Summer Travels Part One – Tennessee

As I’ve mentioned in the About section on my blog website, I am a Georgia peach! 🙂 I live in the middle of that great state, and I love every minute of living there. BUT I have a heart for travel, and so once my “summer break” started, I found myself crossing state lines.

The first stop on my summer travels was Pigeon Forge, TN and Gatlinburg, TN. I vacationed with my family members and with my boyfriend in those two towns that are near and dear to my heart. (My grandparents took myself and my cousins there all the time growing up.) It was a wonderful time of fellowship. We laughed until our bellies hurt. We made truly irreplaceable memories… so many that I could write all of my blog posts for the rest of this year just about that one trip alone!

Don’t be alarmed! I’ll only write one blog post for the entire trip, and I’ll give you the “spiritual highlights” as I like to call them… the moments when God spoke so sweetly to my soul.

During this trip, these moments came while I was in nature… in the midst of God’s creation. You see, even though I had been to the Great Smoky Mountains many times before, I had never been hiking on the trails. My grandparents’ health would not allow us to do so, but my cousins, my boyfriend, and I are pretty active people. So, we decided that hiking would be on the agenda for this trip.

We hiked a few trails, but Grotto Falls was by far our mutual favorite. We hiked it twice!

I still remember “huffing and puffing” up the trail… mentally hoping that we would reach the “end” soon… when we rounded a corner, and I saw a beautiful waterfall.

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Grotto Falls, Picture Credit: Mitchell Ehman

“Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they existed and were created.”

Revelation 4:11 (ESV)

We got in the water, took pictures and videos both in front of and behind the waterfall, talked with other hikers… But I found myself absolutely captivated by the waterfall. I sat on a damp rock and just took in the sights and sounds.

Do you know what came to mind?

God, the Creator of the universe, fashioned this waterfall. He, with care and love, created the wildlife that I saw on the hike up… yet as insignificant as I am, Creator God wants a relationship with me.

That fact overwhelmed me with awe, love, and joy! How awesome that this powerful Being wants a relationship with me!

I found myself humming the tunes to two of my current favorite songs: Who You Say I am and So Will I by Hillsong. I encourage you to listen to these songs and pay attention to their lyrics. The following sentiments are echoed in this post.

Who am I that the highest King would welcome me?

I was lost but He brought me in… Oh His love for me.

His grace runs deep.

I am chosen not forsaken. I am who You say I am.

God of creation… there at the start… before the beginning of time… with no point of reference… You spoke to the dark and fleshed out the wonder of light.

I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made.

If the stars were made to worship so will I. If the mountains bow in reverence so will I. If the oceans roar Your greatness so will I. For if everything exists to life You high so will I. If the wind goes where You send it so will I. If the rocks cry out in silence so will I. If the sum of all our praises still falls shy then we’ll sing again a hundred billion times. 

You’re the One who never leaves the one behind.

He loves you, friend… whoever you are… whatever you’ve done. He loves you despite it all. He died the death that was meant for you and I, and all we have to do is respond and say, “I want You to be the Lord of my life. I want to follow You. I want to give my life up to You like You gave up Your life for me.” It’s just that simple.

“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?”

Luke 15:4 (ESV)

I am doing a Bible study with my boyfriend called Jesus Is by Pastor Judah Smith. He recently preached about a person named Lazarus, who is referred to as “he whom You (Jesus) love” in John 11. Pastor Judah talked about how Jesus says that of each of us. We are the ones whom Jesus loves.

Sitting on that damp rock surrounded by beautiful creation, I felt it pour over me once again like it had when I was saved seven years ago.

I am someone whom Jesus loves.

You are too, friend. He loves you. He wants a relationship with you. He died to know you. Will you join me in following Him? It will be the best decision you’ve ever made.

“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?”

Psalm 42:1-2 (ESV)

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.”

Psalm 19:1-2 (ESV)

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Much love,

Macey

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