This adventure is almost over. I only have TWO WEEKS left in this beautiful place nestled between the mountains. Fourteen days of snow and mountain peaks and "seasonal friends" (I didn't even know that this was a thing until now) and snowboarding and rooming with my bestie and dorm life and teaching little rugrats how to enjoy the snow.
Only a little while longer existing in this place.
Only a little more time with these people who have become part of my life. And I may not see any of them again. Ever.
It's scary how fragile and fast life is. How much time I spend wishing things were different or stressing about how they are...when time is spinning me out of control and I can't hold on. I need more reminders of how important every second is.
My heart is full. I am incredibly sad to go. And yet I can also imagine the relief I will feel as I pack up the life I have here and return home, to familiar faces and places. My cozy attic-like bedroom. The green grass, abundant rainfall, and chirping birds of an Ohio spring. The goofiness and chaos and love that is my family. The friends that I've been horrible at communicating with while I've been here.
This winter season has represented a lot of firsts for me. First time in a dorm (college life without the homework, check). First tattoo (...yeah, I did it). First boyfriend (sheesh how that word still sends shivers up my spine; I have never liked how that word seems to throw one's perception of life out the window). The awe I feel every time I look around me at the mountains. The crazy fear as I launched myself off of a jump I wasn't ready for. The giddy joy I felt in shredding through fresh powder.
Sunburn and heartache and burning desire and dreams come true and snowflakes everywhere and a God who meets me in all of these places.
As I'm struggling with saying goodbye, this verse keeps popping out at me, reminding me that it is time to move forward.
"Don't remember the former things, and don't consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing. It springs out now. Don't you know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isaiah 43:18-19
I'm gonna need those paths in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. After my short hiatus in Arizona, Virginia, and Ohio, I'll have to kiss vacation goodbye and jump into a job that I honestly don't feel qualified for.
This summer, starting in May, I'm going to be an Adventure Counselor at Lutheran Valley Retreat. It's a camp in the wilderness near Colorado Springs. And trust me, it will be all about God's beautiful creation. I'll be helping lead backpacking trips mostly, so lots of camping and hiking. Plus rock climbing (real rocks, real mountains - none of that wall climbing stuff) and ropes courses and horses and archery and...sorry, but it has been a lot for me to take in, too.
I won't have cell phone service. I may or may not have internet on the weekends. Feel free to reach me with snail mail, guys, cause otherwise you won't be hearing from me!
It's going to be the weirdest combination of full-on introvert time in the wilderness and constant, Caitlin-stretching time with kids and counselors alike.
Yep. I'm just trading this winter adventure for an even crazier summer one. And this time I won't have my amazing bestie Lauren to keep me sane.
I'm going it alone.
Thank you, God, for never leaving me. For sticking around so that even when I'm walking a lonely path, You're there promising me I'm never really alone. And for always teaching me the best and hardest lessons.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
I shall not.
I will not.
I will follow where You lead.