A blog is an autobiography written as you're reading it.

Solitude

When you finish a really good book, or are particularly bowled over by the hand of God in your life, or you have a house and good food ready to share, you tell other people about it. That’s how I feel about Big Creek Lakes in Colorado. It’s a little spot, nothing special by the standards of the Rocky Mountains, and yet I feel the urgent need to tell people about this beautiful spot just ten miles south of the Wyoming border.

Big Creek Lakes, CO. I want so badly to go back. This view was about four paces from our picnic table.

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been almost a month since we were up there. I can still remember the crisp air in my lungs, the peaceful quiet of the wind rushing through the trees: no sirens around, no traffic, none of the common sounds of city life. Solitude. It felt like Alisha and I had solitude up there, even though there were other campers around.

Solitude was something that we badly needed. After all, I had just told Alisha that I was back on the wagon as far as foster care was concerned. Some of that logic and heart-unclenching came about in the last post I wrote on the subject. One day God just reached into my heart and rearranged it. I don’t know how else to explain it. In May, I became OK with the idea once more. I can only give God the credit for this because it definitely didn’t come from me. In a million small ways he just reminded me of what he has for us, the great need in our foster care system, and the plain and simple truth that every kid deserves a safe home.

All of this sank in and reapplied to my heart in deeper measure at Big Creek Lakes.

This area was hit by wildfire in 2016 so all of the trees are <6 years old, or survivors of the fire.

On one hike, we saw 2 moose, hopped 70 fallen trees, crossed 16 mountain streams, and culminated at a nearly miraculous waterfall two and a half miles in. I sat on the sun-warmed rocks overlooking the waterfall and God’s presence and blessing in our lives simply beat right into my soul, right then and there. It was engorged from the snowmelt, and the water simply rushed on and on, uncaring and unceasing.

Big Creek Falls (a little overexposed)

We had both agreed to stop at the waterfall, but we couldn’t help ourselves. We walked further, deeper into the valley. We followed Big Creek even as the fallen trees got more and more impassable. Around one bend, an entire valley opened up, shadowed by the snowy slopes of the mountain overhead. At this point, we finally turned around, but not before we had been struck breathless by the wild beauty of a place that we never would have found without this little trail. I like to imagine the first person to wander on this valley, what they must have felt.

God doesn’t care if your knee-jerk reaction is away from his plan for your life. Sooner or later, he opens you back up, like a flower blooming in the wreckage of a wildfire.

Echoes of that still resonated in the present day when we walked into a painting, backed by the burbling rush of a snow-melt engorged creek. Fittingly, my camera had died, and so I have no pictures. They couldn’t have done it justice, anyways. The beauty of it all would have just overwhelmed the lens as much as it had overwhelmed me.

We have been blessed with so much, and I had myopically flipped the importance of the blessings with the importance of using these things — our house, our income, our time, and our energy — for His glory in the story that he’s writing for us. Love is not an exhaustible resource. The more you give it, the more you are given to steward. And so it goes.

After the camping trip we emailed our licensing worker, and have been ‘on the market’ since. We’re back on our track to being an instant family once more, and expect to be placed with a new kid before the end of July. And maybe once more after that, and once more until God shows us what he has for us next.

Time slips on and on, and weeks and months pass almost without me noticing them. Time has healed a lot of the wounds that sprang up in November, December, and January. And yet, the one who made the waterfall, and the mountains, and the moose, is here for me too. We are walking on his path — of this I’m sure. That gives me the confidence to open my heart back up to another kid, to upend our lives once again, and to jump boldly back onto this trail.

Maranatha!