Part of this journey was to visit Hope Church in Chico and meet the people who received the encouraging notes sent last year after they lost their homes and church building in the fire. Yesterday, I drove to Chico, CA to attend services.
The message was about how God can use your pain and past experiences to help others. That was appropriate. I enjoyed worshiping with them and got the chance to meet the pastor afterwards.
On my way out of town I made a stop by the Butte County Fire Dept. to thank them for their service and let them know someone across the country in Lexington, KY is still praying for them.
The photo above is at McCloud Falls. Tim has been a great tour guide and given me many new memories of the area including a picnic and our hike to the falls.
Today is a quiet day, preparing for the trip home. I am grateful for all the experiences, love, new friendships and hospitality that has been extended to me on this journey- but I feel the mission is complete and am looking forward to getting back home.
God was definitely at work making divine connections and new memories.
We adore You as the one who is over all things. I Chronicles 29:11
I knew I had to go back. I had to do this on my own- with God. I needed a few moments in that space to thank God for sparing my life and turn a daunting mountain memory into just another spot in the road.
My heart raced faster than the speed I was traveling as I drove a snails pace, praying the whole way. The drive seemed a lot longer than before. I am still a little perplexed how the turn off to the mountain is nothing like my memory.
I noticed the 20 mph curve sign in a new light as I crept around the curve and pull off in front of the rock embankment- tears followed.
I knew I needed this time just as I knew when it was time to go. I didn’t want to linger there longer than necessary, but snapped a few photos, said my prayer, had a moment of silence and moved on.
Yak’s was my next stop, which was the location we had brunch the day of the accident. It had also changed. It is now a coffee shop with a new name and no longer has the tables outside that I remember.
As I sit sipping my chai latte and write my thoughts in my journal for this post- I reflect on the changes that have taken place here in the last six years- and in me.
I found my way back to the t-shirt shop and then meandered back across the street and into the shop where Amorah’s store used to be. Without entirely realizing it, I had traced our steps from that day, only in reverse.
It is now complete- I have come full circle, and am so grateful God gave me the strength to make this journey.
As I sat at the accident site with my journal in my hand this verse came to me. “I love you with an everlasting love.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13
I made it. It was a gorgeous day with a deep blue sky. My friends Timoth & Shahan drove me to the mountain yesterday. From the backseat, just as I requested, I peered out the window anticipating the moment I would recognize the location. The roads didn’t seem all that familiar to the memory I had until we got to the section of curve just before the accident sight.
I caught my breath as we slowed to a crawl and passed on by to conquer the drive to the top where the above picture was taken. Then we hiked a beautiful trail called Panther Meadow with lovely wild flowers of all colors scattered about in every direction.
A new day with new memories to cherish.
Light is sweet. How pleasant to see a new day dawning. Ecclesiastes 11:7
He makes me surefooted as a deer, enabling me to stand on mountain heights. Psalm 18:33
will be boarding a flight this morning headed to CA. (well technically I have
to go to DC and San Francisco first) But you get the point. Folks, this is
where a big chunk of my life-changing year occurred. So it feels like I have
come full circle to return with books and a story to tell.
time I hope to actually make it to the Redwoods! God willing, I am going there
first. This journey is a necessary part of my healing and growth. Just a couple
of years ago I would not have thought I would be going back to Mt. Shasta if
you had asked me. I just didn’t see a reason for it.
now, God has given me a reason. A few actually.. Do you all remember the
encouraging notes I got some of you to help me write last year and sent them to
a church from Paradise who lost their building in the fires? Hope Christian
Church is still meeting in Chico and they are only a couple of hours from Mt.
Shasta. You guessed it…I am going to meet them and attend one of their
services. I also have a talk and book signing at the Mt. Shasta Library.
reason is to see my caregivers that took such good care of me when I was dismissed
from the hospital until I could fly home. And on top of that I have asked them
to take me back to the accident site on the mountain. Now granted I know I can’t
drive it myself and I also know I can’t sit in the front seat. But if I sit in
the back I should be fine. I recently read something about returning to the
place of Spiritual significance. This definitely qualifies. I do not look to
the mountain itself but for what God did for me there.
this journey is so significant it only feels right to document it and bring you
along for the ride. So I hope to do a travel blog with an interesting photo
each day while I am gone letting you know how it is going. I will get back to
my weekly post after I return. So bear with me and stay tuned- I am really hoping
not to have technical difficulties using my old laptop on the road. This should
is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For
the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9