We came out to the trail with such enthusiasm.  We worked hard to get out here.  We overcame so much just to be a family.  Many days out here have been beautiful, even when the weather was not.  We worked together and embraced what God and the trail had to offer us that day.  We have made memories that we never could have imagined.  Others have given us the gift of “trail magic”, but more they have given us things to remember as a part of the journey.

Today was not an easy day.  From the weather, the condition of the trail, and the challenges we faced relationally, we almost quit.  We almost gave up.  We fell apart, all of us.  Today brought out the very worst in us, and serves as a reminder just how quickly we can fail.  How quickly we can fall back into the unwanted cycle of dysfunction that we have worked so hard to come out of.  

We could have called home, and been asleep in our beds tonight, but instead we are in Manchester Center, Vermont.  We got to town later than we had hoped to resupply, because honestly we were falling apart on the trail.  

Someone at the local convenience store asked if we have wanted to kill eachother.  It was not funny, but it was one of the crazier questions we have been asked, and sadly, we had just been in the worst of conditions only moments before.  I replied we are learning to reconcile faster.  That is the truth.  We are humans, and there are seven of us.  We are going to have moments where we dont see eye to eye.  There are going to be moments where we hurt eachother, purposely and otherwise, but we are learning to fail forward.  We are learning to forgive and to listen. 

Whatever the reasons are that led to where we found eachother this morning, this journey is about not quitting.  We may or may not finish this trail in its entirety, but we will not leave, and did not leave the trail because of anger and resentment toward eachother.  If we left the trail today, we would have failed.  We would have given in and quit on eachother.  We didn’t though.  

Tomorrow, we will return to the trail.  We will have to slosh through the nastiness that is the Vermont trail, and again find ourselves being drenched by the rain… but we are going back to the trail unified, having forgiven and been forgiven.  This is not about a destination, but about the journey.  Today, we were reminded why we are out here.  We are going to fight to grow, to learn, and to live life with eachother.  

Today we failed, but today we failed forward.  The sun has not set on our anger, so in that we have won. 

Happy Trails, Ribbons. 

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