If you’d told me a year ago that in one year’s time I would be swimming through mud, jumping over fire pits, climbing and scaling walls that made me think of nothing but spinal cord injuries, I’d have laughed in your face and told you that you were crazy.
If you’d told me a year ago that in one year’s time I would be divorced, living on my own, with a house on the market and another one being built, I’d have laughed in your face and told you that you were crazy (and probably freaked out at that one!).
If you’d told me a year ago that in one year’s time I would be a single mom, constantly wondering if I am making the right decisions for my girls, learning how to do things I’d always taken for granted such as get us all out the door on time, manage dinner, baths, bed & stories all on my own, I’d have told you that you were crazy, freaked out a little, and probably panicked.
Crazy how much can change in a year’s time.
There is something very empowering about doing things you never imagined you could do. I stood before an attorney, and put an ink pen to a piece of paper I never dreamed I would sign. I check off the box “divorced” on the insurance paperwork for my new job. I go to bed each night and thank God I got everything done for the day and still managed to spend the evening playing with the girls AND get us all in the bed at a decent hour. And although at each of those things I sometimes feel that all-too-familiar stab of pain that reminds me that this isn’t what I planned, you know what?
I survived. And heck–I conquered!
This past weekend I stood before a giant wall–straight up, with nothing but a rope and a few knots tied in it, alongside my dear friends, and made the decision to climb it. Perhaps in all the life change the past year I may have lost my mind 😉 I don’t know. Had I ever climbed even a mere rock wall before? Nope. But heck–I’d paid the hefty fee to sign up and do something I could’ve (& DID DO!) for free as a child, but somehow, as an older, rustier version of myself it was much more fun this time around.
I started up that wall, pretty sure I was only checking it out and would slide back down and just skip that obstacle. But after I’d made it almost to the top, I realized I had to keep going. I was too far in now. Turning back would just waste all that effort I had just expended on getting that far.
At the top, I had visions of c-spine injuries, cervical collars, and expensive rehabilitation bills in the event that I fell off that thing. I kinda regretted being up there for a minute. But reality hit me that I had went that far, and now I had no choice but to get down. By myself. No one was climbing up there to save me. I had two options–climb down willingly or fall off. The second choice wasn’t really an option for me 😉
Down I went. And you know what? I made it. And although there were plenty of other obstacles we conquered that day (Go Team Low-Expectations! 😉 ) that wall was my biggest challenge AND my biggest accomplishment. The satisfaction I gained from conquering that wall all on my own rivaled the same satisfaction I felt from surviving divorce. And single parenthood. And fear.
I am learning to recognize those moments–just like when I sat at the top of the wall, scared and not really sure what my next move would be–when I still get scared. Uncertain. Bitter. Moments when I hear about couples getting married, celebrating anniversaries, having babies, all those happy things I dreamed that would be MY life forever. And yes–I realize that God has not told me what is in store for me in the future. I know He will do FAR more than I can imagine–I only have to look back over the past 6-12 months to see how far I already am thanks only to His grace.
I am learning when I have those little stabs of pain–reminding me of all the hopes, plans, etc., that I thought I would have, that God has something greater in store for my life. A plan that far outweighs what I could dream up now. And He has already begun to carry out that plan. I know it.
I am sitting at the top of the wall–looking around at how high I have climbed and far I’ve come with His help, and even still, I get scared. I worry about the what-ifs. What if I fall? What if I hurt? The hardest part is to swing your leg around the side of that wall and start climbing down the other side. But once you do, and you look back at how you not only survived, but you conquered, it is totally worth it 🙂
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”