Desires of the heart: When God sends you on a cross-country road trip with your favorite person— and two kids.

When God grants your desires in the strangest ways ..
Young, unmarried, summer off: I’m finally the perfect candidate!
Emily is relocating to Washington state with the Air Force and I get to be the road trip buddy.

Day 3: 📍Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Snow fixed all the nervous breakdowns … 🤣

(This is Emily’s photo… I’ve chosen disposable camera life …)”

I’m currently in the air heading back to New Orleans via a connecting flight in Denver after one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

I think it’s everyone’s dream to travel somehow or make a cross-country road trip. For years I’ve wanted to, but was either taking care of someone, saving for a car, or having a massive life crisis. Money is also a colossal travel component, and it is hard when you don’t have any. Ha. The timing just never seemed to be right. A few years ago, I wrote about God re-routing my solo trip to Glacier National Park, Montana, to Wichita Falls, TX, to visit my cousin Emily setting off a massive spiritual reconstruction of my heart. After, we had a big trip planned, but God crashed our plans and gave us something better.

The entirety of my blog, in general, is a journey of my relationship with Jesus. For the last seven years, He has taken my heart, wrung it out, and continues to mold it into His. I feel like it has been ninety years, yet simultaneously feels like it was yesterday. I also feel like I have done leaps and bounds of growth, and never once did I ever imagine I would get to live my travel desires WITH my cousin Emily. I had all these dreams and ideas, but is not that how God always works? He works everything out for our good and makes a way where there is no way. When we have these enormous ideas and plans, His always seem to work out a lot better and be grander than we could imagine.

On May 30th, I flew from New Orleans to Dallas, Texas, caught a connecting flight to Wichita Falls, and from there went on a nine-day road trip to Spokane, Washington relocate Emily and her children with the Air Force.

Our journey was as follows:
-Wichita Falls to Dalhart, Texas
-Dalhart, TX to Estes Park, Colorado 
-Estes Park, CO to Grand Teton, Wyoming
-Grand Teton to Yellowstone/Idaho Park, Idaho
-Idaho Park, Idaho to White Fish, Montana
-Kalispell/White Fish, Montana to Spokane, Washington 

Emily obviously would have to write her blog post about her perspective of this trip, but I see God all over it.

The only thing I could think was how unbelievably good God is. He is not good because I was given the opportunity of a lifetime, but because of how faithful He has been to me. For years I stressed about my future, with last year being the most challenging spiritual test of my walk so far. Within a matter of months, my entire life changed. I went from questioning EVERYTHING after losing a close friend we prayed for healing to having a “barren” friend have a baby (I’ll never not bring that up). A few months later, I was given a car and got a brand new job I did not think I would get while unknowingly working with a friend from high school. God seemed to have rapid-fire answered countless long-awaited prayers and desires one after the other ‘out of nowhere,’ and He never stopped surprising me. I wrote a blog about living in New Orleans and suddenly desired to buy a snowsuit and found a brand new ski jacket with tags for $35 at the thrift store… and SAW SNOW ON THIS TRIP. (However, I did not bring my snowsuit on this trip for there was not enough room in the car or my bag.)
It was one “and suddenly” moment after the other, and after all the added gray hair of my life not moving forward, instantly was living one fulfillment and desire after the other.

I knew if God allowed me this opportunity, He would take care of us. A few days before my flight, I had terrible anxiety and wondered how it would go. The only incident we had was the first day, right after picking me up from the airport. We were headed to Amarillo/Dalhart, and in the middle of nowhere at night, it started storming. When I say storm, it was blinding rain for miles. Emily drove white-knuckled, and I was scared and about to start crying.

All I could think of was the story of the disciples scared in the boat during a storm and waking up a sleeping Jesus who told them, “Ye of little faith”. I was praying to myself when I realized I was not going to be afraid. Look at how God has taken care of my whole life, and it wasn’t going to stop here. I either believed God would take care of us or not, and there was no room for wondering. So I finally pleaded out loud, “God, stop it! Just let her see!”.

You know what? You can call it a coincidence or call it what you want, but the rain slacked up for the rest of the way to the hotel. (We waited until we made it safely to Washington, and I was at the airport headed home to share the rain story with our parents 🙂 .)

That is who my God is. The faith of a mustard seed can move mountains. That moment was between God and me and said, ‘God is here and will take care of us’.

That was the only major incident, and I can only be thankful for such an incredibly unbelievable trip with my favorite person. Now and then, I would get overwhelmed with God’s grace and thankfulness and start crying. During the chaos of traveling with two children, Emily would look at me and say, “WHAT NOW!! What’s wrong?!?” And we would laugh, and I would say, “I’m just so thankful.” It was a trip of a lifetime, and I am so thankful God allowed us to do this together. We got to see all kinds of beauty, but agree you need more than a few hours in each place to see it and plan to go back one day.

The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park is partially closed due to weather and requires a reservation. If you make it to the park before 6AM you can drive it. Challenge: Accepted 🙂 Emily and I had the kids sleep in their clothes and carried them to the car at 4:45 AM to make it there in time. We waited until the afternoon to go back to drive the other side because the road is requires reservations until after 5:00 PM. We lived the afternoon “indoors”, fulfilling Emmett’s heart’s desire. 😛

If you read my blog, you know how much I love Colorado and planned to move there a while back. It is still one of my favorite stretches from the trip, and we made a last-minute stop and visited a family friend and (finally) wife for a few minutes 🙂 .

We saw countless cows, mountains, rain, a rainbow, snow, and a snippet of God’s majesty. Emily and I rode around with our jaws dropped most of the way. Finally, going through Grand Teton, I said, “All of this is garbage…” and she looked at me horrified mid-sentence, and I added, “compared to what Heaven will be like, and I can’t wait to get there.”

I chose to mostly use a disposable camera on the trip and live in the moment, but “stole” a lot of Emily’s phone photos. There is not much left to say as a picture speaks 1,000 words. The only question I have is why do I live in New Orleans???

Day 1: Right after picking me up from the airport while the morale was good. 🙂
Glacier National Park… Last required kids photo with s’more bribes.
Our victory photo. Emily’s Facebook caption: 🎵 Looks like we made it
Look how far we’ve come, my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we’d get there someday 🎵

Over 60 hours in the car
Lots of sights and mountains
Thanks for adventuring and putting up with us 😂

Until next time… 🙂

7 thoughts on “Desires of the heart: When God sends you on a cross-country road trip with your favorite person— and two kids.

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