Getting Used to the Mountains


Two years ago, on May 26, 2014, I packed up my Nashville apartment with my best friends and fiancé and moved to Colorado. The past two years have been some of the most turbulent, unsettling, and confusing in my life, but as I near yet another anniversary of my life-change date, something in particular sticks out to me this year - I'm getting used to the mountains. The first time I visited Colorado in 2012, I remember thinking that no one could possibly live in this state and not be shocked by the beauty of the Rockies. Even when I first moved here, I can recall running outside and nearly tripping because I couldn't stop staring at Pike's Peak. The change in landscape was so shocking to me that it was seemingly impossible to forget about.

Mountains symbolize a lot to me. They represent the skyline of my home state, a dream that I spent a long time chasing, and the risks that I feel God has called me to take. A mountain, in all reality, is a giant obstacle to the flow of this earth. They are a dramatic change, an uphill battle, and a visual blockade to anyone trying to see far in front of them. And yet, they are absolutely, breathtakingly beautiful.

Yesterday, as I laid by the pool of our Denver apartment, which has one of the best views I've ever seen, I noticed that I was looking right at the mountains and not reacting. They didn't fill my stomach with butterflies or steal my attention; instead, they were just a piece of the view. Happily, I realized that a part of me has gotten used to the mountains.

When I say that, I'm talking about so much more than my eyes adjusting to the landscape. Colorado used to feel confusing every day. I spent a lot of time grieving the risks that I had taken and missing a life that felt all too comfortable. While the mountains kept me reaching higher and looking towards the future, they were also a shocking reminder of the change I had made, a change that looked nothing like something I could understand or get used to.

Change can fill us with adrenaline, and I understand the high that comes along with marveling at the beauty of the unknown. However, when you're lonely and unsure, the unknown stops being amazing, and it starts to make you want to shut your eyes and ignore the massive obstacle in front of you. The realization that I am able to stare at the mountains in front of me without fear marks more than just a passage of time; it acknowledges a change in me.

Life has a lot of mountains, far more numerous than the ones I see in Colorado. Before I moved here, there were very few things in life that had required me to take a blind leap of faith. It's taken a long time to feel at home in Colorado, but I've finally warmed up to the idea. It may have taken me two years, a lot of tears, long hours, and too many miles, but I've become accustomed to the fact that obstacles don't block the view, they decorate it. 

Levi Lusko said in his book Through the Eyes of a Lion, "The fingerprints of God are often invisible until you look at them in the rearview mirror". Lucky for me, the mountains are becoming less of an unknown and more of a fingerprint every day.

Cheers to 2 years, Colorado, thanks for not giving up on me.