How Clearwater Junction Has Given Me The Best Memories
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How Clearwater Junction Has Given Me The Best Memories

One valley between two highways has played a huge role in many life-shaping moments.

How Clearwater Junction Has Given Me The Best Memories
Jourdyn VanderVeen

Clearwater Junction is where Highway 83 and Highway 200 intersect, but it is much more two highways coming together. I have memories in every direction from this place. So many summers have been spent here and so many moments have made me the person I am today.

Growing up in Western Montana I spent many summer days on the various lakes in this area. I also went to Church Camp about 10 miles up the road from this junction. I have went on many canoe and raft trips on the rivers around here. When I was younger I called Clearwater Junction "the big cow" because the gas station has a huge cow in front of it, if you are familiar with this area at all you know exactly what I am talking about.

I am not even sure when I started going up to this special place. My family has always been the outdoorsy type so it was probably before I can even remember.

My first memory here is when I was going into fourth grade. I was finally old enough to go to church camp like all my aunts and cousins. I was so excited. I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that I was in for a great week and that I did. I had enough fun that I never missed a year of camp.

Camp Utmost played a huge role of my walk with God. It is the place where I decided to rededicate my life to Jesus and finally get real with Him when I was going into seventh grade. It is also the place where I fully really began to serve the Lord while serving others. In this special place I learned to have a servants heart and a "yes" attitude. Camp Utmost was also the the place where I began to realize the love God has for me and helped me realize I am where God has put me.

This area is more than just a place where I went to talk about God. Salmon Lake is up the road from camp. My family has spent so much time there. The lake is the one place I knew how to get to from a young age. There are many family memories here and it is just so special to me.

Salmon Lake is where I had my first tube wreck as a young girl. That was a cool moment in my life because it showed bravery, but it also reminds me of something deeper. When I was a senior in high school my friend and I decided to lie to our moms and say we were staying at each others houses to go camp in my car instead. Salmon Lake was the one place that I knew how to get to like the back of my hand. We didn't end up actually camping because we realize we didn't have any money to pay for a camping spot, so we turned around and went back home. The outcome of that trip was more than us deciding not to stay there. I made a decision that I didn't need to read my Bible on that trip. Before this spontaneous trip I had read my Bible almost everyday for a year and ever since that day I have never been that good at doing my devotions. That day changed me thankfully God has pulled me back to him, but I am still trying to have another year where I spend almost everyday dedicating time to spend with God.

This stretch of highway contains so many of my highs and lows in life. I was driving through on my road trip this past weekend and I felt God show me the history in my life that has taken place here. I started to remember special moments which have formed me into who I am becoming.

I had some other moments there this weekend. On Friday afternoon I felt God tugging on my heart to stop and spend sometime with God. I walked down to the lake and sat on the ice and began to pray. I prayed and thanked God for the work he has done in my heart in that place, but I also began to give him control of areas in my life that I have been failing to handle on my own. All weekend I wrestled with the fact that I had given God control of all these areas that I was not comfortable with.

Then on my way back home I stopped again. This time I felt God telling me to trust him. I trusted him and walked to the middle of the lake and sat there. This time I spent some intentional time with Jesus. I realized that if I can trust him that the ice is not going to break, then I can trust him with the areas of my life that I was so hesitant to put in his hands.

God is faithful. He won't let anything hurt us. We just need to allow ourselves to trust him with even the aspects in our lives that we want full control over. God looks out for our best interests even when we cannot.

This moment was special for more than just me letting God fully take the wheel of my life, but it was also really amazing because I realized I experience him best through his creation. This stretch from Greenough, Montana to Seeley Lake, Montana has once again played a role in my life being changed and me growing in my relationship with God.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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