Here I sit. Myself and my frozen lemonade. Free, compliments of Panera Bread. Listening to some teenage girls joke about their “food baby”, a comedic cashier telling people he’ll be here until 4:30, and my silent iPhone sitting almost dead in my purse beside me.
I am totally happy to be here alone. Free to think and sip and write. At least for the next half hour, when I leave to pick my sweet husband up from work. The Lord has been good to me. He is always trying to show his goodness and kindness to his children….maybe I am simply learning how to recognize it. Accept it.
I am a perfectionist – a perfectionist that has extremely unrealistic expectations of herself. The past several years have been a battle between joy, thankfulness, and optimism…and stress, anxiety, and depression. They are all ruthless opponents, constantly vying for the higher ground. It’s a battle that had me believing I was worthless, talentless, and void of any goals or dreams.
Then Jesus (yes, Jesus) came along and set me free. He showed me that it was I that was holding tightly to the chains that bound me, thinking they were my escape. My hope. My savior. “No”, he whispered, “I have come to show you love, and to show you that I am your Hope. Your Joy. Your Savior.”
My life has taken me from Minnesota to Colorado. From the literal valley to the mountain. And you know something? There is more growth, more life, more joy and more wonder in the valley. The peaks are barren, windy, cold, and lifeless. The view is incredible, but by the time you get there you are pretty much in need of a good nap. Enjoy the view, for soon enough you are on your way back down. Take pictures!
Personally, I enjoy the climb more than anything else. The strain on your body. The scenery and glimpses of the valleys through the trees. The stunning silence. It’s wonderful! Your entire mind and body is engaged. You are alert for animals, weather changes, rocks on your path. No wonder it’s so exhausting but so good!
The climb. The peak. The valley. These three stages are paralleled so beautifully with our lives…and how we relate with God. All are needed. All have treasures and joys found only in those places.
The Lord has set me free, and is showing me a beautiful horizon. I am on a mountain top, surveying all the endless possibilities. And they are limitless.