Day 716 I finally found my life

13 01 2015

The trip is over and were home. 46.30 hours and 3360 miles. That my friends is a road-trip in 5 days and we even ate at a waffle house. I can’t tell you everything went on because some of it belongs to my friend Jim and I and the other reason is you wouldn’t understand.  When I write this blog tonight it’s very deep for me. There was so much purpose and meaning to it. I ask you to have an open mind and continue to pray for me as I continue to grow.

I never would have appreciated going on this trip three years ago. Seeing the Sequoia trees was a bucket list item but like most bucket list items in my life I complained and bitched that it wasn’t this or that etc.  God ALWAYS knows what he’s doing.  His timing is perfect even though I have told him many times he didn’t know what he was doing. National Geographic put an article out about the trees in April or May of 2014 and I mentioned to my buddy Jim how cool it would be to see the trees up close. So for my birthday he got us the trip and sat the date. We both love to drive and this was a perfect way to experience part of the country that we hadn’t seen. It causes you to slow down appreciate whats outside the window rather just flying, rushing to a rental car etc.. It allows you to have conversation and be real because what else do you have to do. Jim had never been to Vegas so we took that experience and if you ave never been to Vegas go. On the way we stopped at Hoover dam. Its amazing what we did building that and the amount of concrete and people it must have taken. I’m afraid of heights and we were out there 5 years ago and I couldn’t walk on the dam. I literally froze and my legs wouldn’t move. This time I walked on the entire left side crossed over the dam and walked down the right side. I was so proud of myself. I still had fear but I also had belief. I even leaned over the edge. Another small victory in my life. Something so amazing and not only did I overcome my fear I truly appreciated it. Friday we got to the Sequoia National Forest and it was dark and freezing. From the time we entered the park to our lodge we stayed it its only 23 miles but it takes 1:20 minutes to get there because of the curves and elevation. We were right at 7300 feet high. I’m so glad it was dark or I would have passed out seeing over the edge which I got to see when we left the lodge. at the lodge we had no cell service and the wi-fi would have been better with two tin cans. That’s another good thing because I wasn’t married to my phone like normal. So we ate dinner Friday night at the lodge tried to get adjusted to the elevation and settled in for the night. I went to bed being very anxious and I had no idea why.  I mean okay you’re going to see big trees so what. After breakfast we drove down the mountain and there were two trees in particular we wanted to see which were The Sherman (largest tree by diameter) and The President ( around 350 ft tall) Only thing was it was 2.5 mile round trip and even though I think I’m in good shape I wondered if I could make it as usual doubting myself. The Sherman is the first tree and there are no words or pics that can do the tree justice. its 36 feet in diameter. I was in absolute awe. There were a good number of people around that tree and a little further up the path but to see the President which is the one on front of National geographic we had to keep hiking. We took a few breaks to catch our breath, but as we continued up you couldn’t hear the cars below, nobody else was making the hike with us, and the snow on the ground was drowning out the other sounds of the forest. I boosted my buddy Jim up on a rock which was super high but he got up there and the pic was so great because he conquered it but he had accomplished so much more and that pic was proof for him.

President tree Burnt tree

As we got closer to The President tree we stopped talking to each other so much and it got quite but mostly my mind got quite. You look around the forest and there are broken branches many places where fire had burned the trees, but you saw new life, you saw trees that were 2-3 years old that were thriving and my mind just went quite. We finally get up to the president tree and you look up and almost fall over backwards trying to see up to the top.  Theres a bench that you can sit on to take a pics and I sat down. I sat and never in my life had I heard the quite that I did for the 5 minutes I sat there. Jim went up a hill to do his own thing and there I was then it hit me. I heard God and he said. I brought you here so you can see your life. You see the trees that are burnt but thriving that’s you. The forest fire blacked the trees but they don’t die. It is so proof that life can take broken and destroyed and make them new and better. Even the inside of the trees looked so burnt that there useless: I got to see the fallen pieces the parts that didn’t make it but there were little saplings 2-3 years old like my life sprinkled along the way but the big trees with burned marks, and missing bark we’re stronger and in awe to see. There were so many levels to them and I thought the only thing I was going to see were big trees but I saw my life. In the still of the moments I was there. I thanked God for not only this creation but bringing me half way across the United states to see out of so much destruction the beauty that can come out of it. The piece before Jim came down the hill is I looked up for the final time and either I wanted to hear it or I heard it but my dad said son I’m proud of you. I had told a few if only I could here my dad say that just one more time and that I did.

So I process all of this as we leave yesterday heading back its a lot to take in and I’m still in awe of what I feel and the peace that I have. I also got to see my ex wife’s family in Tucson last night for about 10 minutes. I really love them and they love me too. Its part of divorce that sucks when you miss family but it was the best 10 minutes. The hugs when we left were great and I got a few miles down the road and cried. I got to put to rest some fears about seeing them but also just letting family know I love them. They left me with some great words and I intend to remember them. Between Tucson and El PAso last night while Jim was sleeping and it was just literally me and the road I came to this realization.  For the first time in my 39 years I understand my life. It’s very simple: I was broken and will always be broken, I’m a sapling in my new life, Im a good man,  a good father and someone people love and respect me and that no matter what happens from this minute to the end of my life that will not change. God can and will take anything and only makes the most beautiful things out of the most broken. Yes life is that simple and I finally found my life in the quietest place that I had ever been and simply put thank you.

Thanks for allowing me to ramble but I needed to write this for myself so if I forget I can go back. It was my wow moment and here’s to you finding yours.

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