Lake Louise is a dream.
It’s a collection of glacial runoff in British Colombia that seems to glow a blue light. When I stood on the shore to take it in for the first time, my little eyeballs couldn’t quite process the beauty. It looked like an enhanced, 2D postcard.
About a year ago, my parents decided to spend part of last summer in Canada exploring as a family. My brother and I knew my mom had been set on seeing Lake Louise in her lifetime ever since she saw it in a magazine YEARS ago. So we packed hiking boots and Clif bars galore. Our days were filled with early morning walks around the lake, hikes through the woods, rock climbing, and trying to find local pubs for dinner to escape the other tourists.
And then came the Alpine Hut. Along the ridge of the Canadian Rockies, there are a series of huts and only the most serious mountaineers make the ascent to the huts to stay overnight. No electricity, plumbing, or food access because they’re on ancient glaciers. So naturally, my mom signed us up.
Kyle was our guide.
He lived in a cabin in the forest and didn’t have a cell phone.
He wore the same clothes for three days and smelled like the earth.
His main occupation was repelling out of helicopters to rescue hikers that were stranded in the mountains.
We felt taken care of.
We met in a parking lot one morning, stuffed warm clothes, sausage, and water bottles into our packs, and started walking. There was a general direction that everyone took to get to the hut, but no obvious trail. Hours and miles and hours and miles later, we see the sandy colored shell of a shelter stand out against the white ice surrounding it. That night we collected water from the glacier to drink, pooped in a bucket for a helicopter to eventually pick up, slid around on the ice as the sun went down, and sat around the wood stove after dark. We wore all the clothes we brought and huddled together on the plywood shelf that was our bed to stay warm at night.
There was something about the silence that made the cold night feel like home.
There was something about how the starlight came through the window of the shelter that taught me about the ever-presence of God.
Also, Kyle snored like a beast from somewhere across the room.
When the morning came, I was intimidated.
From how freezing my body was.
From how the others staying in the hut were gathering ice picks to continue their journey.
From how my muscles were sore from the day before.
From how this trip with my family was the last before I became a wife.
I wished for a shortcut to the parking lot where the car was parked and was dreading the trail down the mountain. The sky felt only feet away because the haze was thick and the snow was coming down. We sat looking out the window waiting for a break in the weather. It never came so we started anyway. Kyle went first.
Where the rocks were slippery from the snow, he gave each of us a hand to where conditions were safe. Where we had to cross the river that had risen overnight, he built up a few stones so we could cross.
Where there were gaps between the boulders that were too wide to jump, he went before us and would grab each of our arms when we stumbled across. Even my strong Colombian dad had to rely on someone else’s strength at different times.
It was so much easier to cross the risen river and take a step a bit too far for comfort from rock to rock knowing that someone was going to make sure I didn’t fall.
As we descended from the high altitudes and our bodies warmed up, God informed my heart that in the same way Kyle helped me, He was there. After that trip, I was about to step into a year of transition and was asking God for sure-footedness for the trail ahead. I didn’t know if I was “ready” to be married, or “qualified” enough to graduate college, or “sure” about where He was calling me to work.
He told me to step intentionally with Him, but keep stepping, to know that He was there and His glory was in the present and future. In life with Jesus, the confidence that He always goes before us is enough to take a step. He knows the trail ahead. He has been there day and night and says it’s okay to continue when we are unsure.
…if God is for us, who can be against us?
So many of my interactions online and in person with girlfriends, obviously including AGLM ladies, are about how you’re not sure what’s ahead. What is God going to do with your life? Where does he want you to go to school? What job should you work? Who should you marry? I’ve asked Him EVERY single one of those questions and a million more. This is what the Bible says:
rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you
[1 thessolonians 5:16-18]
But wait?! That’s so simple! God knows that when we stop rejoicing, forget to communicate with Him, and quit being thankful, our eyes wander and our hearts grow weary. May we be courageous women to take a step and know that He is there.
There is nowhere that God hasn’t already been.
To the most extreme, He willing took the cross to defeat death.
And offer us life with Him.
In the striving. In the pressure. In the steps that feel too far, He is there holding out a hand.
I’ll take any risk when I know God is the firm foundation on which I stand.