. I can see that despite the ups and downs, I’ve ultimately come out stronger.
And with 2018 approaching quickly, it’s time for us all to begin our new journey. We face a large mountain in front of us, and it looks quite daunting. We know that there will be scenic, peaceful moments on the journey to the top; but, we also know there will be the moments where we fear falling off the edge.
But we are not alone in this journey. We have the ultimate, best-suited driver taking us to the peak of the mountain: God. He knows what terrain we will be facing ahead, and He will ensure that we are equipped with what we need to successfully face whatever we encounter on that journey. And once we reach the top of that mountain, we’ll finally be able to look back and see how He perfectly planned everything.
As we enter this new year, I hope you enter boldly. Regardless of the good and the bad, we will make it to the top.
I will say this: if it’s going to be a challenging drive to the top, I’m going to make sure I enjoy every second of it and find ways to grow.