Farther Than I Meant To Go

The Trails

It was farther than I meant to go and longer than I meant to stay…

Have you ever found yourself going around in circles? I am not talking about the twirls you do in the middle of the grocery isle while no one else is looking 😉 . I am referring to frustrations you feel when you’re deliberately seeking the end of a task or journey and it seems like no end is in sight. It seems like you constantly end up back to where back where you started. Can I get an Amen if you have been there?…AMEN! I hope I am in good company cause I have been there and done that and here is ONE of my stories:

It was about 6 weeks ago….

Feeling adventurous one Saturday morning, I decided to join my husband and one of our fur-babies, Bella, on a hike through Sweet-Water Creek Park. I was so confident that this was going to go well that I even invited my friend, Tei. I hyped myself up for this journey determined to make this trek with very little complaint. We engaged in chit-chat on our way there and kept vibe light for the journey ahead– We hoped to conserve our energies.

Finally at our destination, we all piled out of the car and made our way to the starting point. Wesley informed us that we were going take the yellow trail that morning – a  3 mile loop  with moderate to difficult terrain. He and Bella led the way with Tei and I following closely behind. We talked while Wesley walked. While she and I caught up on the past few days, Wesley caught up on much distance — clearly ahead of us now.Wesley & Bella


Before we knew it, the infamous hill appeared. An expanse of rock on a very steep gradient whose goal was to wear me out but I would not cave. I slowly began to inch my way up with Tei encouraging me along the way. We could hear Wesley say, “When you get to the top, veer to the right.” We shouted “Ok.” in response. Slow and steady was my goal and finally we reached the top. A short celebratory laugh escaped for good measure. We saw the light and was heading towards it. Such a picturesque view that we stopped to take a picture.

Top of the Hill
Following The Light

At the top of the hill, we assumed there would be a clear path down…NOPE!!! We were literally standing at a fork in the road. Three options– three different ways to go. Based on our best estimation we chose right, cause obviously that is what we heard Wesley say. So right it was… NOT! Sooner than we realized, we were at a dead-end… It was farther than we meant to go and longer than we meant to stay.

Calling Wesley’s cellphone in a panic, we asked what way he took….He instructed us to go left–so left we went. Down a path and through the woods, round and round we went gliding down hills. Desperate to find our way to freedom, we took a path sure that it was where we needed to be. Needless to say, we found ourselves as prey on private hunting property way off course.


  • — We panicked
  • — I downloaded the State Park App trying desperately to get a signal
  • –Tei called Wesley seeking further direction
  • –We tried to locate ourselves on a GPS Map
  • — We attempted to back-track

An hour of going in circles when we finally found Wesley clearly concerned for our safety. Both exasperation and relief filled us as we sought to stay close behind him (little talking & more walking) on our way back to the beginning.

With much assurance Wesley turned to us and exclaimed, “I know where you went off course!” How did he know? Did he see us? He was nowhere near us. Yet my Eagle Scout, knew. He said we made the grave error of following the light. The sun’s rays that beckoned us to come were deceiving. It steered us off course. We missed the yellow marks to our left that CLEARLY marked the correct trail.

Over 15,000 extra steps led me to these realizations:

  1. Chart your course even when blazing trails
  2. Stay the course
  3. Pay attention to your surroundings
  4. Seek markers of progress
  5. Do not become distracted by the glitz and glamour of a quick and glorious finish
  6. Listen to wise counsel and trust them. Those who have walked the trail before you
  7. Keep both the beginning and the end in mind — You never know when you have to backtrack to re-learn a lesson
  8. Be patient
  9. Do not panic. Panicking may cause you to make some potentially stupid or dangerous decisions
  10. Be prepared for anything
  11. You will always have to come down from every mountain climbed — Celebrate and then keep going

BONUS: The trails are there for our benefit. Character is formed. Determination tested and tenacity built. You are stronger than when you first started…

Mountains - James 1:2-4



Kim Speaks Up - Signature

  • Tipper Nicole

    I was inspired by this post! I love your ability to tell a captivating story and tie it in with a serious life lesson. Thanks so much for sharing this 🙂

  • Danielle K

    Great post and so inspiring. Be prepared for anything is just a good motto for life 🙂

  • Theresa Beauteeful Living

    The photos really enhance your account of the day. Glad everything turned out ok. If I was alone, I would have been petrified. Glad you had good company during this longer than expected exploration.

  • Beautiful photos & inspiring post with a great lesson. Thanks for sharing!

  • Yes yes, trials and tribulations come to make you strong! It is awesome that you gathered such a powerful message out of such an everyday thing – getting lost while hiking. I love it! =)

  • What an inspiring post! It seems like we go in circles so many times throughout our lives.

  • Shantha Wetterhan

    Love this! We all get lost sometimes, but the LORD always calls his people back into the sheepfold.

  • I love the photos. I recall going deep into the woods just to see if I could get out based on my memory alone.

  • This is a great story and an even better life reminder! The pictures are gorgeous, as well! Thank you!

  • Liese Wolff

    Love the pictures, love the message! look forward to reading more from you!

  • Wow that’s scary! Yes a great reminder!

  • Debra Needles

    That’s a great article and I love the picture with the sun streaming through the trees!

  • Tara Joy

    Such an amazing message in your getting lost journey! Thank you for sharing, I definitely needed to read your realizations!

  • Kim Seghers

    Your pictures are breathtaking and I absolutely love how you write and have the ability to tell a story ! Glad you found your way it must have been scary and I love the message. Thank you for sharing!

