Well, I made it to Lynden where I'll spend the next few months living in community and learning about Jesus. I suppose at this point I'm more nerves than excitement. But being nervous means I care right? The journey out here was a beautiful one (besides North Dakota, sorry not sorry) We spent the first night in Theodore Roosevelt National Park and that was the eight hour drive through MN and ND's shining moment. It was a cool park with pretty views of the badlands and lots of animals like Bison and Prairie dogs. I may or may not have almost lost my mind, and God quickly reminded me that I was not meant to do this alone. The spiritual 2x4 as a friend calls it hit me directly over the head that night and I remembered I'm meant to lean on God in these times of insanity and unknown.
After a good nights rest we drove through Montana. I have a friend from there and she said it gets beautiful after Billings and she wasn't kidding. Seeing mountains for the first time in a long time was a surreal feeling. We ended up driving through them on the beartooth highway. The views were drop dead gorgeous, and despite the snow on the ground, I managed to get sunburnt. We spent the rest of the evening in Yellowstone and seeing more wild animals and more beautiful sights really set the mood for the rest of the trip out to Washington. We left early the next morning and spent another few hours in Yellowstone. We saw canyons, rivers, and waterfalls, and those really unique thermal features that spewed mud and steam and water. I can't explain to you how badly I wanted to touch it, but the signs and my mother kept telling me no. I guess I'm grateful for that fact because the water coming up was literally boiling, how the earth can do that is beyond me. We beat the line coming in leaving Yellowstone and headed back through Montana and Idaho.
Driving through the mountains at 80 miles an hour was a unique experience. In fact it was kind of thrilling. My mechanic told me to make sure not to ride the brakes so I made sure I didn't, probably at the expense of my mom's sanity. The views didn't stop until we hit Couer d'Alene in Idaho where we stopped for dinner. The restaurant overlooked a lake that was as blue as blue could be. I spent a lot of time these past few days taking in the beauty of the globe with out thinking about the beauty that is the body of Christ, but this night in Idaho of all places changed that. Two guys were setting up to play a show at the restaurant we were eating at. They asked me to take a photo of them and of course I said yes, I mentioned that I was a music photographer and asked if I could take photos of them playing and they said yes. I joked to my mom before hand saying that I hoped they were good. And man they were. I haven't seen live music since 2019. Now that is a VERY long time for someone like me. We sat there the entire two hours they played in awe of their talent. (Check out Jacob's music here) But the really cool thing happened after. I went up to them and asked how I could send them the photos, mentioned that I was from Minnesota and when they asked what I was doing all the way out in Idaho I told them I was headed to YWAM in Washington. They got SO excited, saying they were believers and asking if they could pray over me. Of course I said yes. They gave me so much encouragement and I left feeling so much peace about everything I was about to step in to.
We made it to Lynden the next day. It's a beautiful and quite town that I got to visit last October, and honestly it feels like I never left. I spent today exploring some of Bellingham and Larrabee State Park. I don't think I'll ever get past seeing mountains every time I step out the front door of the places we've stayed. I know I started this by saying I was more nervous than excited, but I think writing this helped calm me down. Tomorrow I head to YWAM North Cascade's base to start this next chapter of my life. And even though I am nervous, I know God will use me in whatever ways He sees fit if I let Him. I miss my friends, my family, my dog, my job... but I know its for the best. There is so many instances in the bible where the disciples are told to leave their belongings and everything they know and follow Jesus. And if they can do that I can do the same, after all its only 6 months, and I'm sure they're absolutey going to fly by. I'm excited to meet new people and to learn more about Jesus and how to live like Him and help like Him. It's going to be great, and even when it doesn't feel all the great, I know it's all for good reason. Thanks for coming along on this journey with me.