When my cousin Brenton passed away from cancer.
When miscarriages happen.
When doors have to shut on a family business.
When homes catch on fire.
The list goes on and on.
I’m sure you could fill in the blank as well with story after story.
This verse came to mind just the other day when my first born and I had an encounter and long conversation with a paraplegic we met at the beach in Cresent City, California.
I saw him sitting there in his wheel chair and our family, and everyone else for that matter just walked on by.
Moments later, I found myself sitting with my oldest on a bench right beside him. He was selling earrings and bracelets made of stone.
I decided to walk over and speak to him. I wanted to hear about his jewelry that he was selling. If you know me, you know I love stories… and I wanted to hear his.
His name was Scott. He was an artist, a guitarist and singer, prior to his accident. His eyes filled up with tears as he shared the moment in January when he was hit by a car and his life has never looked the same. I applauded him for using his creativity and hands to make beautiful jewelry that will bless others. He went on to tell me he lost his wife 2 years prior to cancer. At this point in the conversation, we were both in tears.
This man has had a rough life.
This man has an excuse to give up and quit on life.
As we spoke and I asked permission to pray over Him, I saw joy in Scott’s heart. I saw purpose and passion. I saw a reason for him to keep on fighting and living life to the fullest regardless his circumstances.
He mentioned there was a time after his wife’s death that he was angry at God. I talked about how God understands that and wants us to wrestle with Him because He gets it.
Scott said he is able to live again but is trying to find his way. I commend Scott for choosing JOY despite his circumstances. I commend Scott for trusting God even though he’s been dealt a rough pit. I commend Scott for doing something to rise against the ashes.
Thank you Lord for this journey our family is on. Praise you for a life of travel, a life where we are free to follow you wherever you lead and have the blessing of encountering people all across the US whom we would have never crossed paths with otherwise.
We felt led to come to California. We knew my oldest wanted to see San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean… but the Lord revealed to us over and over again that we were to come to for more reasons than 1. Meeting Scott was for sure one of the reasons.
California is a gorgeous state! For me, to be surrounded by mountains, farms on one side of the road and the beach on the other was indescribably breathtaking! God, you were showing off when you formed California. We absolutely enjoyed our time there… and can’t wait to return to travel the southern areas.
Here are some pics of our journey through Northern California…
Our first night in CA started off rough (you can read my story about it on social media). We ended up in a campground in the middle of the redwoods that an RV our size had no business journeying to. So word to the wise… if traveling in anything over 25ft… don’t even attempt to head to Little Basin Campground. We survived the drive by the grace of God, and the views were glorious but goodness was it a bumpy and scary journey there. Sometimes the curviest roads lead to the best views…
San Francisco was as charming as ever. One of our most favorite cities to visit. I was able to meet up with a precious friend from GA that I haven’t seen in 15 years! We stayed at a little peaceful campground in Napa during our time here. Check out Skyline Wilderness Park for a great, inexpensive stay when visiting SanFran. It’s a little over an hour drive to the city (without traffic 😜) but oh so peaceful.
Next stop was Trinidad! We were able to meet up with some friends we met in Texas, so that made this stop one for the books! We camped with them at Emerald Forest cabins and campground. Make sure you request a site in the back if you ever stay there… that’s where the sites are bigger and nestled between ginormous Redwoods. Trinidad was an adorable coastal town.
Our last stop in Northern CA was in Cresent City. No tips for campgrounds here because we boondocked for the night at the WalMart parking lot with a dozen other RVs. We had our very first beach campfire! What a memorable night!
Oh Lord… we praise you for the journey.
And California… you for sure keep me dreaming.