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Lost In a National Forest with Pigs

Disclaimer: If you haven't read Hello, Self, My Name is Kristen, go back to the first blog before reading this.

If you're struggling right now with the past or the present, I know it's difficult to have a future focus, but it's imperative that you do. To have a realistic dream, is to have hope. Let me share a real life horrifying story.

I was invited to speak at a counselor's camp a few years ago. Not wanting to make the journey alone, I invited my daughter to accompany me since she was studying psychology at the time. The camp was located in a town I had never heard of before, but that was okay, I had written instructions and GPS! The camp was only three hours away, no big deal. As my daughter and I set out we chose to take the recommended scenic route. (When the scenic route is recommended, DON'T DO IT!). We were doing just fine until we entered Mt. Rainier National Park with no cell service! As we were driving, I kept getting this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. Pulling over, I studied the written instructions which talked about Mt. St. Helens not Rainier! I panicked, we were on the wrong volcano! Taking some deep breaths, I "logically" thought it through. We had to keep moving forward. A few hours later, we found a tiny gas station. By now it was very dark and I had no idea where we were. Hoping for some good news, we showed the directions to the woman behind the counter. "Oh, honey, that's hours away from here. You best get some food before heading back out." Our hearts sank. Quickly we grabbed a greasy burger from the restaurant next door and headed back to our car tightly holding onto our cherished food. There were not guarantees that we would find food for a long time.

I'll never forget how dark it was that night, no signs of life anywhere. We could barely make out the silhouette of another mountain. The only way we knew we were heading up another mountain was by the narrow roads and steep inclines. With nerves growing on edge by the minute, I rounded a corner and came face to face with blinding headlights. Something was off. Were the lights moving or were they standing still? Just then a sudden movement from the left caught my attention. Without thinking, I slammed on my breaks. My daughter's hamburger flew out of her hands and landed somewhere in the car. Next thing we know, our car was surrounded by a herd of pigs and a very irate man dressed in BLACK of all things! The headlights came from a semi truck who also was stopped. The man screamed and cursed at us. I was terrified as I spotted a large rotund pig standing inches away from my front bumper! The realization that we were almost in a colossal car wreck with a pig, semi-truck, and man made me shake. As the man continued is angry diatribe, he rounded up his pigs pulling them away from our car. When he waved the semi forward, my sense of safety left with the truck driver. My daughter and I were now alone in the middle of nowhere with a belligerent man and his pigs. As soon as he gave me the all clear sign, I sped off into the darkness of night. My daughter tried talking to me to settle my nerves, but as the arduous journey continued I felt more terrified.

Have you been in a similar situation emotionally? Feeling lost and surrounded by abusive people or difficult situations? Not sure of where you're going because everything seems so dark? I get it. I've been there. I want to assure you that you are not alone.

We at last made it to the town and to cell service, but our relief was short-lived. Once again consulting the directions, we continued straight unaware that we missed our turn... to be continued.

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