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Hello all, I pray that your week was filled with joy and love. Welcome back to those who have been with me here at A Golden Dream. For my first-timers, a great big hello there, if you haven't already please check out my previous posts when you get a chance.
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Hey Golden Dreamers, so today's Weekly Topic will be about struggling with faith. Faith is putting your complete trust or confidence in God who you can not see. Believing rather than seeing.
I called this blog post "Smoky Rocky Faith '' because just recently I took my first vacation post-Covid to Otto, NC to see and visit The Great Smoky Mountains. It was there where God truly tested my faith and endurance.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see
This year I promised myself in my Self Evaluation in 2021 that I would do whatever it takes to restore myself and to also take care of myself. So to satisfy my promise to myself, I wanted to go somewhere that I've never been before, and also somewhere I could experience nature and beautiful scenery. After weeks of looking and picking the right location, the Smoky Mountains was the perfect escape. So let's fast forward to my first test of faith.
What's something you have done that's out of your comfort level?
The process of traveling to the mountains was an amazing one, but it’s always a little nerve-wracking traveling to new places that you’ve never been before. I went on this trip with my best friend, and thank God I did because without her I would have never done a lot of the things that I wanted to do without her help.
Some of the activities that I wanted to accomplish on this trip were:
to see a waterfall
Go to a sunflower patch
climb a mountain of some sort
...and when I tell you I did all that and more….I did it!
My best friend and I got up early Sunday morning to start our adventures off right. A local townie suggested we travel to Wayah Bald Tower to see the sunrise. He exclaimed that it was a beautiful sight seeing the sun kiss the mountain peak and you could also see the entire view of the valley below. I was so excited that I now had to go. So we got up at 5 am and made our way to the Wayah Bald Tower. For the 1st 30 minutes, we traveled down back roads with winding twists and turns that reminded me of being on a roller coaster.
My friend and I were so excited that we were actually going to travel up an actual mountain, just the two of us. After 30 minutes we reached the 2nd half of traveling up the mountain which turned into traveling on a dirt road that was smaller than the paved road that we were used to traveling on. Immediately my anxiety kicked in. I was physically traveling, driving up a mountain, unreal right?
Let me give you some facts about this mountain.
Wayah Bald has a vantage point of 5,342 ft. in elevation in the Nantahala National Forest, near Franklin, North Carolina.
At the top of the mountain houses historical landmarks like the Wilson Lick Ranger Station, which was the first ranger station in the Nantahala National Forest, and the Wayah Bald Fire Tower, which offers a great view of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia, Tennessee, and both North and South Carolinas.
Also, did I mention we were headed up this mountain that is 5,342 ft up in the air, oh okay!
As we were driving up the mountain, my nerves got the best of me. My hands got cold, and sweaty all at the same time. My stomach was in knots. I was in complete control but my anxiety was running wild. With every passing turn, we were climbing higher and higher up the side of the mountain. As we reached over 3,000 ft in the air we started to now see how high we were up through the trees. We knew it was going to get worse the more we climbed high up the mountain.
My faith was none existent at that point. I was so terrified that I wanted to quit and turn around, but unfortunately, the dirt road was a one-stop shop, once you start you cannot turn around. The road was too narrow and we had no other choice but to keep going. We had to endure this for another 30 minutes.
Does your fear override your faith?
What's your response when you have to keep going when everything in you wants to panic and turn around?
I was looking at my bestie like, “Girl, I am scared out of my mind! I feel like we are going to drive straight off this mountain.” Looking at my friend gave me the courage to keep going. Even though she was scared out of her mind I couldn't tell at all. She kept her composure together and kept me calm in the process by reassuring me that we were fine.
Be sure you have the right people in your passenger seat,
who is able to comfort you when situations go to new heights.
Having people that are unqualified for new levels
will make you compromise everything.
Before reaching the top, I was thinking about this so-called faith that I proclaimed that I had. If I have faith then why am I scared? Why am I afraid? The bible tells me that I don't have a spirit of fear, so why do I have these emotions? I was mentally praying to God to help me get through this because apparently, I have lost my mind trying to do something completely out of my comfort zone. As I'm looking at the GPS on my phone, the signal relocates and now I have no map or sense of direction but up.
If driving by faith was a person it would have been my friend and I. GPS has lost signal, terrified out our minds, and hanging on to the faith of a mustard seed to get us through this mountain adventure.
WE MADE IT!! Driving on the paved platform on top of the mountain, Thank God, we had made it! I was on the verge of tears because it was a whole beast trying to get up there. Almost paralyzed with fear and panic, we reached the checkpoint of the mountain and looked down at the edge of the mountain.
Thank God We Made it !!
When it's all said and done,
was the trip up the mountain worth it!
Yes, yes it was!
The amount of peace that was resting on that mountain all the fear I had started to unravel. Even though it was raining and foggy, it was completely peaceful. All you could hear is birds chirping and the rush of the wind blowing in through the trees. When I tell you the view was breathtaking it was truly amazing.
Don't let your fear block your progress, there’s more at the top,
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.
As we were taking our last few pictures and videos on top of Wayah Bald, the dread of now traveling down the mountain almost triggered another panic attack. Y'all the thought of traveling down the mountain seemed impossible. Once we made our way to the car we said a prayer of protection. covering, and peace of mind.
Traveling down the mountain was not bad at all. If anything it was easier because I knew what to expect, because I was hypervigilant. I could remember how severe each turn was, I knew what areas on the road were unsafe to drive over because of the uneven dirt. Quite honestly we were cruising down the mountain rather quickly and safely. Within 15 minutes or so we had made it halfway down the mountain to the paved main road leading us off the mountain to the valley.
I wanted to share this moment with my Golden Dream family because this trip alone tested my faith in God. God had me the whole time, but because I was doing something completely new my faith went out the window. Yes, I'm human and it's normal to become scared. But God really showed me it’s one thing to say you have faith it’s another to prove it if it means stepping out of your comfort level.
God will put your faith to the test, be sure you can stand on his Word to get you through the tough times that are in front of you. Make sure you have the right people around you to help you get through those tough times. Be bold in your stance and don't let your fear get so in your way, that you forget where you came from. Life is a one-stop-shop, it does not stop for anyone. Learn from your lessons, hold fast to your faith, and connect with God on a new level.
Questions To Consider:
1. If you have overcome your fear, what did you learn?
2. Does your fear keep you from stepping into your calling?
3. Can I enjoy myself if I am completely out of my comfort level?
4. Do I only have faith in God for the little things?
5. How strong is my faith line? Does it need work? Am I exercising it daily?
With Love, life is full of things and new adventures to be explored. We have to learn to trust in the process and trust in God. I know one thing for certain and two things for sure; God will never leave nor forsake us. God made this whole world and this beautiful nature for us to explore. Don't let your fear of the unknown keep you from trying new things and going to new heights. There will be times where you will have to face situations that seem scary, or it may seem impossible to face or confront but remember that God is with you at all times. Turn to him in those situations and don't worry because he has you. You need to be strong, stable, clear, and have Active Faith.
After climbing a 5,342 ft mountain I had no excuse
not to do the other adventures I wanted to do.
Visiting Dry Falls Waterfall, a 65-foot waterfall at Highlands, North Carolina
Fishing at Pine Recreational Center, Cullowhee, North Carolina
Visiting Sunflower Festival Patch, Anderson, South Carolina
~Just Breathe...A Golden Dream~