A Love Letter to Alaska

Heather GillisFaith, Uncategorized2 Comments

It comes with mixed emotions and bittersweet feelings that my stay here in Alaska has come to an end. Oh how I have loved it here, the memories we have made will last a lifetime. But it is time for this military family to embark on our next journey. It seems we have just said hello and now it is time to say goodbye. This post will be a little different from my previous ones. I hope you have enjoyed reading the Monday messages God has placed on my heart each week.

This is my love letter to Alaska—between hello and goodbye. I don’t think a person could ever really say goodbye to Alaska once they experience it. It’s a place I would like to return in one way or another. Alaska has been so good to us in every way. You can see how creative God is when he made Alaska. It is like no other place I’ve ever been.

Lost Lake Seward, AK


My Love Letter to Alaska:

Oh Alaska, I will never forget the first time Ilaid my eyes on you. The pictures I tried to take with my phone, never gave you justice of how mighty and great your mountains are. Or the sunrises, sunsets and northern lights that God painted by hand. I will never capture the immense beauty of colors I’ve never seen before, painted across the skies. God’s fingerprints have touched every inch of these skies and land.

I had no idea what I was in for when I came. You’re beauty and greatness never disappoint. Between every little nook and cranny I see you’re beauty and you always have some surprise—a moose, a bear, an eagle, a beautiful mountain or river waiting around the corner.

In this place I feel so close to God in ways I’ve never been before.

Is it because we are amongst the mountains or on top of the world?

Is this how Moses felt when he climbed down Mt. Sinai with the 10 commandments?

Or where Jesus felt comfort when he was tempted by Satan?

Homer Fishing Trip

There is something mighty in these mountains that speak to my heart. These mountains remind me of what my faith can do when I just trust in God—how he moves the mountains we can’t even see.

Alaska, you have given me a whole new appreciation of light. I will admit, the days of darkness at times seemed long and endless. I never knew how much I missed the light until it was gone. The days I could see windows of light peeking through the sky, I was encouraged to know there was more light to come around the corner. Those days of darkness make the long days of light so worth it.

Alaska you showed me great things come when we are patient–that in the dark is where the light shines brightest.  It is possible to experience joy even in the dark! The dark days should be no excuse to put life on hold, but to live life to the fullest RIGHT NOW!

Kenai River

I love seeing everything from the wildlife, to the trees, to the rivers come alive after a long winter’s nap. In the spring it is amazing to see the transformation that occurs when the landscapes become alive with life again with an unspeakable beauty that is barely touched by man.

I have learned this beauty comes at a cost and one cannot be unprepared when exploring Alaska.

You have taught be to be aware of my surroundings, stay alert and be ready for the unexpected. If not I will greatly regret it and be put in harms way.

There will be things I do not miss like the negative degree temperatures and the break up season of ice. OR the roads lined with ice or the big pot holes. But these are just minor prices to pay for everything you give.

There are so many things I will miss. The Alaskan summers which are way too short. I have learned not to waste anytime to use every minute wisely or I will for sure miss out on what you offer. I will definitely miss the camping, the adventures, the beautiful glaciers, the salmon and halibut fishing, the neighborhood kids knocking on the door and the things we could only see and experience that we preface “Only in Alaska.”

Eklutna Lake

Only in Alaska……..

  • Do kids walk around outside barefoot when it is only 50 degrees outside, wearing shorts and T-shirts making make-shift rafts floating in the water run off collected in the ditch using shovels as paddles.
  • Do I see a baby moose born in the Lowes parking lot.
  • Do I see a man carrying a set of walrus tusks for sale on the side of the road.
  • Do I get to experience the iditarod dog sled race that has been around for years.
  • Or hike a glacier, see whales, ride a train, see all kinds of wildlife all in one day!
  • Or see a live fur auction where people where mink fur coats at carnivals.

I will miss the trees lined perfectly frosted with snow that makes you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland. I will miss the beautiful parks with ponds of ice for outdoor ice skating, I could go on and on. But the one thing I will miss the most are all the wonderful amazing friends I have made along the way who have made living in Alaska so memorable. It seems we were just getting to know people and now we have to say goodbye!

I don’t like goodbyes! I will miss you Alaska!  I may stop in once in a while on the blog, until then I hope you continue you’re journey getting to know the one who loves you most, our God Almighty, our Master and Maker and allow Him to write the best story ever of your life.

What do you love about Alaska?

What has Alaska taught you?

What have you experienced #OnlyinAlaska?

Would you like to follow along in our adventure?  I will continue to write on my blog at www.heathergillis.com.  Follow along our adventure (click here).

I would love to hear from you!  Leave your comments below!

Reindeer Farm Palmer, AK

About Heather Gillis

Heather received her master's degree in Nurse Anesthesia at Villanova University. She works full time as a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at a surgery center in Alaska. She is author of "Waiting for Heaven: Finding Beauty in the Pain and the Struggle," and a contributor for "Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Less." She also writes weekly Christian devotionals on her blog www.heathergillis.com. Heather and her husband Mac, reside in Alaska with their two living children. When she is not working, writing, or taking care of the house, you can find Heather running the trails, reading, taking the kids to gymnastics and choir, crafting with her daughter, building legos with their son, camping with her family, spending time with friends or volunteering wherever God takes her! To read her blog, learn more about Heather and her ministry visit www.heathergillis.com.

2 Comments on “A Love Letter to Alaska”

  1. Heather, it’s been wonderful getting to know you as both a friend and sister in Christ. You are a very bright light for Jesus Christ and you and your family will be dearly missed! I’m so thankful that God brought you to Alaska and for all that I have learned from you. I’m so glad I can still follow you on you blog as well!

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