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Life's Mountains, part 3 - August 2011

This month's devotional is the final of a 3-part series by Legacy Retreat attendee Cheryl Broyles.

Nine – Energize: During our break climbing Mount Shasta we 

drank water and ate to keep up our energy.  An amazing energy gel called GU, smooth creamy chocolate gel.  Yum!  Living through cancer treatments, we feel physically fatigued and worn down.  Emotional stress also depletes our bodies from energy.  It gets harder doing the daily stuff around the house.  Just like on the mountain, I need to drink and eat well.  Good healthy stuff to energize my immune system and give me the strength to keep up the fight.  Other things like laughing, listening to great music, singing, dancing, moving - brings energy.  Also just remembering a verse from God’s word during the day gives me strength to keep going!  Like 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Ten – Encouragement: Climbing Mount Shasta, almost at the peak, we got to what is called, Misery Hill.  It has that name for a reason.  I was ready to give up.  Matt my husband and a guide saw the look on my face and started the encouragement. “Don’t stop!” “Move those feet!” They took a tag team approach, like big cheerleading men.  Sometimes living with cancer I feel like there is no one there cheering me on.  Sometimes I need encouragement every day, every hour.  I learned I don’t need to wait to hear it from a “person.”  I was amazed how many times the Bible talks about encouragement, too many to list here.  But God’s word tells us how we can be encouraged by the scripture, the Holy Spirit, thinking of others that inspire us, doing good deeds for others, and even just cheering ourselves on!   So I love my friends and family there to encourage me, but I’ve learned that it’s not limited to that.  I love Nike’s commercial where it said “Athletes tell themselves they can do the impossible, even when they are not sure they can.” Talk about encouraging themselves!

Eleven – Notice the Miracles: When I finally made it to the peak of Mt Shasta I knew it was a miracle.  Statistics said 70% would fail the climb.  I was a cancer patient, not in the best shape, old worn out gear, was in pain.  Anyone predicting would bet that I would fail.  However I made it to the peak!  To me a miracle!  Growing up I never believed miracles still happened.  I thought it was something you read about in the Bible in the old days.  But I am seeing them now in my life!  Too many to list.  God still works miracles today.  There have been too many amazing things happening in my life over the last 11 years to call it “by-luck” or “by-chance”.  I’m not saying I’m cured, but I have seen mountains move!  Matthew 21:21

Twelve – At the Peak: At the peak of Mt Shasta I was amazed.  Seeing a view I never would see anywhere else in the world.  However I surprised myself.  I thought the BIG reward for successfully making it to the peak would be seeing the beautiful view.  But that was not it.  The reward I truly valued was living through, being molded by; the experience of the climb itself.  For me it’s the same thing with cancer.  It’s not the reward of surviving that I truly value.  It’s the changes it’s made in my life through my experiences climbing my own “life’s mountains.”  Here is the summary of the key new view of life I learned while climbing to the peaks of my own Life’s Mountains.  Trials are a blessing molding me into a better person.  Expect trials to keep coming in life like peaks in mountain ranges.  I can feel peace and joy through the good and the bad times.  I can smile each day regardless of my circumstances.  I can smile.