Friday, August 5, 2016

The Mountain

"Only if you have been in the deepest valley, 
can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain."
~Richard M. Nixon

In all fairness, my life up until the past year has been mostly valleys.

Long, dark, lonely valleys that force you to become the person you were always destined to become.

But for every valley of the past 30 years, there have been many, many mountain tops-this year has been one of them.

If someone would have told my bright, awkward, 20-year-old self that this is what my mountain top would look like 10 years later, I would of laughed.

Because it's a proven fact that at 20 years old, we have got it ALL figured out.

<insert super dramatic eye roll here>

Yep. 10 years ago, I was on top of a mountain. I was going to be a teacher, I was pretty much already married, and I was sure I would have at least 2 kids before 25.

I had the next 50 years of my life completely mapped out.

<Enter real life stage left.> 

And all of sudden as if overnight, I had no idea what I was going to do tomorrow-let alone in 50 years.

I think it was at that point in my life that I finally accepted that for every mountain top there must be a valley in order to get there. 

Fast forward to today, and I find myself perched on the top of the world!

I have been married to my best friend for three months. We are almost completely done remodeling our first home-which will eventually become our first business venture.

I am running a growing company which looks nothing like the teaching job I thought I would have by now, and I love getting to make my own schedule, as well as, working from home some days.

We are active in our church. We are allowing God to use us to change lives.

We are growing and evolving and to be honest, our future looks incredibly bright.

I can confidently say that the world has never looked more beautiful.  

But as gorgeous as it is on top of this mountain, I had forgotten how lonely mountain tops can be.

I think one of the hardest lesson I have had to learn over the past 10 years is that not everyone you meet along your path is supposed walk with you every step of the way.

Yes, some friendship are life long. The friendship of my husband, my sisters, my cousins, etc. were meant to accompany me on every single journey. No matter where I go in life-no matter how hard or how easy life is at times-I know I can always count on them.

It's the other friendships that come and go- the ones that are meant only for a season-that have become the hardest for me to let go.

I have always been the one with a small, close group of friends. I was never that super popular girl who was "friends" with everyone. I never went to parties or fit into an array of cliches.

For most of my childhood and teenage years, I had the same two or three friends. We grew up with each other and then eventually life got the best of us and we grew apart.

<Enter early adulthood.>

 In my early adult years, I was a newlywed and a new mom. I had some friendships-but not many. I was mostly consumed with being a wife and figuring out motherhood.

And then when life got really hard, I had to learn the difference between true friends and "friends" who jump ship at the slightest sign of distress.

It was a rough part of my journey.

But, through that hard season, God cultivated new friendships. Fun friendships. Friendships that helped me experience some of those things that I missed out on in my early twenties.

It was a memorable time in my life-one I will not soon forget.

<Enter present day.>

I have found myself being ushered into a season of contentment in my life.

I am most happy being mom to my daughter and wife to my husband. I love cooking dinner every night and the mundane-but steady and relaxing-task of folding laundry. I love lazy evenings on my new deck and quiet mornings curled up on the couch with my girl watching Netflix.

I love this life. 

And I would not change it for anything.

But, lately the loneliness has been overwhelming, and while I may be physically on the mountain-a piece of my heart is lost somewhere in the valley.

The valley where I am trying to hold onto people that God never intended to go with me all the way to the top.

And if I'm being honest, I would tell you that I have allowed that place in the valley to steal most of the joy I should be feeling on this mountain top.

I have been sad, and weepy, and overwhelmed by the thought of having to find new friendships and new women I can relate too.

Women who will stand with me in this place instead of making me feel guilty for being here. 

And as a result, I have been quiet.

Here and in other places of my corner of the world.

I have at least 10 unfinished blog posts, because I just could not summon the words, or the feelings, or the energy it would take to finish them.

And you know what I did instead?!

I wallered. <Ozarkian term. Just go with it.>

I sunk deeper and deeper into a place of remorse, loss, and self-pity.

 I allowed it's poison to affect every aspect of my world, even some new friendship that had recently come into my life.

But, after some wise counsel, weeks of prayer, and drawing closer to God, I have come to this conclusion:

He never promises what the mountain tops will look like-He only promises that He will be right there with us.

So, this is my truth: I have been chosen-set apart by God-for something amazing. He is writing a story with my life that not everyone will understand which means that I will struggle with loneliness from time to time.

Earthly loneliness-not spiritual loneliness. 

Because even though He promises there will be persecution in this season of life, He also promises that I will never walk alone.

And just like Paul encourages Timothy in 1 Timothy 6, I need to "keep fighting the good fight".

Satan is trying to use this season of life against me. His primary concern is to get me down and make me feel defeated. He sees the Lord's call on my life and He trembles at what that means for a world that is so caught up in their own selfish desires.

As long as I'm sharing my testimony and fighting against him in this war he is raging on marriages and families, he knows he will lose his foothold in some people's lives and he doesn't want that.

And so he whispers in my ear.

And sometimes I listen.

But, unfortunately for him, there will always be a Voice that is louder than his.

The Voice of the One who breathed life into my bones and who began a good work in me that He will see out until completion.

Yes. This season is lonely.

I am growing,  and changing, and experiencing what life looks like when you hear the Spirit's call.

But, I know, it won't be lonely forever.

God always provides and I know He has new friendships out there on the horizon.

Friendships that will propel me forward.

Friendships that will encourage and support me.

Friendships that are meant for this season.

I just need to patient. 

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