My heart beats loudly against my chest. It seems as if another hill presents itself before I’m even able to catch my breath. My legs want to give out and so does my will….I’m done. I want to quit…it would be a lot easier to turn around now. But with the encouragement and guidance of my friends, I gear down, tighten my grip around my handle bars and push forward. Just when I think I’ve caught a break, I look ahead and see that the hills only continue. Ugh!
Raise your hand if you have ever been in a situation like this? Either in reality or figuratively…or both. I have found that our lives are full of hills that we have to power up.
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you may be familiar with my biking analogies. I’ve told many stories about the lessons I’ve learned while winding through trails in the mountains on my bike. I’ll apologize now for the familiarity…but as I was listening to the Mormon Channel today at work …I felt like I needed to share what I learned while doing something ordinary…something routine and typical…at least for me.
I feel like we can learn a lot from our day to day experiences…many of which we take for granted, but when reflected upon…are the ways the Lord manifests his love for us.
Yesterday, as I was getting ready to go on one of my biking adventures, I had a moment. It was as if my grief smacked me right in the face. I began missing Ryan and Evee more than I can even relate. My heart physically ached and my chest felt heavy. Tears welled up in my eyes and it was all I could do, to not break down into a hysterical mess. Something seemingly simple, triggered an onslaught of emotions I wasn’t planning on experiencing at that moment. I had been gliding along through the day with very few bumps and setbacks… but at that moment I had to power up a small hill.
I think many of us can relate to those small hills…those moments in life when you’ve been hiking along the well traveled path (i.e school, work, motherhood, church callings) and you unexpectedly come across a root, fallen branch or rock…it’s annoying and sometimes difficult to get around…but somehow you do.
Shortly after my emotional moment…a friend texted me to tell me she was thinking about me. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. I looked up to heaven and in my mind… I thanked my Heavenly Father for watching out for me. He knows just how to remind me that I’m not ever alone on the upward climb.
I think we all experience the small hills…those little setbacks that make us sweat a little.
But then there’s the big hills we have to climb….the ones that seem unforgiving and relentless.
These hills are the life altering events in our mortality that require an extra amount of endurance and diligence…death, depression, financial struggle, job loss, sickness, divorce, or addiction….just to name a few.
When Ryan and Evee died…my whole existence changed…my life, my understanding, my testimony, my perspective. And now I feel like I’m on a constant uphill climb. Sometimes I feel like it would be a lot easier to just quit….to turn around. But when I truly consider my options… and where I want to go in my life…quitting on the uphill is not an option.
And with the encouragement and guidance of my family and friends, I gear down, tighten my grip around my handle bars and push forward.
Elaine Dalton, a former Young Women’s General President for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, shared a similar experience in an interview…
One day, she and her husband went running together. They came to a hill and quickly her husband began pulling ahead and she became frustrated. She hollered up at him that she was going to turn around and that she would meet him at the car.
Just as she was about to turn back, she heard her husband call out…
“Don’t ever quit on the uphill.”
In a few moments, he was at her side and together they ran up the hill until they reached the top.
I know how good it feels to reach the peak of a mountain after a long climb. It is worth the lack of breath, tired legs, and feet. The view and the perspective gained from the strenuous climb… can’t be replaced. I’m not the same person I was two years ago. And I know I still have a big climb in front of me.
If you feel like quitting…don’t.
Because I know…you aren’t climbing alone.
God will remind you of his love for you…
Often it is through the encouragement and guidance of your family and friends.
And know that sometimes it’s ok to gear down, tighten your grip around the handle bars, push forward… and power up.
**Don’t Ever Quit On the Uphill**