Andrew and I are currently road tripping through the Rockies. We left Dallas about a week ago and drove up through Kansas, Nebraska, hung a left and made our way to Yellowstone.
Our first night we camped in Nebraska. I realized something on this trip. Growing up in Texas, I did not experience true cold until my adult years. And lemme tell ya, this girl just cannot deal. I got out of the cozy warm car in Nebraska, my nostril hairs froze, my hands burned from the cold, and I just about wigged out.
Andrew has a name for me. He looks over at me with a small sarcastic smile, puts his hand on mine and says, “Ellie, it’s ok.. You’re just… delicate.” I’ve come to reluctantly accept this. See, in my mind I’m a freakin hoss. I struggle with so much stuff in my brain and I overcome it with super karate chops and big girl punches!! I fight through depression and anxiety. On a daily basis. I’m like, super tough. My body just hasn’t caught up with this fact. I can’t lift heavy things no matter how much my brain is convinced it can. I get faint in yoga quite often. And I regularly have to take things to Andrew to open them. This frustrates me. And to add to the list, I can’t handle the cold.
“Mind over matter, mind over matter,” I keep telling myself, then I step outside and shrivle. We made our way to Yellowstone and the snow was so thick. The whole landscape looked gentle and soft under a smooth blanket of glistening white. The only wrinkle in the smooth surface caused by tracks winding their way through the plains and into the snowcapped trees. It was breathtaking. Pure, quiet, peaceful. It seemed rude for us to drive too fast through a landscape that was full of rest and stillness.
There is no denying it, winter in the mountains is a harsh climate. Nature itself slows you down. You drive slower, walk slower, activities are limited. As I watched the snow fall and gather on the snow banks that were almost as tall as our car I couldn’t help but think of so many things in my life that are out of my control. Mainly finances, health limitations and the nature of my brain.
With a freelance lifestyle, feast or famine is the name of the game amd sometimes it can get a little overwhelming. Which has been the case lately. I saw a red fox the other day curled up in a little ball just chillin’ in the snow. He looked completely warm and cozy, not to be bothered. I guess if the Lord can provide that little animal with a thick winter coat to keep him warm during the harsh winters then He will take care of my needs as well.
We made our way to Teton Park and I found that I was oddly getting stressed about the cold. Andrew says I’ll always find something to stress about, haha. It’s very telling when he points that out. Work in progress, work in progress.
But I like comfort! I like being warm! I don’t like pushing my body to the extremes. I don’t like willingly stepping into an arena where I can’t control the effects. Much less sleeping all night in it.
I find myself having to be physically vulnerable in the cold. Vulnerable to things I can’t control. I can put on protective layers but it doesn’t take away the fact that I’m in an uncomfortable situation. I can shake up some handwarmers and stuff them in my gloves but I’m only adding superficial heat, a temporary fix that will not warm my core.
What does it mean to let go and be truly vulnerable in uncomfortable situations? I find that trusting that God is in control can be a terrifying thing. To release control to him on a day to day basis is like stepping out into a snowbank naked. It’s uncomfortable. It’s vulnerable. It takes faith. Do I believe that he truly wants the best for me and Andrew and will provide for us? Like really provide? Do I believe that he can be a haven for my anxious brain and give me relief? Do I really believe he can heal my body? What holds me back? Often times, I find that it’s me that holds me back. My lack of faith. It’s funny how easily I forget. Time and time again I stress about finances, but the Lord has always provided. We have never been in want. Emotionally just when I feel I’m about to hit my breaking point the Lord ushers in a season of rest. He has always taken care of me. I just often forget. The mountains are snow capped, the fields are covered, the animals are burrowed. Here’s hoping I’ll too, use this time to slow down, remember God’s faithfulness and moment by moment, trust and let go.