Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mountains

Lately, as the mountains of this life keep blocking my passage to another land, I've been thinking about what the mountain really is.

Mountains, a constant part of our lives.  I realize they are there to make us stronger in Christ, more reliant on Him and His grace and comfort and joy.  I realize, believe, and preach that often.  Mountains since a teenager.  Tough life since it was my own to choose.

Mountains are complicated.  Some start as a small mound, but thru discussion with others, our brains that can blow up the smallest of facts, thru time and ignorance we grow that mound into a mountain on our own.  I have way too many of those.  Accepting and understanding that is not very easy as we grow up and realize what we have done to ourselves.  For example, that first boyfriend that was controlling and abusive.  I chose to not leave.  I also chose to end it once I got it all figured out.  The price of that relationship being the starting point for many other mound mountains that I was fully responsible for creating.  Do you have any of those?  That mountain, however, was also the springboard for my meeting God, for him catching me and changing me and equipping me with the perseverance and strength, the stubborn, heals in the ground, you are not going to make me do anything I don't want to or that isn't of God bullheadedness.  Maybe BOLDheadedness is better.  I don't bully, but I'll be bold whenever necessary.  God made me strong and courageous so that I wouldn't have to be terrified again.

Mountains are HUGE.  Some mountains are dropped in your lap in an instant, or grow steadily as time continues because we didn't see or deal with it as a mound.  Of course the most significant mountain of this type for me is cancer.  It is not the only one though.  And herein lies the problem....

Cancer is not the actual mountain.

I have been thinking about this for weeks.  Cancer, diabetes, Celiac, heart disease, ADHD, bersitis, fibromyalsia, autism, infertility, alcoholism...... those are earthly, worldly problems brought to us because we are human.  They have nothing to do with faith.  They have nothing to do with no faith.  They just are a part of life.

The mountain is our response to our life.  As Christians our mountains are to remain faithful, trusting, loving, kind, forgiving, gentle, peaceful, joyful and patient.  Our mountain is showing our fruits, the fruits that have been being ripened and harvested for this moment, for such a time as this.  Our mountain is our attitude about our afflictions, how we live with them behind closed doors and how we live it in front of others.  And I do believe we are to live our lives in front of others.  If we don't, how can anyone tell that we are different?  If we don't live out loud, share our heartache and pain, share our strength and it's source, how will anyone know that it is not our humanness helping us, but our ability to lay down in front of the Lord and have him carry us.  How will even other Christians be able to tell that you have a burden you need to be sharing with us, so we can help comfort you, so we can walk with you thru it, if you aren't showing us?  If you don't live out loud you are not allowing God to be seen in your life- to believers or non believers. If God carries us thru the mountain we should be sharing that with others, walking besides those who have the same affliction.  Speak up! It's not like we don't know you have issues!  EVERYONE has some.  Now, live out loud to everyone in the whole world?  Nah.  But to a group you trust? YES.  It is imperative to healing.

This life is hard, dare I say sucks.  It is hard, hurtful, depressing, stressful and full of pain.  This life is wonderful, dare I say awesome.  It is full of friendships and love, families, babies, pets, churches and ministries.  Life is to be lived, regardless of our circumstances.  Living is the continual mountain we have to climb, navigating the problems whether large or small at every mile.  All we need to is have the faith of a mustard seed, to ask God to come, and He will grant us the grace we need to continue our lifelong uphill walk.  At the top, we meet Him, where our problems end, our mountain hike stops and the pearly gates await.

Grab those hiking boots, grab a few friends, and lets continue routing for each other at each mile.  The reward is that crown of glory.  I imagine the gems in our crown are earned for each life problem we conquer or continually live with.  Each gem hand picked by our loving Jesus because we choose to climb the mountain, to change our hearts, and to put on His attitude and character instead of how the world tells us to behave.

According to the world, I should be mad, mean, depressed and crawl into a hole.  But that doesn't do good for anyone.  I'd rather stay involved in life, raise awareness, make new friends, walk with others, speak my mind, love and learn how to do that all better.  I love telling my Polly Pocket story to others who have no belief system because it is centered around God's palm.  How much closer can you get to Him than that? I'm not crumbling to pieces, altho I've lost a few along the way.  I'm not constantly thinking about the possibility of the cancer coming back, altho I have many moments of that fear.  I am not afraid of chemo anymore, altho I'm gonna be MAD if I have to do it again.  But not mad at God.  He's innocent here.  So am I.  It's just life.  An equally unfair to all people moment in time.  I choose to live it.  And I choose to live it loud.  (I actually can hear you laugh)  This shy girl gone LOUD.  Only God.

Much love,
Vicki