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Freedom Climb 2015, what a journey!
One month before the climb I injured my back to the point of immobility. The pain was severe and the climb soon began to look like an impossibility. Four days before the climb I was cleared to fly, with the permission to even try to climb a few days. By faith I flew to Europe, not knowing if I really would climb or not.
Upon arrival in Chamonix, France, I soon was plagued by fear, anxiety and doubt. Numerous questions were rolling through my mind, with the one major one of, ‘Why am I even here?’ My initial decision to climb was simply to stand up against the exploitation, abuse and poverty forced upon many women and children. That still remained true, but when standing at the base of the mountain with a weak body that still needed a lot of healing and recovery, the need for a much more personal and intimate reason to climb became real. I proceeded to ask God to please show me in a deep way why I was there at such a time.
From that moment on, I experienced an incredible joy coming over me and knew that it was only the joy of the Lord that would be my strength. I also knew that God would show me each day if I was supposed to climb or not. This brought great contentment, as I didn’t need to worry the night before if I would be climbing the next day or not, but could rest in the fact that he would show me each morning what I was to do that day.
In faith, I set out on the trail and joyfully hiked 4 out of the 8 day trek through the Swiss and French Alps! Each of these 4 days had their own challenges, but each day God gave me just enough strength to reach where I needed to.
Day 4 will be a day I won’t easily forget, as there was a strong answer to the ‘why’ I had been asking God just a few days earlier…
We had already been hiking all day and still had another 2 hours to go to reach our mountain hut, yet my body was nearly at its limit. I really wondered how I would make it to the hut this time. There was no option of stopping, as we were hiking in heavy rain and didn’t want to get stuck hiking in the dark. I continued to press on and endure the pain. I held fast to the confirmation I had received in the morning from God to climb that day, trusting that he would get me to the hut. Now with only about 1 hour to go, I really didn’t have the strength to continue forcing myself through the pain. It was in this moment of the most intense pain I have ever experienced in my life that I also experienced God right there with me… Suddenly I remembered the reason I had chosen to climb. It wasn’t for my own comfort or adventure experience, but rather on behalf of the many women who have been thrown out, rejected and left without a voice. I began thinking of specific ladies I had previously met and the terrible things they have endured every day for many years, completely against their own will. I suddenly felt privileged to be climbing on their behalf and experiencing some pain through it all. The whole idea of choosing to climb for the freedom of others suddenly became intensely real to me in a whole new way. Although incredibly difficult, I continued climbing in faith that I would make it to that nights hut…and I did. God once again proved to me and the others around me that together with Him, all things are possible.
The joys together with challenges I experienced on this years Freedom Climb were so impactful on my personal faith journey with God, and for that I will be forever thankful.
Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One who is leading. It is a life of faith not of intellect and reason, but a life of knowing who makes us go.
– Oswald Chambers