Did you totally just start singing Miley Cyrus’s song from The Hannah Montana movie when you read that title? I totally wouldn’t blame you. It’s a classic in our house. I may have been humming it a little in my head as I had the weekend off and got to spend it with my favorite Montana family but not Hannah’s. (See what I did there?) We went on an amazing adventure to the top of the world. I could not stop saying, “Wow” and “Oh my goodness” and “this is insane”! It was breathtaking and awe inspiring.
While we were climbing and hiking, my Montana bestie said something profound, “it’s definitely hard, but it’s totally worth it when you get to the top.” This stuck with me for so many reasons.
First of all, the hike we were on didn’t look that hard. It looked like we were walking up a hill to a pile of rocks. I’m not in the best shape but I do walk about 2 miles a day at least 4 times a week. I do some weights and muscle toning stuff. But y’all. Seriously, I could not breathe. I could not get my heart rate down to a normal range for what we were doing. It was sad and scary and embarrassing. The lack of oxygen and my lack of experience was blatantly obvious. I wanted to make it to the snow. I hated being at the very very back of the pack. Everyone had to stop and wait on me. But when G said that and we crested the hill- in that moment, I knew God was working on my heart. Life has been really difficult these past three weeks in a lot of ways. Besides missing my family, there have been some other drastic, devastating life changes and I’ve been away from the people that needed me in that. I had some hard things to deal with in some friendships where Satan was really attacking us and trying to divide us when we most needed one another. Difficult things. Painful things. Lonely things. But then with prayer and choosing to trust God with them, I made it past the pain; I was able to see the view that God was creating for us and it was beautiful. We were blessed with answers to prayers in ways I never dreamed or imagined. My relationship was restored with grace and mercy. The difficult was hard but the view at the top was so worth it. Totally worth it.
Secondly, her words spoke to my heart. Not my wife heart. Not my mom heart. But my Jana heart. The one that dreamed so big when I was younger. The heart that traveled the world with my precious Daddy sharing Jesus across this planet. The heart that has been blessed to travel across the country many times with my DeKelSki fam. The heart that has taken my girls across the planet to India to work with human trafficking victims. The heart that has raised my kids not to fear the difficult but to chase after the life God has for us. The heart that says to do what is right no matter the consequences in the world’s viewpoint. None of those dreams or choices are easy but I keep doing them. I keep making them. I crave them. Why? Because it’s totally worth it when you get to the top.
I’ve been through difficult circumstances and sometimes that captures all my focus and attention but I was overwhelmed with gratitude at the things I’ve been blessed to see as I stood at the top of those piles of rocks. Standing at the top of the Bear’s Tooth Pass seeing things so many people will never get to see reminded me of all the good, exciting, life changing experiences I’ve been blessed with. Experiences that I prayed and fought to make happen. Experiences that I have shared with some of my favorite people on earth. God created me to go and to do and to experience and I don’t want to ever waste that. I don’t ever want the difficult to keep me from making it to the top where it is always worth it.
Finally, these words motivated me because I want to inspire others who miss out on so many experiences and blessings that God has for them because they don’t want to go through the difficult. Maybe it is fear. Maybe it is grief. Maybe it is lack of opportunity. Maybe it is a lack of support. Maybe you don’t even know what name to put on whatever it is keeping you from trying. If I can do it, huffing, puffing, and fighting to catch up to the the pack, you can do it too. I want you to figure out how to push through the difficult so you can experience the view from the top. So go for it. It will be difficult. But it will totally be worth it.
Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer;
from the end of the earth I call to you
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I,
for you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy. Psalm 61:1-3