10 October 2019 - Ely, Nevada
“From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)
I am now in Nevada, my 11th and penultimate state in this walk across the country. I am walking along Highway 50, proclaimed in Nevada “The Loneliest Road in America.” Four friends are joining me in succession to help me get across the state with the help of Tom Olschner’s truck and camper: Tom (last week), Walter Latimer (this week), Bonnie Spencer (next week), and Tim Hillmer (you guessed it, the week after that!). There aren’t many vehicles on the road out here, and when there are no cars coming and the wind is not blowing, it is incredibly Q-U-I-E-T outside! And this morning I had my coldest temperature of the entire walk - 16 degrees Fahrenheit. But it was sunny and clear and all my warm clothes, gloves, and beanie served me well!
As I’ve had more time to contemplate while walking 7-8 hours every day, my thoughts have turned recently to this question: What is needed to walk across the United States? I’ve come up with these seven things. There could be more, but these have seemed crucial to me.
God has provided for me in some many ways. This has primarily happened through God’s presence in people, but I have also felt God’s presence directly with me. What I have received includes protection from dogs and severe weather, food, lodging, water, free meals from anonymous people (in restaurants), encouragement, money, donations for the children, company, a camper for one month, peace, joy, and kindnesses too many to mention. I am very clear that without God’s grace, I wouldn’t even have made it successfully across South Carolina.
This overlaps with #1, but I wouldn’t have made it all the way to Nevada without ALL of the support I have received from my family, my friends, and numerous strangers - many of whom have become new friends. From all the people who have hosted me in their homes to all the folks who have handed me water or a bit of cash… from those who have prayed for me every single day to those who have met me one time and wished me “Godspeed!” or “Be safe!”… from those who have walked part of the route with me to those who have called me at just the right time, the support has been off-the-charts amazing. And here I must pause and say “Thanks so much, Julia!” You have been amazing!
I heard a call to do this over 10 years ago, and I have been faithful to what I heard God calling me to do. There have been days that I have wanted to quit, times when the challenges have seemed overwhelming, but through it all, I have felt God’s