"Phil Valentine’s call to walk the Appalachian Trail is a vivid example of moving beyond recovery FROM life-threating illnesses as a means of recovering TO a life of extraordinary possibilities. Thousands of us who have shared the challenges and unexpected gifts from such recovery journeys will be walking in spirit with him.” ~Bill White
I don't post often, it's difficult to use the iPhone to do that. But I wanted to let you know that even though I post lots of very fun and positive Instagram photos, things are difficult right now.
I have a massive struggle going on inside and it brings me to tears often while I'm hiking. And that's the struggle between this intense desire to complete the "mission" that I was called to.
That wars with the instinctual, deeply-rooted need to be home with Sandy and the kids. The last few days have been a particularly difficult.
This morning I called Sandy from my campsite as I was packing up and asked her to pray for me. This is what she said, and I'm paraphrasing...
"Father God you called my beloved Phillip to this journey. Strengthen his body, strengthen his resolve. Thank you for bringing so many wonderful people into his life as he tries to carry your message through the woods to the people he meets. Bless his walk today. Amen."
Right now I have the emotional mental war going on in my head and I also have this weird dynamic going on with my body.
It is super strong. But in places it's breaking down. I just rolled my left ankle yesterday again but that's no big deal. My right knee has been in constant pain for several weeks now. I just keep walking through it. Even though I'm so strong my body needs a lot of fuel. I'm Finding it difficult to keep putting in all the calories it needs (tough problem I know). When I don't though, I fatigue easily.
So, Valentines Battalion 2015, finishing this thing is going to be hard. My mental state is fragile. I'm missing my family and even some of the hikers I started with. My body is questionable.
Yet, every time I pray, God keeps whispering the same one word reply, "Continue". So continue I will.