Last Sunday, I sat in tears in church listening to my pastor recount a story of a competition that he did years ago. It ended by going up Heartbreak Hill. He described how spent he was and how he doesn’t do endurance things well. He talked about how his lungs were burning and he was tired and weary. As his body was shutting down and his legs wouldn’t move, one of his team members came back for him. He helped him, pulled him, and pushed him up Heartbreak Hill. (You can hear the sermon here.)
That is what Jesus does for us. When you come to Heartbreak Hill. He’s there.
“Just when you think you couldn’t be anymore tired and you don’t think you can take one more thing, you come to Heartbreak Hill. It’s the place where dreams die, where people stop. You kick and claw and you just can’t quite get ahead. You start to go forward and slide right back down.”
Grace is God hanging on to you when you can’t even hang on to Him.
Keep your eyes on the prize, not the pain.
This has been an unmatchably difficult year or two and I have struggled in some very deep ways. Dealing with death and life and everything in between. Life is beautiful and yet I find myself at the bottom of Heartbreak Hill. Truly, down in the depths of my soul.
February 7th, my dear friend Joany passed away and when she died a very deep part of me awoke. It awoke with a pain that was too deep to smother and pretend that everything was ok. It was too deep.
God works in layers on our soul. Praise Him for His grace. Layer by layer, He has gently been working on me to let go and live without fear. While the pain that I experience with her dying was deep, I felt it…and that my friends is trust. That, is courage. For this world, as I am continuing to learn takes a healthy dose of both. For a woman who was such a blessing to me personally through her life, even in her death, she helped me.
For a girl who has spent a great deal of her early life flying around about a million miles an hour to stay busy, to avoid feeling, to avoid hurt, the Lord is healing me of that over the last several years. When you live like that you may escape some deep pain, but you also sacrifice deep joy. It is no way to live. God does not want that for me or anyone else.
I am clawing, and kicking, and screaming and there is fight in me that comes straight from Him and I am grateful.
He is hanging on to me…
The desire for authenticity in this life runs deep. It is my fuel and my lifeline and the more I awake the more I crave and the more I see it everywhere.
We need each other in this lifetime. We need to tell our stories.
…and today as we celebrated my daughter’s 10th birthday and carnivaled it up at my church all afternoon, I teared again.
This time watching my other daughter on stage with a ministry she is involved in. They lead worship for the kids at our church and they were doing shows throughout the afternoon at the carnival. I am so grateful for this group of kids and the people who started this ministry. I am so grateful that she wants to spend her time singing and dancing and proclaiming God’s truth. I am so grateful that God has given my girl a place to make friendships and belong.
…and they sing. Big or small, Jesus Heals it all. #amen
I cry because today is also Joany’s birthday and I can’t imagine the way her family misses her on this day particularly.
There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1
I know that these last months God is working in my heart in ways I have yet to understand and my head trusts. Yet, it has left me bloody and bruised, for real. You know those times in life?
I head out Monday morning to go back to my Ca people. I am flying out alone for a week. A week jam packed full of therapy that my soul needs.
I also can’t wait until I am on the plane coming back home to my family. I am already dreaming of the moment that my three year old will run to me and scream and give me that amazing hug he gives. I can be sure of this because this is the response I get when returning from the grocery store, the post office, or on most days even the bathroom. I can’t wait to be back under the same roof with the five most important people in my life. To continue this journey that the Lord has me on.
I am ready to climb.