Before we move forward, I need to make it clear that I know that’s not how you pronounce Yosemite. I was doing it for the puns. I’d do anything for the puns.
Some people (and book retailers) say chicken soup is good for the soul, but I think a trip to Yosemite is far better therapy.
There’s something healing about the fresh mountain air and the solitude, and the time away from cellular data. You have to rely on nature and yourself, and you’ll usually fail. So if you’re anything like me, you have to actively rely on God for a change.
On Thursday at 5:15 am, I headed up to Yosemite National Park for four days with my two friends, a truck of camping supplies from the late 1990’s, and one night of reservations inside the valley. Were we as prepared as we could have been? Probably not. Were we going to get there? Hell yes.
Now if you’re reading closely you may have noticed an inconsistency in my last paragraph. If we were spending three nights in Yosemite, how could we only have one night of reservations? What kind of idiots would come up to the most famous national park in the world in the middle of summer with no real plan of where to sleep? These idiots right here, that’s who.
We came up the mountain with the innocence and confidence of three small children. Completely assured of the fact that our Father would provide for us, while ignoring all signs of logic that shot down our outrageous plans.
Now, I need to be clear: we did prepare for this trip. We had food and water and a myriad of supplies that would have saved us from a small, yet dangerous disaster. We weren’t willfully ignorant or naive. No, I’d venture to say that we are actually some of the most careful, and dare I say, intelligent young women I know. And we also had faith, and that’s what makes this story different from the millions of other Yosemite trips that took place this summer.
We should not have had the weekend that we did. We should have been tired and grumpy and hungry. We should have had to go straight home after our first night, with our old supplies and disappointments tied down in the bed of the truck.
But we had God on our side. And He did provide. In every aspect we failed in, He provided in full. There were no half-fulfilled promises, no partial credit. He gave us a perfect weekend for free; all we had to do was trust in Him.
I’m not going to lie to you and say it was easy for me. God and I haven’t been all that talkative lately. And by that I mean I haven’t been talking to God as much as I should.
But the reason I’m writing this is because my time in Yosemite actually revealed a lot about the current state of my own heart and walk with Christ.
I’ve been relying on my own strength of will, and my obviously impervious planning skills to guide me through the rest of my life, but as you can probably tell, if my wilderness survival skills seem lacking, my spiritual survival skills are basically nonexistent.
And this weekend really put that into perspective. Now if you’ve never been to Yosemite before, I need to set the scene before we go on. (And you should also plan a trip as soon as you can. You already have access to the internet so you’re half way there)
When you enter into the valley, you’re suddenly surrounded by these vast walls of granite. They tower over you, thousands of feet in the air, and it’s easy to feel completely insignificant. Here is this valley, with rivers and mountains and walls of rock. It’s been shaped for millions of years by the wind and rain, and there you are: tiny and completely engulfed by rock and tree.
And the crazy thing is that we really should feel that way. The notion that we are crafted uniquely and carefully, with a distinct personality and purpose is really outrageous when you stop to think about it, especially when we live in a society that tells us we must constantly be improving and changing. We are told we will never be enough the way we are.
But we have a Father who knows every hair on our head, who carved those walls of granite, who knew our names before we were even born, one who forged those rivers and streams with care, and one who sent His son to die for us, all so we could learn to love Him.
And here I am, trying to find my own way through the wild journey that is life, with a heart that has encased itself in its own granite walls, ignoring the one person who can guide me through my own mess without the pain and fatigue that I have caused myself.
This weekend opened my eyes about trusting God, especially in the smallest of details.
If my friends were able to trust that we would get a camping spot we most definitely didn’t deserve, or that we wouldn’t run out of gas in the middle of the valley, or that we wouldn’t be mauled by bears or a lone psychotic camper, I can trust God with my life.
Because really, if He can handle three idiotic, joyful girls on a whimsical trip to Yosemite, I think He can handle my heart.