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Dear Friends,

Psalm 121:1-2 TPT, I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth.

Recently, I called my cousin and asked her to climb Pinnacle Mountain with me. She and I, both walk the Big Damn Bridge together, about 4-5 days per week. Well this day, I wanted to do something more challenging, so that our bodies wouldn’t get familiar with our daily workout. She was hesitant in saying. “yes.” This was because, she and I, attempted to climb Pinnacle a few years back and it was quite difficult. I told her that I, had found the trail for beginners, and what we had visited before was more advance. So we decided to try it.

About 10-15 minutes into the walk. She begin to remind me of my words to her, “Chanda didn't you say that this was easier, because this climb does not seem easy at all.” I told her that there were benches to take a rest along the trail, and that although this side was easier, it was still a mountain. I could feel the heat in the back of my head from her stare…lolol!

We saw two young men resting along the rock, and they shared with us that they had attempted this climb a few weeks back, and had only made it to the second bench. We encouraged them to go further this time, and we continued our climb. Finally, we made it to the first bench stop. Oh, you could feel the excitement of the rest. However, I knew that we could not get too comfortable, so I asked my cousin was she ready. She didn’t reply, I then proceeded to get off the bench and let her know we could rest again at the next bench. She then asked me, “How many benches were along the mountain trail? I told her I couldn’t remember…lolol.”

We began to feel the resistance and strain on our legs and core muscles as we climbed higher, we were pleased to come to sign that said, “You are here!” We had made it to Trail Marker #6 of 10. At this point my cousin begin to say that she could not go any further. By this time we had ran into three young ladies, with whom one of them was saying the same thing. She kept telling her friends that she was going to head back down. That she wasn't moved by how close we were, she was just hot and tired. About this time a couple was coming back down from the top of the mountain, and told us about the wonderful breeze they had experienced at the top of the mountain that day. Them mentioning a cool place, was enough fuel to encourage us all to keep climbing.

We were on a roll now, as we had just hit Trail Marker #8 of 10, and I can hear my cousin and other young lady saying they were done! At that point I just made a decision to just keep climbing. When, I, get to Trail Marker #9, I yelled back to them, “Hey guys, I can see the top of the mountain!!!” I didn’t get a response, but was definitely thrilled when I could see my cousin in the distance with the young lady coming behind me. My cousin said, at that point she look back down the mountain considering turning back, but asked for God's help. She said, as she looked back up the mountain, she could feel her help and at that point turning back was no longer an option.

WE MADE IT TO THE TOP!! Talk about the thrill of finishing. The young lady who wanted to quit, was the first one out on the peak of the mountain to take in the view. My cousin, tells me that she does not like heights, and that I should go look out over the mountaintop without her. I said to her, “Cousin, you have made it to the top of the mountain, don’t you want to at least see?”(Baby that will preach)!!! With no words said, she then pushed past her level of comfort, stands up, and says, "Okay, let's go and see!" We took a picture to capture the moment, and who else do we see at the top? The young man who had only made it to the second bench around Trail Maker #4 his last attempt. He is standing at the top with the biggest grin of victory.

It reminded me of what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 7:8 NLT, “finishing is better than starting.” May, I encourage you to finish. Oftentimes, we turn around way too soon. We are familiar with the beginning, tired of the middle, and have no more strength to see the end. Imagine the joy my cousin and many others felt that day with finishing. Whatever, the Lord has purposed you do you to do in this season (no matter the resistance, no matter what you can’t see, no matter how familiar you are with the beginning). Like my cousin, ask God for his help, and know that He is with you, and then determine in YOUR heart to finish well.

I Am A Finisher,

Chanda Rose

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