Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1

Travel to the “Tough” places that will test your character.
Don’t just travel to the fancy places.
Travel to the tough places.
Travel to wander.
Travel to learn.
Travel to discover.
Travel to wonder.
Travel to feel that you are alive.
Travel to meet new people along the way.
Travel to the places that will challenge who you really are.
Travel to be astonished by what your naked eyes see.
Travel to rejuvenate your soul.
Everybody says “travel,” but more people need to emphasize “to the tough places.”
I learned a lot more about myself through hiking.

It was during the month of February when I finally gained the courage to ask my mom to let me experience hiking on April 23. I know it’s too early but I love plotting schedules on my planner. She did allow me after of tons of convincing her why should I try it.  I am curious, how does it feel to be on top of the world which they called the summit ? I am too much exposed  with pollution  of cars in my city. I want to do new things aside from planning, reading books, drawing, and meeting people during weekdays and weekends. I want to get out from this urbanized life of mine. I’m stressed, drained and somehow incomplete. I am looking for something that I cannot identify. As I went to the journey, the night before I was reading this verse 1 Corinthians 2:9(ESV) says “But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—I’ve been praying to God for a healing. Telling my friends about my wound and letting them pray for me. The wound in my past relationship. There are times in my life that I am in silence and all I wanted to do is cry, for most of the time it’s hard for me to trust anyone even my friends sometimes. I’m afraid that they might hurt me or leave me. I’m afraid that we will become strangers too after all the memories we have shared together, but the Bible tells us 1 John 4:18 (ESV) says There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” I want to conquer this fear inside of me.I want this fear to go. I want to feel that there are things harder than letting go.

As I let my eyes wander on the valleys of mountain, I doubted myself.  I’m not sure if I can handle it. One of the reasons why I had to convince my mom in a couple of conversations just for her to grant my wish is that 13 years ago,  She had experienced rushing me to the hospital due to my asthma. I can’t breathe that time,and she even told me that I lost my consciousness. Papa wasn’t around that time. My mother told me that they might had lost me in that situation.She can’t even bear to look at me during that time of my suffering. She said she cry a lot that time. She always prayed  that my asthma will be gone one day. Growing up, I needed to see my doctor every once in a while. Every opening of the classes. I was being attacked of acute asthma. I can’t barely breathe sometimes, reasons were because of respiratory infections such as common colds and tight cough because of during rainy season, strong emotions and stress during my grade school days, I used to overthink too much. Also I was emotional that I don’t even talk a lot with my siblings. I don’t smile and always wanted to be alone, air pollutants and irritations, such as smoke and physical activities in Physical Education.

Looking at the mountain, I felt how small I am and asked myself “how much time will it took for me to be there at the peak?”  That time I was already talking to my heart. ” You can do it whatever it takes.” I had already declared during my victory weekend that my asthma has already gone. I had declared that all my sickness and pain were gone as I was being dipped into the water and has risen from the water. I am new, and I am claiming my victorious life which is at hand already. I’m gonna fight the lies of the enemy and I’m gonna live my life by the truths. All of these will be done through His guidance. That time, I believe that I can so I will. So as  the tour guide gave us some instructions and warnings, fear crept somewhere in my heart that I hesitated to continue, or even start the trek. My heart is stronger than my mind but my mind carries knowledge that can produce wisdom. I don’t rely on myself, I have faith in God that He will be with me in this climb. I trust Him with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind and with all my strength, the Bible says in Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

STATION 1
We started our climbing journey around 7 am. It’s really easy! I was just walking and following my dear friends when I realized that we were not yet at the foot of the mountain. We were actually on our way walking to the starting point of the trek. When the ways were heading to real start of the journey. I noticed some of the changes. The trees were now much dense than where were before. I can no longer see where we came from. The trail was getting rocky but then I can feel the fresh air as I was getting through and through to that place. I felt like I was walking along mysterious path, which was not easy to get through. Then something inside of me was calling, as if a magnet that was trying to pull me where I was. I didn’t know what’s next but I imagined myself discovering something interesting as I go further. I imagined myself walking towards the center of the earth. I sensed how peaceful to be in this place. A place that I was longing for. A place that I am craving to be on. This place is truly beautiful and it seems like a paradise. I can feel the adventure and peace at the same time.

No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied – it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.
– Ansel Adams

I then, became sweaty. I felt so alive. I want more of fluids in my body to be released through this adventure, however, I was hoping my body can endure. As the place started to change, so is my body. I can’t barely breathe. I find it even difficult to take every step because of the steepness of the trail. The heaviness of my backpack and even the weight of my body, then one of my colleagues said that we were just walking for a minutes. Really!? It seemed an hour for me, but I am aware that we were not yet at station 1 where you can take a rest. However, I still continued moving forward, even though I was already catching my breath. I took a little rest sometimes but most of the time I talked to God and prayed. It did help me a lot, so  I concluded that’s the reason why I shouldn’t stop climbing. My friends helped me, they carrying my water and letting me carried the lighter bag. From that time, they would give me a hand and would check on me if I could still continue the hike or take a little rest for some minutes. It took us 3 stops to reach the station 1. My first climb was pretty hard yet amazing. While sitting there, looked into the valleys I realized the greatness of God, not just in that moment but how God changed me a lot. That valleys represent where and who I was before, but because of faith that I have invested, I was able to witness His glory.

Peaks and valleys
Highs and lows
Wins and losses
This is how I describe my heartbeats
My life is made of ups and downs

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STATION 2
After a little rest, we decided to continue the journey. This time, I was in a position where I can say that I will continue this journey until I reached the summit. I started to enjoy holding onto the branches of trees along the trails. What’s in my mind was not the ongoing situation anymore, but what’s ahead of this situation. I told myself that I will conquer this and I will be there. I can now laugh (but not that hard) when they threw jokes along the way. I was able to smile because I believed that there is a prepared destiny for me. I can now imagined myself at the peak and looking down the valleys, seeing how beautiful creations from the different perspective, and then realizing that this kind of beauty is something that I couldn’t find in the city. The journey is no longer about giving up or holding on but it’s now about enduring, surviving and learning. There is no fear and doubts anymore. Yes! I can and I will. Challenges are no longer called struggles. After reaching the station 2 we decided to take advance because of number of people taking rest in the area.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”



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STATION 3
The hike guide said that we were absolutely near. I got motivated to push through. Thank goodness for station 2, we had a chance to rest. At that point, I don’t mind where I am and I don’t mind now what I feel. I don’t even care how dirty my clothes were but I want to keep on going. I was simply excited to see the skyline view. To clear my blind eyes and witness the real beauty. The great Landscape Masterpiece of the best Architect in the whole universe, The Creation of the Creator.

As we reached the Summit, I felt brave. Bolder than who I am back at the bottom for I have conquered my anxiety. I became who I am because something empowered me deep within. Something made me go on.

Looking back to where I came from made me realize that impossible things are possible, huge doubts that almost made me quit.

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” —Edmund Hillary

Praying and talking to God while on my journey was really the best part of the hike. I learned many things in my life. It’s realizing that will be this journey itself brings joy to the hikers. The memories, thoughts and ideas that will be revealed along the way is a precious take home that you could ever have. The joy in the heart that which brings revival of the soul. The relaxed feeling even though you got all sweats and a lot of hardships.


ME


“There are things in life that you must surrender to God so that you will be able to see that He is able to fulfill His promises.”

Spiritual Family


A place where you can witness how the heaven kissed the earth.

Blog Collaboration with Princess Dean.

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