Missing the Mountains of Tennessee

It was Monday morning leading up to Easter, the year was 2018. 

I could see God’s creation coming to life all around me, yet on this particular morning my heart was trying to juggle the emotions that were welling up inside. I was overflowing with gratitude at the beauty of the little world in which I lived, yet at the same time I was feeling homesick. I was missing the mountains of Tennessee. Funny thing is, I was feeling homesick for a place I had only lived for a few weeks of my life. Yet somehow those mountains seemed to have embedded deep in my soul. I often felt perplexed, “how can I explain the depth of this longing, this yearning for the mountains of Tennessee?”  Then I read these three simple words in Psalms: “You know me.” 

“YOU know ME?”

Wow, that was a hard concept to grasp at first! I left it dangling with a question mark for quite sometime, then it finally seeped in. This is truth, God’s comforting truth! He really does know me, just as he really does know YOU! The gift of these words finally settled on my heart leaving a sense of peace and assurance. It is how I imagine David felt when he wrote the first two verses of Psalm 139.

“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise; 
You perceive my thoughts from afar.”

How magnificent that our Lord already knows our thoughts— even without a word being spoken. He even knew that on this particular morning, when I am missing the mountains of Tennessee, it was much more than the beauty of the mountains I was missing. I was yearning to be there with Him. I was longing to BE in His presence, surrounded by His creation. 

It was important for me to say; “You did a magnificent job creating those mountains Lord: they are perfect.” Perfect in a way that is untainted, beyond the corruption of man. At least that’s the way I see them. They represent the best and purest of times in my life. A time when I first began seeing this world through the awe and wonder of YOU! 

You opened my eyes and my heart there in your mountains Lord. You took hold of my hand while sitting on a porch swing and there has not been a time in which you let go…thank you for that! 

Then and now, those mountain allow me to forget the everyday harshness of this world, to feel safe and secure, while I melt into the calmness you provide. Maybe that is why I cherish the gift of those mountains. That is where I found you.

Those mountains are my peaceful place, they give me a sense of security.

That calmness allows me to keep an innocent perspective because of the childlike beauty that touched my soul when seeing those beautiful mountains for the first time. At the time, it was a stark contrast to the world I lived in. Your mountains were pure, clean, and beautiful. The opposite of what I felt. Yet when I sat surrounded by them, on that little porch in the mountains, you gave me “new life.” You made me feel worthwhile, wanted, and safe. You were, and still are, my Savior!

So that is why I am thanking you for placing the gift of those mountains in my heart. You knew what they would mean to me throughout my life. Today I look up, my soul cries out in gratitude as “I lift up my eyes to the mountains…” 

Psalm 121:1-8 (NIV)

A song of ascents.

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.

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