An Irish View of the Ocean
On this day in Ireland we were heading to Slieve League along the Sky Road and to walk across the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge. We took a wrong road somewhere, but just look what we found by mistake!
I don’t know who took the time to write “I love you” with the rocks at the bottom of the cliffs, just beyond the ocean’s reach, but I’m so glad they did. When I saw it, it felt like it was a message from God to us on our journey. We thought we had made a wrong turn, but perhaps it was just because God wanted to share this unscheduled beautiful view with us.
We did make it on to our adventure at Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge. It was one of the toughest things I made myself do on our whole trip. I have a deep rooted fear of heights. Just looking at photos of things at a great height make my liver quiver! Looking over the edge of something, even if I’m behind a railing, makes me woozy. But I made myself take the long hike out to the rope bridge stretched between two cliffs about 100 feet above the ocean surging against the rocks below, and forced myself to face my fears and walk across anyhow.
For someone as afraid of heights as I am, it’s a miracle that I ever crossed the bridge in the first place. I kept saying to myself, “Help, me Lord…” and “Look at her back, and don’t look down,” about the person in front of me from our group. But on the way back, there had been children jumping up and down to make the bridge sway and bounce, so the fear was doubled. I had a death grip on the ropes on both sides and was only able to make my feet move about six inches at a time. I was too afraid to be embarrassed about holding up the people behind me! I truly thought I had made a mistake by crossing over in the first place.
Our tour guide, Coty Sloan, had crossed way in front of us and positioned himself on a cliff overlooking the bridge to get a group photo of us crossing together. It surely didn’t happen. Karen went on ahead of me and left me far behind with blank space, bride, and ocean staring up at me. Sandy was behind me waving at Coty, and I was too terrified to look anywhere besides at the boards in front of me.
Sometimes we question the path that we are on and wonder if we are on the wrong one. At times fear may paralyze us when the gulf between where we are and where we need to be is so great. But, if we ask Him to go with us, God is there every step of the way across that divide and to the safe place we are heading.
I didn’t think I was going to make it back across that bridge without fainting, but I kept reminding myself of Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me.”