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!