On Top Of The World (Mountain)

Me at the top of the mountain. The marker that shows the
height of the peak, 423 meters.

A few years ago, I went on a hiking trip with some random people I met to Hot Springs, Arkansas. It was the first time I had been hiking since I hiked Diamond Head in Hawaii with my sister, and I was excited. It was an easy hike and I was having a great time with my friends, UNTIL…

Someone had the bright idea to get off the marked trail to take a picture.
We climbed down, off the trail (all 20 something of us) to get a picture of all of us with the lake in the background. As we were climbing back up, I followed the rest of the group along the same path they had just taken. As I stepped, the ground gave out, resulting in me falling, rolling down the hill a few times and hitting my head on a rock that ended up keeping me from falling further into the lake at the bottom.
The fall only produces a few marks and bruises but I would later learn that the mental scars were far worse than the physical ones. 
 
In March, I decided to try hiking again. Korea is surrounded by beautiful mountains and I was anxious to get back out there and hike some of them. With my backpack and camel pack ready to go, I braved the mountain on a beautiful Saturday morning. I was doing well until we got to a point where we reached a steep uphill climb and all I could see were rocks. Anxiety and fear crippled me and I lost it. I couldn’t do it. I had come so far but I just couldn’t bring myself to go any further. 
 
I was so disappointed, I desperately wanted to get to the top of the mountain but despite my attempts to calm myself and push forward. The spirit of fear won and I went back down the direction I had just come. I attempted a second hike when I was in Jeonju and yet again found myself giving control to the spirit of fear. 
 
Frustration and disappointment mounted as I so desperately wanted to be able to hike again without having flashbacks of the accident and fear that I would fall again. 
 
Well friends. Today was that day!! I set out to hike yet again, determined to succeed and reach the top of the mountain. With Romans 8:38-39 and 2 Timothy 1:7 tucked away in my brain this time, I stepped foot after foot, sweat pouring down and quoted the scripture every time I felt fearful. I hiked all the way up to the top of Mount Gyejoksan, all 423 meters (1388 feet) of it. It was a wonderful adventure and a great reminder that my God is far bigger than any evil trick Satan has up his sleeve.
 
Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
 
Red Clay Soil trail. In Korea people come and walk
this trail barefoot allowing the clay to wrap around their
feet and provide some sort of healing treatment.
Burial tomb. It’s very common in Korea to see burial tombs
in many of the mountains.
Unfortunately, it was a cloudy day but here is my view
of the city from the peak of the mountain.
On the way back down I found this gem. If you look closely,
you can see the mountain I hiked in the far left corner.
 

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