Just to assure you, this is NOT my New Years resolution.
Though the idea of putting myself in extremely precarious situations intrigues me, I am not stupid. I know my abilities, I know my strengths and weaknesses - at this time. At this time. At this time in my life, with a husband, with 2 kids - they need me, and I need them. This photo captured my attention this morning. The idea of struggle is so powerfully portrayed to me. See, what I see in this photo is the work, the effort that I know has come before this picture could even be made complete. She, (because I know its a girl... see, she has her hair pulled back in a bun, tucked under her helmet), has trained, has spent countless of hours hiking, climbing, running - getting into shape. This photo inspires me. Not to necessarily go ice climbing, but to pursue the idea of the struggle. Its the struggle that draws us near to God, it's the daily grind that shapes you, molds you, sharpens you.
We, together as a family, have met head on with many great struggles this past year. Most, if not all of them, coming in the last few months of 2012. My life wasn't supposed to happen this way. My siblings and I were not supposed to be orphans this early in life. But life doesn't/cant' go the way we want or think it should, there are too many variables. God isn't one to allow oneself to continue leading a boring life. My storyline is being re-shaped before my very eyes, despite my desperate struggle to grasp at anything that I think should stay the same. I constantly feel as though I am screaming out from the depths of my soul for change to STOP. STOP letting our cars have issues, STOP letting my kids get sick, STOP the internal family struggles, STOP my parents from dying. STOP. STOP! STOP! My life, my storyline... it is being re-written right before my very eyes - and I can do nothing to stop it. I have to trust that for whatever reason, God must - He MUST know what he is doing, because I surely do not. I surely do not understand. I have not trained for this struggle.
But that's where this idea of training for life has intrigued me. I'm not talking about working out at Crossfit (yea! 2 pull-ups!), I'm talking about walking into the adventure - desperate for air at 11,500ft, desperate for the rest that will surely come. Each and every step in life conditions and inspires just one more step. I have friends right now who are climbing their own 14'er in life - the summit is so far away, the incredible view is just out of sight, their legs are coming undone and the threat of tripping is so great - they can not see the end, it is so, so, so far away. The struggle is so great. But through the midst, they are training, they are getting stronger each and every day. They may be gasping for air - the sweet air of rest - but through every gasp comes strength.
I am stronger today than I was 2 months ago. My sister and brother and I became orphans on 10.11.12. That day brought us together - we finally have 1 thing in common. My storyline, their storyline is no longer boring, it is being written before our eyes, but I am ready for the sweet air of rest I know is promised to me, whether in this life or the next. The struggle is conditioning me, and I'm in it for the long adventure. I am not waiting on my life to begin or stay the same anymore. The sprint to the next mountain top, the pace to maintain to reach the summit - it is in me. Its what we do with our new, re-written story - now that is the adventure. Will we defiantly sit down, refusing to go on - curl up into a ball and close our eyes to the struggle? Or, will we push through the burning pain in our lungs, the cracked dry lips needing water - knowing that our reward, our sweet beautiful Lord is waiting just over the next rise. Will we push on?
Lord, you whispered your sweet words to me a thousand years ago. They were spoken just for me. The love that embraces me, lifts me up - it sustains me. It lulls me to sleep and gives me rest - to rise again tomorrow, sustained and refreshed.