I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. (NIV)
Hills and mountains have always been a part of my life. I grew up in the rolling foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Ohio. When I was preparing to go to Costa Rica for a semester for my study abroad experience as part of my Spanish major, the Lord began to use Psalm 121 in a very personal way. He brought me peace and comfort as a lady sang it in Spanish over me. He also brought my grandma peace for my journey. While living and studying in San Jose, Costa Rica surrounded by mountains, I clung to the words of encouragement and promise of protection. It was such an amazing and wonderful experience that transformed my life.
I moved to Las Cruces, New Mexico in order to obtain my master’s degree in Communication Disorders from New Mexico State University. There are a variety of mountains in the gorgeous southwestern United States. The Organ Mountains ran right through Las Cruces. At various times over the three years I was there, I would look at those mountains, often while grocery shopping, and remember that God was with me and He had a plan for me. The words from Psalm 121 were water to my soul in a dry wilderness.
After completing my graduate work, I moved to Harrisonburg, Virginia to embark on my career as a Speech Language Pathologist. I was once again surrounded by mountains but this time in a completely different geographical area of the United States. Just as the earth was verdant and flourishing with life, so too did my life flourish in a way that it did not when I was in the hot, dry desert. During that time of abundance, I did not forget about Psalm 121. Instead it seemed that some of the promises whispered to me during graduate school were coming to fruition in Virginia.
About a year after moving to the Shenandoah Valley, I was unexpectedly and quickly moved back to Ohio. I moved to north central Ohio which is as flat as a pancake with hardly a knoll in sight. It was quite the adjustment period for me. I quickly appreciated being much closer to my parents and the rest of my family and not having to actually travel over mountains, as beautiful as they are. It took me a few months to learn that, even though there were no hills or mountains to lift my eyes to, God could still be counted on to fulfill His plans in my life.
I do not know if I will ever again live in a place where there are hills or mountains. The travel bug still bites me fiercely at times and I long to return to Virginia and to New Mexico. I dream of seeing more of this amazing earth that God has created. Psalm 121 still rings true in my life. God still has me in His hands and is accomplishing His plans in my life.