IT’S THE CLIMB
Sometimes I am blown away by the blizzards of my decision to remain steadfast to my work. At times, I question my climb. I started out on this journey raring to go. It was full of excitement. I had the path to follow. I knew where I needed to be and what I wanted to do. I had the right motivation; the right gear; the right mindset. I just didn’t know I would be knocked down; kicked in the teeth; barely able to get by; hanging off a cliff for dear life and mourn for better days. I lost the respect of those closest to me. I was screaming and no one heard me. I was losing weight and to everyone on the outside, I was told I looked, “Great.” I lost weight because I couldn’t afford to eat. That was the plain and simple reality of it all.
My adult children chipped in where they could. But after a while you get tired of being a burden. I think I was facing altitude sickness as I began to question my own sanity. I was confused, unsteady (wobbly), and suffered severe headaches with zero appetite. I was climbing too high before I allowed my mind and body to become acclimated to the next step. I started to wonder if my decisions were based on obedience or pride. If I quit, what would people think of me? Did that ever truly cross my mind, I wonder. Or like Noah, did I really hear from God?
Had there not been tangible evidence of my growing success, I think at some point, I would have made the descent back down before I ever reached the top. But there were too many signs for me to simply quit. Still, something had to be done. I was a broken mess in the process of reaching the summit of my own dreams. Was that God? Does God require us to not have enough food, or drink when we are giving our all to Him? It seems like a pretty unethical boss to me. He is supposed to be a provider. But looking in my refrigerator and cupboards, there is no food in those either.
One can become very disillusioned in this climb as visibility is next to zero. The wind is whipping and we are cut off from other people. How do you function at this level, when you are seriously giving your all doing what you believe is right? Yet, there is nothing but lack. How did it get to be like this and just exactly where am I on this god forsaken mountain? After seven long years of famine and hardship, just how close am I to reaching the top? Am I in the “Death Zone?” The Death Zone on Mt. Everest is above Camp 4 and over 8,000 meters above sea level. People have died in this zone due to the oxygen level being so thin and the pressure that is put upon the body. People freeze to death up there and the simple fact that most are left there to die, is staggering. Record indicates those slowly dying are walked over or pushed passed just to get to the summit. It is a cruel and lonely way to die. But it was a choice that was made by the “mountaineer;” a very high price to pay.
But the point is, how can one turn back around and abandon the climb, when one is so close to the top? Is this an all or nothing dream? One cannot stay in the Death Zone but for a few hours. It is called that for a reason. I think this is the place where I am at in regards to my own life. I can look down from where I am and see how far I have come. But it is still a very dangerous place to be. First of all, the stress has been taking its toll on me. Second, the lack of nutrition I need and have needed, I am not getting. My mind at times is so cloudy, I can hardly think straight and my body aches so bad at times, I cannot move. So, the fact of the matter is this. I must be in my right mind at all times to make decisions based on truth. But being blindsided by hard circumstances doesn’t help the situation any. Depression and despair set in and if I allow those things to overtake me, it is death to my dreams.
It is here, I must focus my attention and get my act together. It is here I must continue to look up.
“I lift my eyes to the hills, from whence does my help come? My help comes from the Lord the maker of Heaven and Earth.”
Like Peter, the second I take my eyes of Jesus, I will start to sink. In this case, I could fall off the mountain and be instantly killed. So, it is time to breathe, just breathe. Since I refuse to quit, it is upward for me. But, I certainly do not want to die in this Death Zone either. I don’t want to be a casualty of my dreams. I don’t want to die while trying to prove to the whole world that I can make it. Which trying to make it has never been my focus; helping people has and doing what I believe God called me to do. So, I have ruled out the possibility of my having stubborn pride. I do not do what I do for the sake of being noticed. I do what I do, because as previously stated, I want to help people and obey God.
The Holy Spirit is my guide. But have I always listened to His counsel? I doubt it. But I don’t know when and where I didn’t. I just know I am in this Death Zone and I better get a grip on reality or I could still die here, or my dreams could still die here. I think this is the place where people lose heart completely and they commit suicide. We never know how excruciatingly hard it can get and when we find out, it is beyond what people can fully understand, unless they have experienced it. There are a whole lot of judgmental people out there whining, bitching, moaning and complaining about what you are trying to accomplish. But yet, they lack the incentive to even try it for themselves. It’s crap! But it is also reality…is it not?
Maybe that is why God allowed me to feel this. I won’t stay where I am at or I will die. It is impossible for me to stay alive in this situation. No one can endure the Death Zone for an extended period of time without suffering the consequences of its name sake. God is either faithful or He is not. Even if people pass by and push me aside, God is either faithful or He is not. I jumped on board this bandwagon with and because of my faith in Him.
There is a message at the top of the world. I intend to read it to myself and to others. I refuse to stay where I am at. I will not die here. I will not stay in this “Death Zone.” I will forge on. I will climb to the top. I will see it; live it; taste it; touch it; breathe it and be changed by it. Hopefully, when I look back from the top, I will remember where I came from. I will remember to be a kinder person; a more thankful person; a more giving person; a more benevolent person. I don’t want to be like some of the people I have met on this journey. I want to be a Christ centered woman with a Christ centered heart. I want to be able to help others in their own journeys to the top. I want to be able to give food if someone needs it; or to pay their bills until they can get on their feet. I want to show love in ways that I have never been able to do before. I don’t just want to say, “go be fed” and give them nothing to eat. True Christianity doesn’t leave people empty handed. Tell me one time when Jesus did that? Tell me once when He did not feed the multitudes. No! Time and time again He demonstrated His great love. He fed them. He filled them and He gave them hope, healing, restoration, deliverance or whatever they needed. That my friends, is the kind of person I want to become. I’m too close to the top. I cannot and will not quit now!