Monday, August 16, 2021

The Hard Parts

I knew when I started this season of my life that there were going to be difficult moments.  The difficult moments tend to stay difficult.  The problem is me.

I used to run and sometimes, I still do.  Running has always been a challenge for me.  I have what you would call a love/hate relationship with running.  I love when I'm finally doing it.  I don't actually like getting up to run but when I'm at the gym and getting it done, there is nothing better.  I mention this because one day I came home from an outdoor run legitimately hating the sidewalk I was running on.  As I my feet hit the pavement, I would literally curse the ground that I ran on.  Silly Woman that I am!!!  One day, I realized that the problem wasn't the sidewalk, the problem was me.  I was mad at the thing that was making it hard, not that I was in a struggle to actually run.  Did I need to say that again?

Things in my life are complicated.  I'm a proud and happy newlywed.  I am the mother to two teens (yes, a mouthful).  I have taken on a new job and I am completing what I hope is my last degree.  This is the hard part of the hike.  Some of you don't hit the peak.  You say to yourself, I did what I could and now I will turn around and head on back down.  I really want to be like this, Folks.  I'm just not made that way.  Ask my best friend, Glenda how I feel about leaving a hike before I have been to the peak.  She'll tell you that I am the most stubborn mule of a person.  Trudging, crying and exhausted, I think I am one of those that will keep on going.  This is my fuel.  I want to be done.  I want to turn around and say that it's enough.  Unfortunately, I married someone who (incredibly) just might be more stubborn than I am and he's like, "Keep going.  You got this."  I don't know whether or not I appreciate it or not. 

Lately I have been thinking, why bother?  Why bother running and making my steps?  Why try and be better so that I can do better? Why work so hard?  I mean, I'm telling you, this part is kind of hard.  I posed the question to God.  I mean... I posed the question to God after complaining.  "God, why can't I have had an easy life?  God, why are things so.. difficult?  God, I don't know if I can and I may have to give up."  I hear a gentle, "Not your way but mine."  I hear echoes of being refined by the fire.  The wise people at my church call it sanctification.  I'm not sure I'm a fan of it.   I hear God whisper, even now, "They are watching."  I wonder who He is referring to... I don't have to wonder.  I know that He is referring to my favorite audience... my children.  

They were there to see me broken and bleeding; crawling through the hardest days of my life whispering through my sobs, "Praise the Lord.  God is good to me."  I hear my advice to them when they echo back to me, "God has a plan."  Today, not too long ago my son said to me, "Wherever you go I will go. It will be good."  My every day prayer to God is for my children to see Him and know Him.  I recommend Jesus to everyone.  Now, on a hike, I'm usually the last one to get some place.  There have been times when they have left and come back to check on me and I have continued to climb in places where I have had to hug the rock with my cheek pressed against it.  Maybe, just maybe, I am modelling how to do hard things with God by my side.  I feel a metaphorical me turn around as I'm climbing my mountain and I can see that my children and my new husband are right there with me in the struggle.  They root me on.  I pray that when it is time for them to do the hard thing, they don't back out because of fear.  "God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-control." (II Timothy 1:7)

Keep me in prayer, Friends.  Pray not that the sidewalk instantly becomes like rubber but that I have the foresight to keep running and trusting on the One with the Master Plan.  Praise the Lord!

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