Climbing the Spire: One Year Later


Photos by Cynthia Hutchinson, 5HPhotography.

A few weeks ago, Elizabeth and I climbed a 150-foot spire in Garden of the Gods State Park—one that bears a lot of significance to us.

On top of Montezuma’s Tower is where I asked Elizabeth to marry me in the summer of 2012. We’ve climbed it several times together (this was probably my tenth), but this time had a twist: the one-year anniversary of my diagnosis.

March 21 proved a landmark moment for many reasons, but especially as a tangible expression of how significantly God has improved my health, bringing me to much better place than most doctors would have said is possible.

Unbeknownst to us, a professional photographer documented our climb and left a business card on our backpacks. We contacted 5Hphotography and they sent us these photos, which include some excellent shots of Montezuma’s and Garden of the Gods. You can see the full gallery here. 

“Hollywood couldn’t write a better script of your story and what God has done,” my dad said, after I told him about our climb and the photos. He (Craig Lawrence) wrote the following stanza which I think perfectly captures the moment:

“Together we climb the lofty spire of hope,

to rediscover life itself, wrought by God through

the steely determination of the people of Avera.”

Avera is the name of the medical center where I have received treatment. We are so grateful to how God has used their excellent medical care in my life. We continue to praise God for all he has done and has yet to do for me. He has been our reason for hope.

“LORD my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me.” Psalm 30:2.

[wpvideo Wk98Edai]


Elizabeth makes her way up the first pitch, while I belay from the start of Pitch 2.


Elizabeth works her way through the crux, or the most difficult part of pitch 1.


Profile shot: Much skinnier looking straight on, Montezuma’s narrows to just a few feet in width.


Look closely and you can see me, a little blue speck, while Elizabeth belays out of sight.