Phoenix, Arizona did not disappoint! In July, I had the opportunity to watch my best friend, Kenzie Hansley compete at Miss Teen USA and do my favorite thing, hike! While she was in rehearsals my mom, Mrs. Robin and Mr. Stan (AKA my second parents) and I took the chance to go explore.
The second my mom and I hopped off the plane we were ready to go hike! The only thing we underestimated…The heat! So, our east coast raised behinds decided to go hike Camelback mountain… in 115-degree heat. There was no breeze, and the air was the driest thing I’ve ever experienced. But never the less, we persisted and began our hike up Camelback mountain.
**Side note~ our Uber driver laughed when he saw we each only had one bottle of water, we should have taken that as a sign we were in for a doozy**
As we started up the mountain we discovered my spirit plant…
THE CACTUS~ sweet on the inside and tough on the outside
Climbing this mountain was more than just a hike for me this time, it was a spiritual journey. It was a reminder that I CAN do anything I set my mind to and I CAN complete the journey and I CAN climb the mountains God sets in front of me. When I reached the summit the only emotion I could feel was over whelming love, accomplishment and God taking my hand and reminding me that I am capable of doing great things. I was overlooking the land he created and placed before me. I broke down and cried because the only lyrics that were running through my head were “You’re God of the hills and valleys, And I am not alone!”
You see I had been facing depression over the past month, I had gotten in my own head, stopped believing in myself/ my journey and forgotten who I was. Arizona was a healing place, a place where I won’t ever forget how God tapped me on the shoulder and reminded me that I am not alone in any of my battles. I had to make it to the summit, and every time I wanted to stop climbing, something kept pushing me and making me strive for more.
The next day my mom, second parents and Myself went and hiked “A” mountain. It is on Arizona State University’s campus and it had the most beautiful view. I had another moment on A mountain, when we made it to the summit, there was a box and on it the box had written “Notes to God”. I’m not one to believe in coincidences so I knew God was trying to talk to all of us. We all wrote notes to God and sat on top of the mountain, cried together and that’s when I internally decided to accept my journey with every valley and every mountain.
Traveling is one of my favorite things to do, it allows me to discover different pieces of myself and this time I discovered the healing power of God and how he can take you and use you on earth.
A-Z, there are never enough letters or words to describe my trip to AZ and the impact it left on my life.
Grace Madeline Dirig