WOW. That’s my first reaction looking back on my trip to Portland this month.
This was a time of growth. Healing. Support. Learning. Rest. It was amazing to see the changes God has made on the inside reveal themselves on the outside. My one rule for this trip was this: every day, do at least one thing that scares you. I certainly accomplished that goal, starting off with a 27 hour train ride from Minot, ND to Portland, OR. I had never set foot on a train before so I was a little nervous about what to expect. I ended up truly loving it! It was such a different pace and atmosphere than flying or driving; it ended up being the perfect mode of transportation I needed for this trip. It went by much more quickly than I thought and I enjoyed the freedom to move around; I would highly suggest trying out the train if you’ve never done it before, it’s a great experience! I went kayaking alone, ate cherry blossom ice cream, touched a starfish and shot a bow and arrow for the first time. Facing fears (big or small) is an incredible self-learning experience. I challenge you to face a few of your fears this week and see what happens–I’m certain you won’t be disappointed.
Now for some lessons. To be honest, something that was on my heart at the beginning of this trip was my personal self-esteem level and the concept of societal pressures and beauty standards. One thing that I was struggling with was whether or not the ideas of beauty, CF, and myself could be intertwined and intricately connected to make something breathtaking (and by this I mean inner beauty shining through so gloriously the outside reflects it, not a more superficial idea of beauty). I realized while hiking one day that something was missing from the equation. It couldn’t be computed because it wasn’t complete. And that missing variable was God. I realized I had been forgetting what God says about the people He created. He says they are beautiful. They are especially beautiful when the light of Christ shines through someone. And that was when I realized that the only opinion that mattered was God’s, and He already had His answer: “You are beautiful.”
To whatever brilliant soul that’s reading this: remember that you are enough. If you have CF, I want you to know that you are not a mistake. God made you in His image. So maybe God has CF?
You are breathtaking. And you are loved.
Portland Part 2 coming soon.