At the end of last year I started praying a simple prayer…
“God, would you give me a radical love that looks like YOU, costs me greatly, and moves me to action”.
I recognize that I have a brand new canvas for my future and I want to paint something beautiful, creative, and meaningful with it. I get that that probably means more surrendering and I’m okay with that. I don’t need my life to look like every other 40 year old woman in the US.
I feel like God has shown me in the last few months that this “Radical Love” needs to start from within. Like I need to learn how to really love me well first. (It’s Biblical, I promise).
So on faith and a whim, I booked 2 trips for myself a few weeks ago and I let the adventure begin. First I traveled to California for a quick 3 day stay and then I stopped home to grab my babies and we traveled to the mountains… (the older boys took off to Florida with friends for spring break).
God met us in the mountains. When I booked the trip, I wasn’t sure how I found the cabin that I did, but I knew God was behind it.
Once we arrived and began our climb, we quickly realized that there had been a horrible fire that destroyed many of the homes along the hike up the mountain. I remembered hearing about fires in Gatlinburg, but didn’t think too much about them until I was witnessing their affects with my own eyes.
On my first morning walk outside around the cabin, I discovered so much beauty surrounded by ash. I found new life springing up around the debris everywhere I looked and it reminded me of the verse that I am standing on for this year.
Jeremiah 17: 7-8
Blessed is the woman who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is the Lord. She shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. She shall not fear when heat comes, her leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought she is not anxious, because she never ceases to flourish.
Look at this beautiful tree bearing new leaves.
Scourged by fire.
Strong as ever.
Still producing fruit.
I love that.
If you look up any article or video on the Chalet Village fires, you’ll discover that there was no warning. And if you were to drive through the winding roads of Wiley Oakley Drive, you’d see a mixture of ash and new life on both sides.
On my final morning there, I found some memorial stones and I spent some time with the Maker of all things. I love that there is opportunity for new life in every season ahead.