Saturday, July 21, 2012

Struggle with Struggling (what I learned on the Incline)

**this post isn't about Uganda :)  If you came looking for Uganda details, click HERE to learn more about the trip and HERE to learn more about our funding needs! Thank you!

I am proud of this girl. She is a precious friend who spent the last week with me. She has been through a lot.....and she is strong. And brave. And incredible.

We spent a whole week doing crazy hard healing work and spending hours on our faces with the Lord. At the end of the week, we did the hardest thing yet (physically :)  We did the incline.

The incline is a Colorado Springs staple and probably one of the hardest exercises ever! It is a one mile hike consisting of railway ties that span a 2,000 feet elevation rise. It's kind of like doing the stairstepper for an hour 9,000 feet elevation :)  The beauty of it is that the path down is a 4.5 mile trail run which I ADORE!

I do the incline pretty regularly. It's always hard. At some point along the journey, pretty much everyone wants to curse the stairs and themselves for attempting it. You hate it and love it all at the same time :)

Pretty much every time I hike this particular trail, the Lord speaks to me.

This time, He used my dear friend. You see.....not only has this been the worst month of her life....she also is from sea level (which makes doing the incline a tad MORE tricky), and she hasn't had the opportunity to work out a ton lately, AND she has a heart condition which means she has to be very careful when exercising.

On the way up, we took our time. She hated this. She wished she could go faster. She wished it wasn't so hard. She wished she didn't feel like passing out or throwing up the whole time. And then, of course, she shamed herself for slowing me down and for it being so hard.

About 4/5 of the way up the incline you reach a summit - but it's not the real one - it's the false summit. You still have about 15 more minutes of hiking/climbing to go. This last little bit can be tricky on your already weary body. As I was putting one foot in front of the other and trying to make my way up this section, I felt Him remind me "this is where you are've made it this far. Turn around and look and be amazed. And look, you still have a little bit to go. It's ok to be tired at this point"

At the top, we paused to catch our breath, take in the absolute beauty and to ask Jesus to speak. He did. He told me, through my friend, that it is ok to struggle. It's ok for some things to be hard. It's ok for some hurt to still be around. It's ok to long. It's ok to doubt. It's ok to even be upset with Him for taking so long or choosing this path if I need to be. It's ok. 

I didn't EVER feel upset with my friend for struggling on the incline. It's the incline for heaven's sake! AND we had done a 4.5 mile trail walk with the kids earlier - making this a 10 mile day! Of COURSE she was struggling. Of COURSE it was hard. Of COURSE she wanted to quit. I never once thought "she should just take this and smile. I wish she'd just finish the dang thing" Nope. Not once.

Too often, I try to be strong. I shame myself for struggling...still. I am just past the false summit and I convince myself that I should be totally fine. But ya know what? Some days, it's still hard. Some days I question and doubt the promises of beauty that the Lord has spoken. Some days I hate being a single mama. Some days I get overwhelmed by the pain of those around me. Some days the pain in my own life still takes my breath away......and that's ok.  My Jesus has spoken to my heart that it's ok to be weak some days. It's ok to cling to His hand and beg for Him to make the pain go away. It's ok to long for my life partner and ask Him to bring him to me. It's ok to be overwhelmed. It's even ok to pound on His chest in frustration and anger. He can take it. He knows more than anyone that He's taken me on the "incline" and it's a hard, hard journey. He never expected it to be easy.

But....He does keep promising that there is a top to this mountain...and the view will be worth it all. So I will keep hiking, Keep clinging. Keep struggling. Keep praising.

Do you ever struggle with struggling?

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