I Still Believe
9 years ago I prayed to hike over mountains and tell people about God—it was that simple, and I was honestly stunned when I became a mountain guide. Flash to now: I’m at my computer in a little kitchen table in this tiny house in Florida. I’m so so good but so so far from this—about to move to Birmingham, not Colorado. Do you know how many times I’ve rethought this dream because I’m finished at Wilderness Expeditions? And like—eventually you have to get a real job, right?
I live in Florida but this photo is every bit of my heart. This is mountain-guide-me on Arkansas Mountain and yes, long past now—but I believe with all my heart also my future.
I remember this was three days into a heck of a trip, and we had just gotten to high camp that afternoon. My fellow guide had found 9-foot striped bamboo sticks laying around up there at 11,000 feet—what? we had no idea what they were for, but we ended up holding the ends in the fire and making them glow and smoke and dance around creating smoke shapes. The kids definitely agreed we were nuts.
That was earlier that day. But in this photo I’m looking over a vast valley from this little campfire and tent on the side of this mountain, a crisp airy breeze in my hair, a raging fire in front of me. So tired from a day of backpacking, so full from talking life and hiking with 20 campers, writing a devotional for them all, cooking them all dinner, then sitting down to this. We were about to sing.
You know, I became a designer to pay for the expense of life and to find a voice in this world of screamers. And let’s be real—backpacking full time is just for dreamers and unrealistic, right? So I went to college in Florida and now I’m building a design career.
But this picture burns in my memory. And I’m so so convinced God gives us passions for a holy reason beyond us. My time as a mountain guide was more than a summer camp counselor job—it was a taste of a lifetime passion that is taking years to build. I may not know how, but 9 years later, this is still a passion.
Someday I’ll be back. Only this time it’ll be for good. With a van maybe, a full-time freelancing career, a deeper understanding of humans and discipling and community, and heck, even better know how to ski. But I’ll be out there, splashing through the mountain streams, on 14000 foot summits, bombing downhill on two wheels, or skinning up in endless champagne powder—heck yes, I’m coming back.