Many times we don’t appreciate something until we nearly lose it. Nine years ago, right before Thanksgiving, our family got stuck on Bald Eagle Mountain in Colorado. We took a wrong turn onto a road that was closed for the winter. We drove into deeper snow, and as the sunlight rapidly faded, realized that we would be spending a very cold night on a narrow road facing the Continental Divide.
As parents, we felt foolish and helpless. No one was around and there was no cell phone service. We were hopeful that we would have enough gas to keep warm throughout the night and that we could back down the mountain when the sun rose. Never had we been so frightened. With a trench on one side and a several thousand foot drop-off on the other, all we could do all night was act calm for the children and pray.
We did make it off the mountain the next morning and back to our rented house. Stunned by the reality that our story could have ended tragically, we felt compelled to write letters of gratitude to our loved ones. We had a Thanksgiving we will never forget.
Challenges help us to learn, to grow, to trust, and to love.