Finding Joy and Strength in Colorado

Hey All!

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Sorry this has been a little delayed, but in my previous post, I told you I was going on a solo trip out to Colorado. Well it was everything I hoped for and more!

Lets Recap on what God revealed to me on this trip:

  1. Letting Go

Of The Past. Brokenness. Pain. Anxiety. Fear. All those bad boys were continuing to pierce their way deeper into my heart. I was not letting go of them,  I was holding them and not giving them to God, as I should have.

On day one in Colorado, I found a random little mountain right outside Denver to hike, called Mt. Galbraith. I hiked on up and down. It was a 3 1/2 mile hike on top a very dry mountain. It was beautiful. Near the top I stumbled and my hand went straight into a cactus… ooops (typical klutzy Kimmy moment). I had over 100 little needles in my hand so I panicked and grabbed my first aid kid and spent a good 25 minutes trying to get them out with a pair of tweezers.

On that hike, I was in awe of the beautiful mountains I was seeing for the first time in my life. It really made me realize,”Why do we hold onto anxiety? Shouldn’t we just let go of it and give ourselves more room to absorb the beautiful joy and love present ALL around us? If only it was that easy to just “let go.”

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Hike completed,  I head on my way to my airbnb to check in. A beautiful cabin in the foothills of Evergreen, CO. It was about 6:00 pm, and after 5 hours of driving and 2.5 hours of hiking I was ready to relax, journal and read a book. But,  I couldn’t find my glasses! I PANICKED. I looked in all my bags, my car, everywhere. I mean, I even look in a box of granola bars. My memory flashed back to frantically grabbing all my stuff out of my bag when I went to grab my first aid kit. I made the decision to drive back to Mt. Galbraith  (fully knowing it was going to be getting dark soon). The 40 minute drive back there, I was panicking and wanted to call someone, I kept saying, “No, don’t, you came out here to find strength within yourself. You got this.” But, then I realized, actually tell your dad because someone needs to know where you are at, especially if you’re going to hike in the dark

Its 10 minutes to sunset, and I started the hike back up. After 1/4 mile, I came across a guy walking his dog and I asked him, with my frantic words coming out a thousand miles per hour, “Hi, I think I may have left my glasses at the top and I know its getting dark, so I was wondering if you’re from here and if its safe to hike in the dark, are there mountain lions?” He kindly, offered to hike with me.

So then, I hiked, with a stranger for an hour and forty minutes.. in the dark.

Only, to not find my glasses. But, I did face my fears hiking in the dark with a flashlight, saw an amazingly beautiful view of Denver and learned some things about a stranger and made a new long-distance friend.

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I realized in this moment God was just telling me to “Let go and trust him.” I still had enough contacts for the rest of the trip and a back up pair of glasses at home. It wasn’t the end of the world because I lost my glasses. It was symbolism for the pain and past worries I was holding on to and just had to let go. So that is what I did, I let go of all the past and things that scarred my heart and opened my heart to the joy and love that God wanted to show me the rest of my trip out there.

[Late into day two… I found my glasses. They were in my back pack the whole time (another Kimmy moment). I don’t think God wanted me to find them. He wanted me to make this realization of letting go and he wanted me to go on this nighttime hike. Guided by a flashlight, with only being able to see the ground for my next step. No idea what the future trail held, but gaining an understanding that we don’t know what the future holds but we always have enough light to make each step forward.]

2. Strength

Out of the three days in Denver, I hiked two of them by myself. I have gone on long runs through metro parks by myself, but never have I gone hiking by myself. I oddly, was not nervous for any of my hikes. Hiking on dirt, snow, and up mountains, by myself, with the sound of the wind rustling through the trees and the pitter patter of other hikers feet made me feel so ALIVE. I felt brave. I felt strong. I felt renewed. My mind and my heart grew stronger in these few days of hiking. Adventuring by myself, driving 38 hours total, and hiking for 3 days made me realize there is so much I am capable of. I simply was just never willing to reach for it.