  • Katherine Gilbert

    The pictures you took are so beautiful! I’m glad you all made it out safely. On the bright side you got some great exercise.

  • Ariana Fotinakis

    What a great story! It looks like a beautiful area to get a little lost in 😉 I feel like your lessons completely translate to some things I’m going through right now, so thank you for posting this! 🙂

  • Your story is so engaging and the morale of it all is so inspiring. Whenever we feel lost in the journey of life, keeping calm is the best remedy.

  • Aisha Leuthardt

    I have definitely felt like I am on a journey with no end in sight! That is like my weightloss journey LOL. Great pics 🙂

  • PM

    I might say it is an adventurous story, I know people who crave these kinds of journey and want to be lost lol..

  • That picture at the top is absolutely beautiful! I’m glad you made it out safely! I got mildly lost in the woods this weekend and keeping calm about it definitely helped.

  • Markisha Williams

    This story is phenomenal! It had so many elements and had me on the edge of my seat waiting for the outcome. I was also fascinated by the light and I can see how that made you veer off course. Thanks for sharing. I’m a new subscriber from BLM on Facebook

  • Wonderful read! Glad I stumbled on you this week.

  • Glad you made it out safely and love the life lessons you learned along the way- thanks for sharing them!

  • Samantha

    great lessons!

  • Laura

    Love the picture of the light!

  • Dara

    I am loving your blog more and more each time I visit!

  • beautiful advice Kimberley, and I love the analogy with the hike you did! 🙂

  • Christine Hawkins

    I love this post! This is a feeling I am sure everyone encounters once in their life, if they aren’t fighting it everyday! Thanks for sharing!

  • Alli Smith

    I’ve wandered off the path from time and time and I love what you said about paying attention and not being distracted. Great read!

  • Britney Thompson Mills

    Sounds like a fun adventure. Even when you get lost if you can see past the anxiety, you probably got to see more than you ever thought!

  • Great advice! I have wondered off the path i’m supposed to be on countless times because I got distracted! This is a great remider!

  • Em

    Great story! I got in a similar situation at some point but I still remember that day as being a good day 🙂

  • LisaLisa01

    Great read!! OH my I love the pictures, so glad you made it out safely!!

  • Logan Cantrell

    This is a great story. I love the list of things you learned and the metaphor of getting off course. Also, that picture is absolutely beautiful!

  • chall1018

    Amen! Great message. Your words always inspire me and your perspective is amazing! Also, I love the pictures.

  • Kasi Perkins

    Amen! I loved your story, and the tips fall right in line with it. I need to remember this through various journeys in my life.

  • lovewithkatie

    Beautifully written and I’m glad you found your way. We love hiking and there have been times we’ve gotten lost. I try to calm myself by saying I know I’m still in the same woods we entered and there is a way out. I’m so happy nothing bad happened! xoxo

  • Ana Valentin

    Great post! I can definitely relate, I have gotten lost in the woods countless times (sad to say) and it is quite hard not to panic when that happens! On one occasion I was lost without my cellphone in hand! However I truly agree with your tips on hiking, blazes or markers exist for a reason! Well written and thoughtful!

  • Oh my goodness, I don’t know if I could have stayed calm if that happened to me. I would have lost my mind. Way to go on making your way back to safety.

  • Carmen Nimo Perez

    OMG, I would have been terrified! Thank goodness you found your way back and that you were not alone!

  • Whew! What an adventure! Crazy.. At least you guys are alright, and you have gorgeous pictures to share! =)

  • A lovely post with a great story & message behind it (intentional or not). I would have been just as frightened and worried as y’all were! Sometimes you just have to notice and pay attention to the little signs and markers. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Sara McCarty

    Such a gorgeous hike! Kudos to you guys for keeping your head and figuring it out. What an adventure!

  • Amanda Marie

    hahah I love this story! It was interesting and helpful! I actually have never read James 1 and it is a great verse to bear in mind!!! Often times I let my emotions do the leading which is not good and I usually use the excuses of ohh I am a woman I cannot help it!!! I have been working on thinking before I take action! Your post was very enlightening & I love the picture as well!!!!

  • Amen! You’re so great at storytelling Kim. Your posts are always timely and inspirational. I’m glad you were able to find your way back.

  • Wow, I don’t know what I would have done! High five to you both…

  • Gina_MirrorWatching

    Beautiful writing and message!

  • Samantha Bender

    I don’t even know how I would have reacted in that kind of situation. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have even realized to use my phone because I would have been so panicked. I love the lessons you learned!

  • I’m sorry for the situation you were in at the time, but your response and insight in that time of panic brought forth a beautiful post that I really needed to hear right now. I am going through quite the transition in my life where I’m starting to see the correct path after wandering around in circles (albeit metaphorically) for about a year.

  • Such an inspiring story! I probably would have just stayed put and had him come to me. Your dog would have sniffed you out lol. This is a great lesson also and i love the points you made at the end.

  • I use to be allllll about some primitave camping back in the ol’ college days. Of course the fact that I was dating a wildlife and nature photographer a the time could account for at leas half of the trips. Thankfully I never got lost but I have rolled my ankle, fell off a waterfall, rolled down a mountain, and once even bitten by a chipmonk. Oh nature…I LOVE IT!

  • Starkey

    That was so inspiring! I work with a forester, and he is always sharing tips on hiking and traveling in the wilderness. The most important thing is not to panic! I’m glad you all made it out and you were able to create a great story to share about your experience. #blmgirl