Rachel Awtrey

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Lifestyle | Travel | Faith | Marriage

Carolina to California

Sometimes the Lord has to take you to extreme places to teach you the most extraordinary things. For me, He took me across the country. Here I am, sitting in my new home, writing what the Lord is teaching me.

I knew I was coming to JH Ranch to serve and work but hardly knew I would be so challenged everyday in my workplace.  At this guest ranch, I am working at the ropes courses guiding guests through, challenging them as they progress in the course and encouraging deeper thought and meaning when their day is completed.

Part of my application process to work here was to explain my life story and where I am coming from. Naturally, I included a large part about the impact the death of my dad has on my everyday life and the way I process problems and issues. Therefore, I least expected them to place me on the ropes courses, because that would be “insensitive.”  After I received my job assignment for the summer, I felt as if I had face planted in an issue I had worked so hard to overcome but in reality I was running away from.  

I was anxious about the first day in training: learning knots, belaying climbers, watching people elevate themselves in trees and ropes. The day I feared came. It was a nightmare. I saw things I never knew existed, darkness that had been growing my heart. To an extreme place where I blinked and woke up in a vision of crows screeching and falling with nails coming down the tree.

Where was I? How had all of this darkness and bitterness built up when I thought I had grieved and processed his death?

The Lord quickly answered and comforted me, “This is your time. I love you enough to challenge you and bring you through something that you cannot do alone.” Something I can’t do alone. Something I can’t do alone. How foreign of a thought - especially for someone so independent and sometimes prideful as myself. That was it. This was my time to face what the enemy had been hiding from me so long.

I’ve heard, “God won’t give you more than you can handle” but here I am saying the opposite. God has given me way more than I could ever imagine to handle myself. The dark opportunity of constant visions of death, fear and anxiety as I walk to work everyday nervous about the possibility of risk and danger the day may hold. But, I hold firm to the fact that God has given me more than I can handle in order for me to ask him for help, ask my family-of-a-staff for help, and admit that I’m not supposed to be able to handle it all. Praise the Lord for a God that isn’t above me watching me struggle but rather by my side, on my level, extending His hand only waiting for me to grab it so he can pull me through. 

This is my public declaration that in this time, I fully trust in Jesus and his glorious plan for my summer of redemption here in California. He takes us to “deeper waters” and uncomfortable positions on purpose. Completely on purpose. How are we ever supposed to learn something if we’re comfortable and provided everything with an easy life. We would never be flexible in our faith because of our lack to be stretched. 

Thank you Lord for stretching me. 

More stories of glory and revelation will be shared and I can’t wait for you to witness this journey I am on for the next few months. 

“Because Rachel loves me,” declares the Lord, “I will rescue her; I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name. She will call upon me, and I will answer her; I will be with her in trouble and I will deliver her and honor her. With long life will I satisfy her and show her the fullness of my salvation.

Psalms 91:14-16

Check it. It says your name too.