We all have hopes and dreams to accomplish, but we let ourselves and society tell us we can’t do them. But, guess what? WE CAN! We never know what we are capable of or what strength lies within us until we face old fears and reach for new peaks. When we take that first baby step of bravery, mighty amounts of strength come flowing in.

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3. Peace and Joy

Honestly, no words can describe this trip. I have thought of words, and seriously… no words can describe the beauty, love and joy I saw and felt. From, the desolate vast beauty of super flat Kansas to the beautiful white-capped 14,000 footers of Rocky Mountain National Park. Both places, so different, but both so beautiful in their own unique ways. I thought these differences resembled each of us. We all have our own unique quirks and imperfections. We all have different likes and dislikes. But, one thing I realized…

We all live in a world full of a beautiful joy and peace that NO words can describe, and we all deserve to feel that joy and peace. We all deserve kindness. We all deserve love. We all deserve to be forgiven. We all deserve honesty. We all deserve dignity. We all deserve grace.

This world is unique and beautiful and peace and joy is present ALL around us. We have to let go of pride and anxiety that holds us in the moment making us unaware of this peace and joy. We have to open our hearts and let the JOY and PEACE flowing all around sink their way into our gentle hearts.

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4. LOVE

On this trip I emptied my cup. I emptied out the past. I handed it right on over to God to fill with new graces. He gave me strength, peace, and joy and he also put something back in. That something was LOVE. A love for myself and an understanding that I could be loved. After, catching my mom with another man,  moving in with my father and seeing the heartbreak sink him into a depression as he lost 50 pounds in two months, dealing with his many drunken nights, and trying so hard to bring him back up to the light. All while somehow coping with the sadness I myself felt having a family torn apart. Then, a year later having my own heart shattered into a million pieces as a guy I loved dearly and who I thought loved me out of the blue,  didn’t love me and didn’t care about me and wanted nothing to do with me anymore, with no explanation why. My heart was broken. All I had seen in the past year was heartbreak after heartbreak. My heart grew fearful.

I was unaware of my fearful heart, I was so busy volunteering and giving love through volunteering with my church, the suicide hotline and homeless ministries that I blocked the fear. I wasn’t taking care of myself I was too focused on giving love and didn’t care about receiving it. When I pursued a new relationship this past winter and had to love in a more intimate way (than I do through volunteering), I realized I couldn’t open my heart… at all. I cried and cried about it, I wasn’t used to this. I was a person who always loved fearlessly and with compassionate vulnerability, but here I was stuck in a position in which I couldn’t be myself, I couldn’t love.  I was hiding, I was scared. I didn’t want to be broken again. I didn’t want to suffer. I let fear override my heart. That’s when I knew.. I had to go on a solo adventure. I needed to find that love within myself again and let go of fear. I had find my loving joyful self again.

I did. I found her! I may have had to go 10,000 ft above sea level to find her, but I did!!  In this trip, God filled my cup back up with love. A love that stands against all evil and suffering, a love so strong it will never break and never deplete, it will only fill more and more.  A love to give in many vulnerable and intimate ways.


Today is Good Friday. Today we remember Jesus’s death.

Today we remember the suffering he felt to show us love and forgiveness. The suffering he endured to give us salvation.

Today, we are reminded what love entitles. Love is not a happy little feeling, its action, its fearlessness and its a sacrifice as we let go of our pride to love a fellow imperfect human. I once read, “Real love is the Cross (the agony) and the Resurrection (the ecstasy). You can’t have the Resurrection, though, without the Cross. You can’t have the ecstasy without the agony.”

Through our suffering, love comes flying into our hearts. We grow stronger and we grow wiser. But, we can’t be fearful. We can’t be prideful. We have to be open and vulnerable. We have to endure the suffering that comes with love.  We have to know that through that suffering comes an unstoppable love that can’t be shaken!!

 

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So, my dear friends, endure the suffering. Carry your cross. Soak in the beauty. Stand stronger, Open your hearts, because there is new love, new joy and new peace out there waiting to fill you.


 I also made YouTube videos for anyone interested in watching those:

Day 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI5y3ujDx9k

Day 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD3N4lFqv-E&t=1s 

Day 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-IWEqv2jh8

Happy Easter, loves!

 

 

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