When Angela Leslie was in the deepest valley of her life, hiking a mountain was a way she got through it and now she helps women facing their own valleys to reach the same heights.
“I gave all I had to my marriage of nineteen years but it still failed and the shame I felt was unbearable,” says Angela. “I wasn’t the same person but tried acting normal. I blamed myself for not being lovable or good enough as a woman for him. I finally got counselling through SAIF (Stop Abuse In Families). They gave me books to understand his behaviors and they listened to the secrets I kept for so long. I know now that I didn’t fail anything and the shame I experienced was from feeling I disappointed God.”
Angela loved backwoods trekking but the suggestion of hiking a mountain was out of her comfort zone. However, recovering from her divorce was far from comfortable and since she was already out of her zone, she took up the challenge of hiking Whistlers Mountain, near Jasper.
She had just turned forty.
Angela has conquered many more mountains over the past eight years challenging herself with tougher hikes each year.
“The highest and my favorite is Mount Robson. I like bringing curious or interested people on smaller treks. I’ve organized many backpacking trips ranging from two to ten days, bringing new and experienced hikers to Vancouver Island and even Newfoundland.”
In May 2015 Angela lost her job. She had to give up her apartment and stayed with a friend and her children went to live with their father.
Her dad died in June adding to the stress of everything else. “I had flashbacks of terrible memories from my childhood combined with my current struggles.” She developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
“After reading a post on North Pointe’s Pointes of View about a girl who was healed, I asked Jesus to heal me too” Angela said. “And He did! I used to ask God to take my life when panic attacks would happen but this time God healed me. He also blessed me with several personal miracles. I still fight anxiety but my depression, PTSD, and panic attacks are gone. God is so good.”
“God knows better than I do and He is bigger than any situation. He can clean up any mess and put together every broken puzzle. I felt weak for so long but have endured so much in my life.”
Angela invited women to join her recently in hiking the Sulphur Skyline, which features some of the most breathtaking panoramas that Jasper Alberta has to offer. Twenty-six participants, most of them novice climbers and ranging in ages from their early 20’s to 60’s, met at 6:30am on a Saturday and car-pooled to Jasper. The hike was 3 hours in total. Every climber made it to the top because they helped each other.
The women each brought a small rock with a word written on it representing what brought them fear. They left the rock at the mountaintop with God and proclaimed “fearless” as their new word to carry back down the mountain.
Hiking a mountain can get you through your lowest valley.
Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He writes to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose.
Connect with Bob:
North Pointe Blog