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Ski Trippin

So I went skiing, and I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it again, but it’s very unlikely that I would.

On top of multiple layers of clothes and ski boots that are way too tight and weighed 20 pounds, I have an attachment to the ground that keeps me from effectively learning any sport that requires something to be under my feet. Feet on the ground I’m good. Up off of the ground I’m bad very very bad. A few months ago one of the high school youth group boys mentioned that he would like to go on a ski trip for our winter retreat. I thought... that would be fun I’ve never been skiing before. Mind you I can not roller skate or ice skate. I have horror stories from the roller rink, but that’s a story for another day. So here I am preparing for this trip and praying that somehow I’ll be good at it. I’m going to tell you right now, I was not good. But I had a great trip.

I had never gone to camp before and Watermarks is a great place.

It is a christian camp with counselors with hearts of gold. Multiple times I found myself in deep conversations with these people talking about life and Jesus as if we had been friends for years. The camp also has great food. They cook three meals a day and there is coffee and hot chocolate on deck round the clock. There are games and activities to do including sitting around the fire place and doing nothing which was my personal favorite along with the outdoor swings around the fire pit.

After a day of carefree camp fun it was time to head to Wintergreen Resort to ski.

We ascended onto the mountains and as my ears popped from the altitude and my stomach churned from the turns, I felt partly ready for the adventure ahead. Fast forward to rental check, I received a pair of boots that literally cut off the circulation in my legs along with a helmet and skis that still had ice on them.

Feeling optimistic I followed behind my brother off the deck into the snow where it was now time to strap on the skis. probably about 15 seconds into having the skis on I began to move.... backwards. I could not stop. I fell back off of my feet. It was at this moment that I realized that the rest of my ski experience would not be easy. I got back up and decided to try again.

Even before I went on the trip I was being told by various people to pizza to stop. This means to turn the skis inward into a triangle shape. For some reason this method did not work for me. So here I am skis on moving forward attempting to pizza my skis with no positive results. My brother on the other hand was doing a bit better than I. So I sent him down the hill alone to assess the difficulty level. My goal was to get down the hill and onto the ski lift by any means necessary.

After standing and waiting for my brother to return I put my skis back on with a new wind of courage and confidence after saying a short prayer. I started to move forward and again could not stop on the hill. I was stuck on a flimsy barrier between a snowboard trick course and the slope I was trying to conquer. I cried for help and two young boys helped me out of my skis to prevent me from literally falling down the slope.

So I decided to descend down the slope with my skis in hand. As my brother side stepped in his skis down the hill. (I wish you all could have see us). Picture two black children on the bunny slope inching down as every Caucasian cruises by us. Felt like an alternative visual demonstration of our real life struggles honestly. We persisted despite the lack of training or support needed to succeed and we did it with smiles on our faces, just happy to be experiencing something we would have never imagined we would be doing.

So we get to the ski lift and I put my skis on and inch down the path. The ski lift is great.... until its time to get off. Somehow your girl was not prepared and I found myself trying to hop off the ski lift with little success. I do not know if my head hit the ski lift or the ground or both. I am just thankful for the helmet that I protested at the start of the trip.

After falling my brother and I both agreed that our ski experience had come to a close. We scrambled to return our gear with five hours left at the resort. We had gotten more than enough time in on the slopes.

The best thing about the trip was our group devotions which were centered around fearlessness.

I gave a talk on Esther and how her purpose caused for fearlessness in God. She did not even fear losing her life if it meant saving her people. She knew that God had placed her in position to be used. Getting on the slopes required me to face fears of falling. I also had to be okay with falling even after praying to God asking that I would not fall anymore.

This ski trip taught me that the process is not always easy and I will fall but I can fall fearlessly with God on my side knowing that it is in his plan for my life. I can fulfill purpose with no fear moving forward down slopes and off of lifts that may leave me bruised but the lessons and experiences will be epic just like ski trippin.

Hope you enjoyed this trip recap. I love you so much.

-Bran

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