Mountain Top Moment! #UsFatGirls
This mountain-top moment actually happened on top of a Mountain.
Last year my family climbed Harney Peak. It’s located just outside of Hill City, South Dakota. It’s the highest peak in North America East of the Rockies. It has an elevation of 7244 feet. It took us about 4 hours. Any hiker/climber is required to take everything they need in and everything they need out (we carried a gallon of water per person). There are not rest stops or water breaks along the way. There is a final check point where we were required to “sign in” to verify we were climbing to the top. On the form it gave notice and informed us “Go at your own risk. No one will come with search and rescue to look for you should something happen.” There is no route for vehicles to get in or out.
It is a stunning climb with amazing views and various terrains. It was so special to get to do with my hubby and kids. (Yes, my daughter summit-ted her first peak when she was 8, my son was 10). (photo of my family trekking ahead of me)
The last stretch of the climb is brutal with like 100 stairs. There is what looks like a princess tower at the very top.
(Those tiny bodies on the tower are my family. Yes, I climbed across these boulders to take this photo.)
(photo of my family at the tower).
We began to explore the peak, checking the view in every direction. Whenever reaching a peak, it really does feel like you are on top of the world.
As my family continued to explore, I sat down for a much-needed snack and break. I sat looking across mountains and tree tops as far as my eyes could see. As I sat on a giant boulder, little critters began to surround me. Chipmunks! And not a handful. I’m talking about 50+ chipmunks! It was like a herd of playful little furry things! I’ve since heard them referred to as “the invading army”. They are sooooo cute. They are playful and competitive and silly, and chase each other, and check each others tails and ears, and they checked my back pack too. They poppped onto their hind legs near me to reach their noses toward me to see if I had anything for them. Shoot! I wish I had more snacks with me, we still have the hike down I needed to conserve for. I snacked and giggled watching them. They wanted to compete for my attention distracting me from the astonishing view.
As I sat on top of the highest mountain, I was struck by how many of these cute fur-balls were up there. This is a harsh climate. In the middle of harsh, snow-covered South Dakota, on top of a mountain, with severe weather that changes moment to moment. And yet with all of the odds against them, here they were – and they were THRIVING.
I kind of thought and prayed asking, “Why would all these critters be here? I mean, out of the population of the planet, very few people, if ever, will make it up here. No one, or very few, will ever see them.” I felt a sort of God-answer arrive (which is so hard to explain in human terms when God talks to my heart, so bear with me as i try to explain this moment). God ‘said’, “Because I enjoy them, I get to see them, and that is enough.”
I could totally agree with that. They ARE cute and playful and fun to watch. I could see how God would want them there and keep an eye on them and keep them safe – even if no human ever sees them.
And in that moment, I felt God say something else. He said, “And that’s how I feel about YOU! Even if no one sees all your effort, all that you do, all who you are- YOU ARE ENOUGH!” It washed over me like a sudden wave pouring down on top of me.
All I could do was bawl my eyes out.
Are you picturing this yet? Sitting on a peak, sweating, stinky, worn out, sun kissed, back pack thrown to the side, snacks in hand, surrounded by chipmunks, bawling my eyes out, ON TOP OF THE WORLD. It was epic. It was beautiful. I felt loved. I felt like I was enough.
Now I know why they call them “mountain top experiences”!
Since then some folks have told me it was the exhaustion from the climb or the altitude I was experiencing when I ‘heard’ the God of all creation talk to me. But I’m holding onto hope, the love I felt poured out on me that day, and the message given while watching those cute chipmunks = “Even if no one else sees, you are enough for ME, you bring pleasure to Me, and I love you.”
I want to finish with this . . . .
“Beautiful, YOU are enough! Even if no one else sees!”