Sometimes, all we really need is to just get away.
We just need to drive up to the mountains with a friend. Sit in a cozy cabin, dunking coffee bags into mugs, while talking about how beautiful life really is. We need to laugh at all the ways we’ve changed in the last year. Sometimes, we need to feel that slight sting of pain that comes with realizing how nothing ever really stays the same.
You’re going to need to learn to embrace the moments of burying your head in the blankets as a friend asks the hard questions about love and about letting go.
While the cabin settles in and braces itself for what feels like a coming storm, just breathe and watch the leaves swirl outside the windows. When you do, I hope you have a moment when you realize that all you needed was just one second of that Still Small Voice. Even though it may not be a booming-voice-from-Heaven experience, that the three hour drive is worth hearing just one sentence that soothes the heart.
One beautiful word is worth all the miles, the money and the mess.
And you know, driving up that mountain is a lot like life. One minute, it’s smooth sailing and the next thing you know, you’re slamming on your breaks face-to-face with the side of a cliff. In that moment, you grab that wheel with both hands, take a deep breath. Go on and take that curve like you own it; ’cause baby, it’s too late to turn back now.
Meet some characters along the way. If you’re like me, you’ll find out some strange things like how “men are deer” and learn some lessons about “patience, patience, patience” and you will love every single second of it.
But don’t be afraid to come back home.
It’s easy to fall in love with the silent and simple life that is hidden in the rust colored leaves. In a place like that, you’re always going to consider just settling in for the long haul and forgetting what’s waiting for you 157 miles away in a town that never lets you forget the past.
You have to remind yourself that you need to come home.
When you start your journey back, drink in the shades of blue that paint the evening sky and find yourself thinking about tacos and snow and how brave and yet clumsy you’ve spent the last year being.
Stop at the McDonalds that is a faithful staple in all of your past mountain road trips and order chicken nuggets while you cry about the things are far too big for your tiny hands to change.
You need some time to sort out the things you can change and to let go of the things you never could.
Close your eyes and count to one-two-three and say, one curve at a time.
And when you get home and life kicks you in the gut again (and it will), plant those little feet on some solid ground.
Hold on just a longer, love.
Because hope is going to come again. All the things that make you feel alive and that symphony of laughter that’s being caged by your weary bones is going to return with a fierceness.
You will come home from your weekend in the woods and will look for more answers. You will start wondering how God expects you to keep going when things seem so dry and mundane here at home.
And then He will surprise you with a phone call from a complete stranger on a Tuesday night to let you know that He’s still got a plan.
When He does and hope starts to return, you’ll slowly begin forgetting all the lies you’ve been tangled in. All the voices that told you and all the reasons why can’t ran away with never could. All the ways you thought you failed and all the people you felt you lost will begin to only strengthen you because you’ll know in your core:
It wasn’t all for nothing.
There’s a gift waiting if you’ll just take some time to get away. Maybe you can’t go to the mountains right now. Maybe it will just be a few minutes on your back porch with the sunset. Perhaps you can wake up a few minutes early tomorrow and enjoy some time on your couch, listening for the voice you were made to hear.
Whatever the case and no matter the circumstance, I hope you get some time to get away soon. Because there’s hope hanging from the mundane and routine clouds above your head.
And Hope has got a smile on His face and some words for your heavy heart.