When The Air Is Thin And You Can’t See The Lake

When I first started blogging, I met Nancy, and we’ve been “pretend friends” ever since. She is a writer that explores her faith in a thought provoking way, but she adds a little salt and pepper to her posts to make it interesting. Plus, she posted a video of the Muppets doing a Patriotic number on her Facebook account for the 4th of July and you know I’m a sucker for Muppets. Sam the American Eagle? Love. 

Anyway, I adore Nancy, and I think you should all be reading her blog (if you aren’t now). She inspires me and makes me laugh, which is a nearly impossible feat.

I asked Nancy to write about her belief that God really is GOOD. Check out her blog, follow her on Twitter or, if you are basically interested in Muppet videos (aren’t we all) follow her on Facebook

Thank you for sharing your story, Nancy. It’s beautiful.

See that mountain lake I’m hiking toward in the distance? There was a time when I wasn’t sure it really existed.
My husband, the beloved Swede, is a wilderness hiking-guy extraordinaire. During last summer’s vacation, he suggested a hike near Crested Butte, Colorado, leading to a place called Copper Lake. The trail began at 9600 feet of elevation (where there is no oxygen) and climbed to a height of 11,300 feet (where there is even less of the stuff).
A local trail guide described the hike this way, “An easy grade for 3 miles up Copper Creek. The trail rises quickly for the last mile to Copper Lake.” With few cairns or trail markers to tell us how far we’d hiked or how much further we had left to go, some of us (who weren’t in as good shape or nearly as Scandinavian as others) started getting a little frustrated and cranky. Certain we had to be on that last steep mile, I began singing to myself, “All, my trials Lord; soon be over . . .”
I insisted to my husband, “We’re almost there. Right???!!!!”
After more hiking and climbing, profuse sweating and oxygen deprivation, I may have accidentally screamed, “There is no lake at the end of this trail!”
My husband reminds me of that hike from time to time, when he sees me getting tired and frustrated by life’s twists and turns. At times, God has asked me to walk paths that were difficult, ones fraught with dangers, toils, and snares. He’s called me to climb hills I didn’t particularly want to climb. And sometimes I’ve gotten tired and cranky, and begun to question God’s goodness.
I was devastated when I learned my body was incapable of making babies. My husband and I prayed, we sought medical treatment, we pursued adoption. This was not the path we had envisioned for our lives. It was hard. It was painful, humiliating and expensive. We had no idea how long our journey would last or whether, at the end of it, there would be babies.
Looking back on our journey through infertility and adoption, I see the places where God met, encouraged, and sustained us. We had dear friends sharing a similar struggle who walked with us along the way. Our insurance covered most of our expenses. I had a friend whose sister was the social worker for our adoption at the local office of Bethany Christian Services. God demonstrated His goodness, not only in satisfying our desire for children, but also in placing His hand upon and giving us the very ones He knew we needed.
I cannot imagine my life without them.
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD . . . wrote the psalmist (Psalm 27:4, NAS). I’ve been walking another difficult road lately. Some of it has been a fairly steep climb. At times, I’ve been certain I was nearing the end; the clearing was almost within view. Then the road turned sharply and unexpectedly and began to climb again. I’ve been tempted to curl up in a heap alongside the road and give up in despair. I’ve wanted to scream in agony. But I cling to the words of the Psalmist, and I remember where God has demonstrated His goodness to me in the past. I look for the signposts and the cairns along the way, evidence of His presence with me, and I find strength for each stumbling, faltering step. And I continue on.
Because sometimes, as my husband reminds me, I just have to trust that there really is a lake at the end of the trail.

27 thoughts on “When The Air Is Thin And You Can’t See The Lake

  1. Nancy,

    It really is a blessing to look back and see that God was there with me during steep hills that wouldn't end. I am thinking of a few right now…
    Here's to finding the lake at the end of the trail and the God who gets us there!


  2. I count it a blessing that I can call Nancy my friend and peek in at her trail(trial) to the lake occasionally. What a sweet Christian friend!! She is as real as her blog sounds.


  3. You picked a good guest poster, JoAnn. As for you, Nancy… your story here made me weepy. I've had some difficulty believing in lakes myself, at times, especially when the road gets really twisty and turny. But I'm holding on in faith, too. And that verse? One of my all-time favorites.

    “I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

    P.S. I saw my name in the comments and wondered (just for a second) if I'd already commented, somehow. Does that mean I'm getting old? (Don't answer that question!)


  4. oh you know i love you nancy. you seem to be posting everywhere these days…as well you should be. perfect words here today. thanks joann, for hosting nancy.


  5. We all can struggle with doubt when the road to the lake is steep. Thanks for this picture of faith, Nancy. It will stick with me as I'm climbing.


  6. Oh, I know this, Nancy. The struggle with infertility is a hard journey. And I was like you at times wondering where in the world the end would be. His plan was so much greater than mine. So much greater.


  7. What I find most attractive about Nancy and Joann, is that they posess the gift of being able to mix sober truth with humor, humility, and joy. I'm proud to count them as friends. 🙂


  8. I”m a bit weepy after this one too.

    When I doubt God's goodness (an I'm ashamed to say that sometimes I do), I'll remember this story, Nancy. Evidence of His goodness.


  9. Nancy,

    This was just beautiful.

    Like JoAnn, you create perfect metaphors for the loveliness and struggles in the world.

    My heart feels full having read your words.

    Thank you.


  10. AHHH blogger will not let me sign into my own blog !
    this is JoAnn here, saying THANK YOU to nancy who came and blessed us with her words, even though there is a massive shortage of ostriches.
    Thank you nancy.


  11. Nancy. Pretend friends like you …. well you are a lake in a way. Sometimes it's like we are all those little places of real to each other.
    Thank you for this,
    and thank you JoAnn . You know I heart you.


  12. It is my biggest comfort and at times, my biggest struggle. And it is always my ending prayer at night, that I will follow and abide by the Lord's plan for me.

    Beautiful post, both of you ladies.

    And my friend, JoAnn, I hope that you're getting through. The light is coming as I sit here listening to my girls in the kitchen, making their own lunches. Just this morning, they helped me with the laundry. (kind of)

    I hope your days are filled with sweetness and light. Enjoy your bustling brood of three.


  13. I'm so, so glad I stopped by here today. Such an encouraging and beautiful post. It came on just the right day at the right time. He knows, doesn't He??? This post itself was my lake at the end of the trail!


  14. JoAnn, thanks for hosting Nancy! Hope you are getting at least a little bit of good sleep.
    And Nancy, thanks for this reminder of His goodness. I know the feeling of wanting to just crumble. We're all going to make it to the lake; can't wait to all meet up there!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s