Summer of Adventure {and the promise of many more}

I've labeled the months between my sophomore and junior years of college "my summer of adventure." Starting in Lincoln, Neb. where I originally thought I would be spending the summer, I ended up hiking and camping in Moab, Utah, celebrated my friends' wedding in Cortez, Colorado, visited friends in Chattanooga, Tenn., celebrated my brother's wedding in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and finished the summer up working at a camp in Yosemite National Park, California.

Truly a summer of adventure!

Not much unlike "my year of adventure" while I was in Mongolia now ten years ago.

I was a scrawny "child" at 15-years-old. So young and so inexperienced and yet so invincible. I was excited and anxious and curious and a number of things all as antonyms to fear.

My mind wandered to my friends and if they'd leave me forgotten while I journeyed so many miles away. I wondered about my family and how much they'd change without me while I was away without them. (I traveled with a friend and her family to live where they were missionaries.) I wondered about flying so many miles over an ocean and how it could possibly be deemed safe. (I had yet to travel by plane.) I wondered about what it'd be like to be a picky eater in a place where food is just one of many foreign things and how my English-based mind would do me little good without any sort of background on so much as saying "hello" in the Mongolian language.

My mind wandered, but I do not recall ever feeling fear. Because, you see, as Christians, we fear God alone. As soon as we fear something so petty as an anticipated adventure (travel or otherwise), matters have been taken into our own hands and God so mindlessly pushed out of the picture.

I take back what I said about not feeling fear--I felt fear like you wouldn't believe--it came in the form of love, honor, respect and trust in the One who put that whole adventure in motion for me. He's the same One I continue to fear today for the adventures He's led me on since.

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When my summer of adventure started, I worked at a job I no longer had a passion for. I visited home every weekend (my friends were spending their summers elsewhere), and spent free moments jogging, writing, taking pictures--every cure imaginable for my craving of adventure.

I prayed and decided to quit my job before I even had a plan b in mind--that was in God's hands. My mom was in California spending the summer managing the kitchen at a camp located in Yosemite National Park. They needed help in the kitchen and it turned out, according to California's generous labor laws, I would be able to make enough money there to make up for the weeks I would be out of work. This was a huge blessing also funding my summer travels.

During one of my mornings off in Yosemite, I took a little hike to a nearby waterfall. While there, I wrote this...
Could I ask for a better location than where I am now? Well, Heaven, of course. But a close second is this waterfall. The sun's shining over the trees, the water's rushing down, and all is at peace.

The hike out here made me think of my life of following God. The apparent dead ends and road blocks and always a way through them. The realization that this forest is not my home.

And, as I sit here, the reluctance to leave this place of peace. But there is work to be done. There will still be a path to follow. And memories of the river to refresh and motivate. And the assurance that I've safely made it through before.

As each adventure comes to a close--I accept its end under the premise that many, many more are yet to come. Through them all, I have no fear except in the One who has led me safely through before.

 {For more travel stories, check out the Travel Stories Series on Prodigal Magazine.}