I can’t believe we’ve been on the road for one year. One moment it feels like it flew by, the other, I feel like we’ve been doing this forever. I’m sitting in a RV Park outside of Pinedale. If you’ve been following along, you know this is where we spent most of last summer. The cost of living in much cheaper in Wyoming and there are endless trails to get lost in.
We had an amazing time in Scotland but when we came home the work was a little slow. We got just enough money to make it up to Wyoming and we left with a hope and a prayer. Of all the things I’ve learned on the road, the lesson that I have learned the most is to be completely and desperately dependent on the Lord.
Back in ole’ Bible times, the Israelites we’re freed from their captivity in Egypt and went on a long journey to the Promised Land. The whole crew of them traveled through a vast desert. At first they were cheery and happy and handled the journey just fine. Then doubt started sinking in. They were homeless, poor and hungry. So they started complainig. Paraphrasing, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt with the hope of the Promised Land, just to watch us die in this desert??”
Despite their attitude, God had mercy, God listened to their fears. So every morning they would go outside their tents to find manna, a type of bread, covering the ground. They were instructed to only gather enough for just that day. If they got worried and got extra, it was moldy by the next morning. But every morning, without fail, they had fresh food waiting for them, straight from heaven.
Even though I’m living the dream, even though I’m in the mountains, I feel like Andrew and I have been going through a desert. It truly is feast or famine. We get little reprieves from money stress, like right now actually, but most of it has been beans and rice kind of fare. I had no idea how challenging it would be to give up the comfort and security of living in the city to hope and pray on the road. I feel like I’m constantly being tested. Do I really trust that the Lord will provide? Do I really believe that anyone is actually listening when I cry out and beg? That anyone cares?
Since we’ve been on the road the Lord has been working in a very specific way. He provides just enough for groceries and gas. We buy our groceries then start praying. We think that we wont be able to make it one more day… then we do. We think the stress is too much, then we go to bed and wake up again. We survive another day. When the stress overshadows, I have an extra long yoga session or we go for an extra long hike. We make it one more day. Andrew is constantly working his brain, thinking of ways to bring in money. He’s always trying new things, promoting new stuff, looking for more contacts. We finally accept that there is nothing we can do. We’ve tried all our options, now we just have to wait.
Then like manna from heaven, one morning, at seemingly the last possible minute, jobs come flowing in. And they usually come in groups. We buy groceries, even a luxury item, like a tub of ice cream (we’re obsessed with Tillimook yall. Obsessed.), pay our bills then take a deep breath.
I have a friend who is a Navy Seal. I’ve heard horror stories about their training. One thing he told me that stuck out, is the brain gives up waaaay before the body does. I feel like so much of living on the road is a mental game. It’s challenging your idea of needs and wants, it’s testing you to see how long you can survive without giving up. It’s forcing you to find joy in the midst of suffering. Joy in the way the green pines sway high overhead. The thrill of rushing glacial water speeding over rocks. Watching storms come in from miles away. The girls bounding and playing on the trail. It makes you realize that all these Bible stories that you have heard since you were a kid actually relate to today.
I’m living my dream, I’m exploring to my hearts content, yet I still find things to stress about. The Lord has never failed us in providing for us, but I still stress. I still get a little shocked when He provides our manna. I still can’t believe that he cares enough to do so.
We all have our deserts. We all have our trials. I feel one of the biggest lies that Satan uses is to make us believe that we are alone. That no one can relate to what we are going through. I have many days I feel alone in our struggle, then someone reaches out, Mama calls, Daddie txts, a girlfriend checks in. You are not alone. Don’t believe that lie.
I really feel that this is not a long term thing. I think we are the classic starving artists, but it will not always be so. Andrew is so extremely talented and the hardest worker I’ve ever met. We will not be in this desert forever. I just hope that I can remember this time. Remember the things that I’ve learned. That I am not less than because I am so dependent on God. Being in control is overrated. I am not alone. And one day when we’re eating in fine restaurants and drinking our fine wine, I pray I’ll remember the manna that sustained us for so many years.