I have some people I love dearly in absolute crisis at this moment. My texting thumbs are screaming in pain, but also in proof that I have their backs no matter what. Each of these women are going through situations the likes of which could make up the stuff of best-sellers. Seriously, we’re talking about folks going through heartbreak that is monumental. They’ve all been betrayed in the worst kinds of ways, and my heart breaks with theirs.
As I look at each, I am wowed by their exquisite beauty and strength even through the worst. These women are made of the toughest stuff, and I swear I can see their emotional and spiritual muscles forming before my very eyes. There are things they have experienced in the last year that no one should have to survive, and I can promise there were moments that they thought they couldn’t — but they have. They’ve not only survived, but they have turned positively Herculean.
Beautiful brutes, all. Don’t even mess with them now. :o)
I know how it feels on the flip-side. I hated my extreme growth period. Hated it. But, wow –I earned the crap out of those spiritual and emotional muscles!!
I have these bum arms. Well, especially my right arm. It’s been giving me grief since I was a teenager; not sure if it was the car accident or the dog bite, but something hasn’t been right. In my early thirties, I was told I’d never regain feeling in my fingers. Through much massage therapy, I do indeed, have feeling. I also have really bad spells with lots of debilitating nerve pain, swelling, and numbness. It gets worse the more I use it which is kind of a big bummer since it’s my right hand and all. But, life goes on. My family helps pick up slack for me when I’m in a rough spell, and I really vacillate between the *screw the pain, I have stuff to do* mode and trying to let it rest and heal. This last year has been the worst with it, by far.
I have been also dealing with some, ahem, later-in-life-female-stuff. This has caused some weight gain and screwed with my metabolism. In an effort to get that revved up a bit, I’ve been doing this neat metabolism-boosting workout program. Pretty stinking proud of myself! Day one, the agenda included about 50 push-ups. I almost laughed out loud at the absurdity of these arms doing ONE push-up — let alone 50. I used to be pretty great at them a few years ago. Wait. Maybe that was a couple decades ago — oh well, who cares how long ago! I was, okay? But when workout guy told me to do some push-ups, I was committed to the process and I just got down on my mat and did the stupid things.
And I kept going. I was doing push-ups!!!
The next workout, with the sorest pecs of my life, I did more. And I added some fancy, scoopy moves to my push-ups. My arms did not rebel! They maintained their position. No better, but no worse.
Man, I’m stronger than I thought!
There were some moments on some epic hikes we did last summer where I found myself waaayyyy stronger than I thought possible. Something about being out in the middle of absolutely nowhere with no help available and camp on the other side of a mountain and maybe even with a fever in the rain with eight more miles to go until you get help, makes you dig deep and find some deeply buried something that you didn’t know you owned.
There are moments in life were you are 110% convinced that you just can’t — but somehow, you can and you do!
Last fall, I brought a dear friend of mine on too long of a hike. She didn’t feel well to begin with, and she hadn’t conditioned with crazy, stupid hikes like I had all summer. We went way too many miles up and down mountains (she’s a flat-lander, geographically), and in order to get to the car at the end of the loooooong day’s hike, we had to literally climb a mountain. At the top was going to be the view of a lifetime. I knew this. At the top, we would finally get to the car and a drink and a snack, and be done walking. But first, we had to hike some serious switchbacks. Looking back, I’m surprised she still loves me at all. The last 15 minutes were rough. She just looked at me and I think she was pretty sure she couldn’t go any further. I decided to give her some visual goals. I would walk ahead to a tree and stop and turn to her and ask her to just make it to me. She did. She would stop when she got to me, and breathe, and I would go on ahead and do it again. This is how she made it victoriously to the top. Once there, she took an epic picture with her arm showing her muscles as she overlooked a mountain range. She looked weary and a little glisten-y, but she looked absolutely beautiful and positively Herculean.
It reminds me of a verse about finding strength. “I look to the hills; where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth.”
He put it in us, friends. He gives us just what we need when we need it. Like manna-food from the sky that comes out of nowhere, He gives us strength and courage and wherewithal that we would’ve sworn we didn’t have. Just when we’re ready to call it and not only throw in the towel but douse it and burn it, we get some muscles out of nowhere.
We might end up all glisten-y and not smell the prettiest from the fight, but you cannot PEEL that victorious look off our face or SCRAPE that smile off or DAMPEN the light in our eyes. If you’re fighting for all of your worth, look to some hills. If the hills seem too big, look to the next tree and put that shoe in front of the other one and just step. You’re going to love your new muscles and the view from the top. I absolutely promise.