When we feel like we’re falling, it’s best to hold fast to Christ.
During orientation we would always take time to instruct our campers on the vital skill of tree hugging. The rule was that if they were ever lost to hug a tree. This is to prevent a lost camper from wandering looking for help but to stay where they are until rescue comes to them.
This photo is from an ice climbing adventure I take every year which I wrote about before. Please see my blog titled “Stupid Rocks” for more information on this trip and to connect some of this climb.
After a day of ice climbing with other adaptive athletes I took the challenge of getting myself out of the ice gorge on the trail the hikers used. I lack full movement, strength, and normal sensation from my armpits down. I have some strength throughout, but can’t stand alone or walk.
As I crawled along my guides quickly realized they had forgotten about the log crossing. We laughed at the situation, but the serious threat was that I was still in the bottom of the gorge, and below this log ran a very cold, icy stream. A fall in full gear could have catastrophic consequences even for the most mobile climber.
I straddled the log, gave up my pack, handed tools to a guide and prepared to move. As I placed my hands on the log, I lifted my body and pulled it forward. It didn’t move, however, my upper body kept my momentum going and I fell. My tree hugging skills have never been finer. I found myself on my face clinging to that log with everything I had.
Keeping with the spirit of transparency I wrote about in my last blog “Living in the Dark Hours,” I will tell you that I’ve endured more trials the last two months than I ever thought survivable. Spiritual warfare is a very real thing in this world and Satan was not happy I brought my struggles into light.
The last two months included a trip to Massachusetts seeking specialized treatment for the PTSD of which I wrote about. I ended up staying a week longer in a Boston. Having blown back to Colorado Springs, I went into arm surgery #15 followed by oral surgery two days later. Then, shortly after this surgery I had a horrible dental visit for a completely different problem that decided to spring itself over the weekend. Let’s add finding the front tire of my truck completely flat that I just replaced and two of the spare lug nuts not fitting. Then my laundry didn’t even come out of the dryer correctly that same day.
I don’t write all of that for pity, but I’m being honest with you that right now I am really struggling. I’m face down simply thankful I am still on that log but fearing if I move an inch I’ll be in an icy river. Other times I find myself wandering around in the woods lost trying to rescue myself.
“Rather, cling tightly to the Lord your God as you have done until now.”
Joshua 23:8 NLT
The thing I know is that I can cling to God’s promises that have held me steadfast through every trial and adventure in my life. I don’t have to worry about falling into an icy river. As long as I cling to that tree, my God, I will be safe.
If you find yourself face down or lost turn to Christ and hug the tree on which he showed His love and wait for His return and rescue. Cling to the tree and don’t wander looking for rescue or fear the icy waters below.
Copyright Ashley Foxworthy
I have always had an adventurous soul and proudly an “adrenaline junky.” I love to live life not knowing what is around the next corner. Some of these adventures I have chosen, others I have and would not. The combination of adventure, adrenaline and living in Colorado has naturally led me to enjoy the outdoors in ways more than a peaceful hike. Although I used to always enjoy a quiet, relaxing hike. Some of the sports I enjoy include climbing both rock and ice, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, camping and whatever other creative way I can get out and play. As I dig deeper and deeper into the word I relate so much of my adventures with the adventure of following the Holy Spirit. I hope that through sharing those adventures you may be encouraged to step out in faith and follow the crazy adventure God has for you in this life. The climb is most definitely not an easy ride to the top, but the view from the top beats any ache, pain, stumble and fall along the way. So clip into your rope and get ready for the hardest, most rewarding climb of your lifetime. I can’t wait to be at the top with you and view all of God’s splendor.
Ashley is an adaptive athlete. Although she has always had a passion for enjoying the outdoors that passion increased after having a spinal cord injury at 24 causing incomplete paralysis and muscle weakness throughout her trunk and legs. She continues to enjoy wild adventures with the help of adaptive equipment and assistance of others. There have been many ups and downs throughout the years but each reveals more and more of God’s grace and faithfulness.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV