Any day that begins like this...
...is a good day for Clay Sandoz.
We had a little free time yesterday.
Yes, we took to the roads.
The beautiful, big, open roads. Radio blasting more country music than Clay could stand.
We started the day in Black Mountain for lunch at My Father's Pizza.
You each want two really huge glasses of ice water and Dr. Pepper? Sure! Free refills? Of course! Can't decide between two pizzas? We'll just make it half and half, and do you want some Ranch with that?
We are so not used to this.
We made a quick trip out to Asheville after lunch to visit the Mass General Store.
To the mountains!
I am not quite sure how to express what summitting Hawk's Bill was like. Unbeknownst to us, the whole day was just so perfectly designed to end here.
It was 2 years ago that these were our stomping grounds as we went through training. 2 years ago we were eating our way through Black Mountain and Asheville. Hiking and camping in these mountains (that sounds a little dramatic... we only tent-camped there once and I didn't really like it... but enough about me, the mountain-girl) As we got to the top of the trail and the North Carolina mountains came up to meet us in their hazy, sage-like way, all we could think about was how much had happened since we last saw them. How our lives and hearts had changed since we stood on that exact spot.
It was different yesterday from 2 years ago. Cold and windy. Sprinkles of rain. Absolute silence as we looked out over one of the most majestic sites we've ever seen.
The last 2 years have been challenging at times. Really hard. We've been rattled, in some ways crushed, had so much of who we were deconstructed until there really wasn't much left. Our thoughts of who God is changed. We've seen how we've made him into something we want him to be and then freak out when he doesn't fit that any more, as if he'd let us down.
Coming back to North Carolina, a place where so much of this experience began, gazing out over the same mountains.
We both felt words wrapping themselves around our hearts. Solemn and salving words:
He's the same.
He is exactly the same.
We may have painted him differently 2 years ago. We may have had years of pain since then as some of the boxes we kept God in were destroyed.
But that doesn't mean that he wasn't who he was then.
And it doesn't change that he still is who he was and is now.
It's we who have changed, really, not him.
Our hearts are quieter now. Less sure of more things. Thankful for the humility he's made us drink though it wasn't so sweet on our tongues.
He's busted out of some of our confining and self-serving boxes. Yeah, he pretty much flattened them.
We descended the mountain yesterday aware of what he's done and wanting to know the real him more.