I don’t know about you, but I was excited to see 2013 go.
Like letting go of a lover you knew you had no business staying with, but the spell of sweet familiar kept you holding on. Last year needed to hurry up and get gone. LOL!
And I needed a new year to give myself permission to leave it, take up a new lease, a new courage to continue on.
No, I’m not ignorant in my hurried exit of 2013, to leave precious jewels of lessons learned,treasured gifts of family and friends that still stand strong- forgotten. Nor am I naive to trash memories of my unwanted failures, broken promises and dreams aborted, but I want to-oh do I want to throw that pain away.
But I can’t.
Because it’s in the breaking forth of the forecasted sun break, right in the middle of the wilderness of my darkness, that I am saved again by YOU. Not from salvation, but from that familiar Liar that keeps coming back, telling me, I am forgotten.
I can’t forget what the stretching-although painful- is doing.
Because it is developing the promise of fresh, clean sheet of new beginnings that I am forced to desperately reach back, deep inside and pull up pure wonder and crisp hope of sprouting-God-deposited-possibilities. Yea, yea that deep down appreciate of something new can only come up when you have been crawling awhile in the trenches. I’ve been in the trenches for a mighty long time.
I’ve been warming up slowly to 2014 the last few days. Observant, cautious, aware that I don’t have a charted path, GPS system or even a clear forecast promised. Finally I think, well at least for now resolved that I am not the leader. God is the one in charge.
I’m just suppose to lace up. Firm and sturdy, like the form-fit-snug of my hiking boots and a heart surrendered to my one word given by you on a mountain-TRUST.
So there we are on our New Year’s Day, hiking up, Multnomah Falls, when she tells me she can’t.
“Nya, we are not going back down, you have come to far to give up. You can do it Babygirl, just keep walking.” I say in the sweetest, “Mommy the cheerleader” voice I can find.
“No, Momma I can’t.”Direct, sincere and resolved, she crossed her arms.
Oh no, here we go.
Before this final declaration of surrender, I had noticed her pace and energy depleting. As the hill progressive got higher, she began to lean longer to the side. She had even complained several times of the back of her legs hurting. But I wanted to challenge her. I wanted her to see the strength that was in her. After all, she is Momma’s big girl now and I knew she could do it.-until on the 15th turnabout, when she literally began to melt to the ground.
Eyes tearing, mouth tightened, head hanging, before she greeted the earth, I swooped her with one, Big-Momma-Bear-lift, slide her to my back and realigned my center and footing.
What am I doing? I am not that young-Momma in her 20’s anymore. I’ve been huffing and puffing my oneself all the way up this hill. She is too old for me to be carrying on my back. Shoot-I’m to old to have her on THIS BACK.
Trust Lord? Right? I laughed inside.
I don’t know what God was wanting me to trust. All I knew was that I was not about to go all the way down that hill when there was only three more turns to the top to go.
I also wasn’t about to listen to my strong-willed, 7-year-old cry, scream and complain all the way down, about how she wished she would have made it…hmmmmm this real-time moment was started to mirror my present faith journey up close and personal. Some of the elders, in my childhood Baptist church use to say if you can’t say” Amen”, say…”Ouch”. Ouch!
Nya held on for dear life. She white-knuckled her fingers together, linked and locked her hold around my neck. She dug her knees deep in my side.
“Nya honey you gotta relax a little ok? Your hurting Momma, I got you.” I patted her clenched death grip.
“Ok Momma, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t do it like everybody else.”
Wow, how often do I keep comparing my progress, my walk, my process to others.
Now the tears were coming to my eyes.
I could feel the pounding of her heart beating against my back.
She really doesn’t have anything left. I know how that feels.
“It’s ok honey. Did you do your best?” I whispered.
“Yes, I did and my legs really are hurting Momma.” She started to cry quietly again.
“It’s ok honey. Then that’s all that matters, Mommy’s strong enough to get us to the top, ok?.”
Her whole body along with her grip, finally relaxed and we became one walking unit.
“Thank you Momma, I love you.”
She nestled close and laid her head relaxed to my left side.
So many times this year I kept crying out to, for you Lord to pick me up and carry me.
But you didn’t.
I saw your silence to my needs-sometimes straight up cruel. Couldn’t you see I was hurting? Couldn’t you see that I wasn’t as strong as you thought I was. That we were struggling to keep it together, to keep-keeping on.
But you would just tell me to take the next step.
Stepping I did right into confusion, uncertainty and pain-you watched. Calculating and knowing at just the right moment when to swoop down and rescue me.
And I learned to trust…
that when I am weak you are strong-for real.
And I leaned in to trusting…
that it’s ok to climb and cling to your back when there is absolutely nothing left. That even 41 years is never too old for this Babygirl of yours, to cling to her Heavenly Father, like her life depends on it-because it does.(Oh Jesus because you and I are the only ones that know, how much it really does).
And as we came around that last turn, with end in sight legs refreshed, I told Little Miss Nya, it was time to come on down.
“Ok Mommy, I’m ready now.”
Ready she was-sprinted to the end like a “Allyson Felix”, 100 meter yard dash and danced when she got there. Made it all the way back down without a word about pain, discomfort or a reoccurring case of the, “I can’ts”.
Truth is I don’t know if 2014 will be more mountain climbing or valleys gliding. All I know is that for right now I’m still hanging on my Daddy’s back, nestled close and enjoying the view and the ride.
On this new year I am resoluting to live out this word in its simple definition.
: marked by firm determination : <resolved stepping one turnabout at a time>
: bold, steady <a resolute gaze upon the One who carries me and has the map in his hands>
Happy New Year Fam!
(PS-Remember in 2014, God is strong enough to get us to the TOP, TOP of our pain, TOP of our struggle, our DREAMS as long as we are willing to stay wrapped around him and TRUST his unique, only-for-you-by-Him- journey, one step at a time).