6 ½ months later our epic journey has come to an end. The trip was outstanding but hard to relate. I could write about the pile of majestic snow covered mountains we saw (so many that it nearly became common) – the crystal blue lakes – the monstrous Redwoods, but just like the pictures, words don’t do them justice.
I could write about the amazing relationships that were created and built. Friends and family who have become dearer to us than ever, but the truth is that’s only interesting to us and them.
There were miracles – like when our camper broke a spring right as we pulled into a camping spot so we got to spend that night safe and comfortable. Not only that, but when we went to buy a new spring, the blacksmith told us he had sold the last one the day before…but after thinking for a minute said “how about I just make you one”. Or the simple fact that our 22 year old Ford Explorer made it alive and well for the 12,000 miles across the country.
We also found the only border patrol officer with a sense of humour – although it made us slightly uneasy. When I told him the name of the apple we had in the car (you know how they are with fruit and veg) he said “don’t say it like that, you sound like a terrorist.” We laughed nervously (do they really make jokes??). Then as we drove off he called out “drive it like you stole it!”
There were also fond memories of the time I lost it at the end of a long day (one of many) because all the camping spots were taken. Thankfully Matt held it together and we ended up finding an elevated, free camping spot, with no one else around, overlooking the entrance into Banff National Park.
Or the fights and tears I had with the kids when they didn’t want to do their reading or math (which was most of the time). Or the setting up and packing down that we did day after day after day.
But one thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t change a thing, not even the hard bits – because they made the good bits so much sweeter.
But now, here we find ourselves back home, and of course, the question inevitably comes up (several times), “So what are you guys doing now?” Actually, as we were driving home on the very last…8 hour drive…the love of my life turns to me and says “so where do you want to go on our next road trip?” I waited briefly for the punch line but none came – I’m still not sure if he was joking or not.
And so the question remains, what are we going to do next? Well, our best answer is, “We don’t know”.
In our humanity, what we can see is a bit of a letdown after so much travel and adventure. But that’s the thing about walking by faith and not sight – you’re meant to look at things from a different perspective. What we can see is like that old faithful metaphor of the tip of the iceberg. And yet how often do I complain to God about my circumstances? What is it about feeling righteously miserable that is so satisfying? Faith takes the ordinary and reveals countless opportunities that were hidden and only unlocked when we step forward.
So what are we doing next? Stay tuned. But for for now we have chosen to walk by faith to not be disappointed by what we can see, but to be excited about what I can’t.