My Life as a Red Herring (Day 7) “Mountains”

I’m dying for some mountains. Something with white peaks, not what my friends in Kentucky call mountains…but real mountains: Rockies, Tetons, Yukon, you get the idea. The kind that when you try for 8-14 hours to reach the top, by the time you get there you’re breathless for two reasons:

1. The oxygen is thinner and you’ve just done something that few people on earth have cared to do. (I would venture to say that many people desire to do it at least once in their life)
2. (This one is more important) You have a view of Jesus’ creation and…words fail. Watching the sun come up as you stare out at the world below you is…breathtaking. Watching the clouds form and then move under you is…breathtaking. Looking back the way you and your friends just walked to get to where you are now is…breathtaking. Pictures feel silly because they never capture a fraction of what you are experiencing in that moment.
You may think I’m exaggerating, but I am totally, amazingly, quite truthfully, explicitly not exaggerating (See what I did there?). I know I’m made for great things, because I know who my Heavenly Father is and if He took the time to make me (and you!) after making the beauty that I see in mountains, then I can believe nothing less. That’s not to say that I operate in this Truth all the time, but I love to try.However there are always things that will try to distract you from this Truth: Time, fear, insecurity, pride, habitual sin, and sometimes, like I have been experiencing recently, the sin of someone else against you.

Recently I have been working thorough some really painful choices some of my friends have made. Sin sucks, it breaks so many things in one fell swoop. I know my Father is bigger, I know that Jesus has worked through so much more than I have ever experienced and that He is in this season with me. It’s still pretty painful, and at the same time I am experiencing so much freedom in and through this season. I may explain more in another blog down the road but for now I’ll say that I’m just so thankful that Jesus is walking with me in these moments. I mean to say moments because so often I feel like I just want to “get through with it” and Jesus reminds me that in these seasons so much of healing happens in the seconds and minutes instead of me looking to the days and weeks. Strangely it doesn’t always make it longer, it’s like walking with the love of your life and you realize so much time has passed in what felt like the short time you were hanging out. I’m pretty sure Einstein called it “relativity”, but I had no idea it could apply to pain as much as it would to love. Don’t get me wrong there are moments in this season when a memory comes back from my times with these friends and the moment seems to last a lifetime.

Back to mountains…they say the ocean has no memory, I guess because it’s fluid and always changing. If that’s the saying then I’d like to coin something new with mountains. Mountains have memories, but only for the things that matter. Think about it, it takes seismic events and slow moving glaciers to sculpt mountains. Yet in an instant Lightning strikes and a peak is engulfed in flames and what might have wiped out everything on the mountain ends up becoming something that brings new life, flowers, new trees, beautiful grasslands, and we forget that lightning ever struck. Rocks and mud fall down from the peak and we forget it looked any different. Sure there is always evidence of the fire but no one can deny that life sprung from disaster.

I don’t want to just escape into an ocean. I don’t want to pretend like everything is different or “okay”. I want to live out the life I am called to…pain, beauty, family, courage, entrustments, calling, LIFE. I know it sounds a bit too epic but I want to be like the mountains: Working through the changes and the pain with my heavenly Father. Letting him redesign, reshape, reparent, renew, every part of my life.  How else could I let Him bring beauty from the ashes of my life, then to ask Him to get into the ashes with me?

I have to go through the journey though, there aren’t any shortcuts. I’ve tried shortcuts when it comes to my heart and they just end up looking like the oceans. The memory is there, somewhere, just as painful, but it may resurface when I least expected it. Going though the journey with Jesus means letting Him walk me through the pain so that I can get to the beauty that He promises and the pain looses its sting.

C.S. Lewis once said “Pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a dying world.” Well I feel “roused”, but I can’t say I’m loving it, however I can say that my Heavenly Father hasn’t abandoned me and I really believe He’s beckoning me along as we head up the mountain to see what’s next.

Please leave comments if you want. I am very aware that many of us are on different journeys with regards to forgiveness and working through pain. Please hear this as a journey that I am on, and I am not assuming you are on the exact same one. I do however believe Jesus wants to meet you in the middle of your journey and I promise you it’s far better then doing it on your own.

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