This is the smaller stage 2 of the 40 meter / 130 feet tall Chambok waterfall that I visited yesterday (part of the Chambok community-based ecotourism site near Kirirom National Park in Cambodia). I will post a video as evidence soon, but I climbed through all of these rapids to the very top and back down. Not the most amazing climbing accomplishment, but definitely a challenge and a thrill. There’s a backstory to this that might make it more amazing, let me share.
I hiked through the forest (with four new friends, two were buddhist monks) for maybe 45 minutes to get to the top. I snapped a few photos that I will also share soon. They had to leave, after 30 minutes of playing and shooting pics of the AMAZING falls. I couldn’t leave yet, and said goodbye. No way could I leave, I left Phnom Penh at 6am and drove my moto 108 kilometers / 2+ hours to come here. There I was, all alone and 45 minutes away from the next human being. No cell service, and nobody to help me if I fell or had an accident. After a while, I headed down the mountain and stopped at stage 2 (the rapids that you see in the photo).
Still a good 30 minutes away from people, I decided to climb up and just rest in the falls. I might have stumbled just a bit a few times. Ready for the amazing part of the story? Just 4 years ago, this week, I had a major heart attack and was 10-15 minutes away from death. For the next few years I would deal with anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Anxiety that takes you from being a confident husband and father that can provide for his family and enjoy life with them, to a “weak” person that cannot leave their bedroom for an entire day. I rarely cried before, but during this time I would actually be crying for 15 minutes at a time, many times throughout a day. I couldn’t keep my job and had to quit and come home to work (creating websites, logos, and photography). It was VERY hard for me to finally get enough courage to drive somewhere alone!
I think you’re starting to sense the magnitude of the difference between then and now. The last two paragraphs sure seem like two different people or two different lives. Me sitting in the falls, compared to me sitting in my bedroom, can only do one thing – let you see a glimpse of the greatness of my God. Not the greatness of my accomplishments or being able to rebound from a heart attack and anxiety like I have. I promise you one thing, I could not have made it through the storm without having a PERSONAL relationship and understanding of my Creator. The same God that made the HUGE mountain and waterfall that I climbed.
Do me a favor? Scroll up and look at the photo of the rapids for 1 minute and think about the story you just read. When you face your next hard time in life, please remember the photo and I pray that it will be a reminder that God will take you through your storm and let you rest. You can read MUCH more about this story by checking out my wife’s new ebook we just launched this week, called The Storm. It is available in all of the stores online for Kindle, iPad, Nook, and PDF. Thanks for taking the time to read this!