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Apparently a half marathon wasn’t enough of a challenge for me… I spent this weekend camping with a friend of mine. Typically when I say “camping” I mean a tent in a nice campground with a little store, flushing toilet, showers, etc. But this was not my typical type of camping. We had three things upon arrival- a fire pit, a vault toilet, and a bear box. A bear box! As in, we had to lock up our food and toiletries to help prevent bears from coming in our camp!!

As the sun was sinking in the sky, two of us girls loaded up with packs and hauled a canoe downhill to the river. (On a side note, who designed backpacking packs?! They are unbelievably unflattering!) Once in the canoe we had a ninety minute trip to our campsite. It was great for the first hour. Shaky, as neither of us had done this without husbands, but good. When we reached the point at which the river met the lake we realized we were out of our league. There was wind and the lake was “choppy”, to say the least. The waves were around two feet and in a canoe it was terrifying! We would crest a wave and as the canoe dropped from the wave, the next would pour over the front of the canoe dumping water all over me and into the canoe. We grabbed onto a log to take a breather and decide what to do (as if we had any option, but to keep going). As the waves tossed us up against the log over and over, we prayed. It was one of those moments that you realize you don’t have the strength or courage to go on, but you have to. God was so good and He gave us just enough to get us back on the water and headed toward our destination. He stilled the water, not completely but enough. He is so faithful!

I was scared and shaking, so I did the only thing I know to calm me down. I started to sing a hymn, “How Great Thou Art” to be exact. Not soon after I started, my friend joined in. We made it through four hymns before we realized we had reached our destination! We must have been a ridiculous sight to behold. The two of us girls canoeing alone in horrible conditions, singing with everything we had!!

Once we got to our campsite everything got way easier! Yes, we had to trek through the woods gathering firewood to keep warm. Yes, we had to get our water from a creek and boil it to drink. And, yes, the food consisted of freeze-dried “just add water” packets (which were surprisingly delicious- high sodium content of course!). But it was an amazing adventure! We got settled and our second day there we sat in the sun, read books, played cards, and talked for hours! It was a fabulous weekend!

We set out with the idea of challenging ourselves, and it absolutely was a challenge. But I came home with a great sunburn, a feeling of accomplishment I’ve never known (not even from the half marathon), and strengthened faith!! God was so there with us this weekend and we absolutely needed Him to be. It was an incredible, unforgettable memory and I can’t wait to do it again!!

Thank You, Father, for showing up this weekend. Thank You for calming the waves and giving me strength and courage. Thank You for keeping my friend and me safe this weekend. You are so faithful God! Thank You for moments when we can’t rely on ourselves, but by faith we can rely on and rest in You. In Jesus precious name, Amen.

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