Mountains are for Climbing

Many of you know, if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, that I struggle with an eating disorder. You can read more about that here. Lately, with the ongoing threat of Covid and the increased patient load at my workplace (you can read about what I do here), I’ve been succumbing to the urge to rapidly consume the contents of my cupboards, healthy or otherwise. I recently took the important step of booking an appointment to see a professional about my problem. I’ve always been a self-helper. Whenever my behaviours resulted in too many unpleasant outcomes, I would read widely on my issues and adopt new coping strategies. Often, this would produce small, lasting changes, but I’m finally ready to admit that I’ve done what I can and I need another’s perspective and guidance.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The other day, after inhaling chocolate bars (yes, almost half a box of Halloween minis), I was feeling so discouraged and it didn’t let up. It hung over me like a damp, weepy cloud. This afternoon, I was getting ready for work and I had an epiphany. I’ve made themed playlists on You Tube of my favourite songs and I often listen to music when performing self-care or doing chores. I was listening to the playlist entitled “Breakthrough” and the song that came on was Amy Grant’s “Takes a Little Time”. I’d encourage you to go have a listen and read the lyrics, if you’re not familiar with it. It never ceases to amaze me how music, the right song at that critical moment, can touch us like no spoken or written word can. I’ve listened to that song many times, but never when I was teetering on the edge of despair. I was instantly buoyed up by that message.

I would say my eating was already disordered in grade school. I’ve spent almost 50 years developing an unhealthy relationship with food. I’ve built a massive mountain! Yes, I’m trying to conquer it. I’m making healthier food choices, drinking more water, and exercising. I’m scaling that mountain and I need to celebrate my efforts, everyone of them, big and small, but it’s going to take more time. It may take me the rest of my days. I often get knocked off my feet a couple of times when I’m hiking up and down a mountain. Mountain paths are often steep and strewn with jutting roots and rocks or completely covered with slippery stones called scree. When I binge on my journey toward healing and health, I fall down, but I need not despair and here’s why. I don’t stay down. When I’m hiking and I land not so graciously on my tushy, I get back up, dust off, and resume hiking. In the same way, on my journey toward wellness, I keep getting back up. I keep trying to beat that mountain. I’m not a failure! I’m a fighter!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This comes on the heels of my recent decision to get a tattoo. I considered this for quite some time. It’s now countercultural not to have a tattoo. Why did I want a tattoo? A coworker of mine suggested I was going through a midlife crisis. Was that it? Did I think it would make me cool? In the end, I decided to get one, because words inspire me. My sister has inspirational messages hung up all over her home and I love visiting there. I need to hear and read positive messages over and over to spur me on to positive action. There’s a verse I repeat to myself in my head, when I’m hiking up a mountain. Psalm 18:32-33 says, “It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.” I say this like a prayer. “You arm me with strength and keep my way secure. You make my feet like the feet of a deer; you cause me to stand on the heights.” The more I’ve said this to myself, the more I’ve realized how applicable it’s in the whole of my life. I chose to put “You arm me with strength” on my forearm where I could see it, written in my daughter’s script, with the t in the word “strength” in the shape of a cross, to remind me that I don’t have to face the mountains in my life alone.

Paul, that missionary wonder, had issues like everyone else. When he struggled and God didn’t choose to solve his problem, he heard God say to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Our pride is what keeps us from experiencing the power of God in are lives. It’s when we come to the end of our resources, when we admit that we can’t do something and ask for help, that help comes. Help comes in our weakness, not in our confidence and self-sufficiency. Paul even went so far as to say he “delight(ed)” in his weakness, because it was then he knew God would show up and something miraculous would happen. This isn’t at all intuitive in a culture where independence is fought for and lauded. The bible says emphatically that “without (him) we can do nothing”. Did you catch that? Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Nothing of any merit anyway. I believe everything I do that is good and right is a result of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit in me. We were made to reflect His glory, not point to ourselves. The mountains I face, the victories I’ve won, every single time I get back up, it’s all Him. Dallas Willard in a talk I listened to recently basically said grace comes when we act. We have to move out in faith, even if we’re afraid of failing, and expect God’s strength to meet us on the way, just like Paul did. I’m heading up the mountain today. How about you?

img_8782

Feature pic by Myron Krause. All others by Keith Traber .

Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com, my clothing design page on Le Galeriste, or my fiverr page. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time! 🙂

6 thoughts on “Mountains are for Climbing

  1. Thank you, Polly, for your wise, encouraging and honest words. I pray God’s blessing on you as each day you face the challenges of continuing to climb those mountains.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your transparency. Yes, we all struggle in at least 1 area, but oh how gracious is our God! I too have experienced “I was instantly buoyed up by that message” when listening to songs. I also love reading God’s word, where I am reminded that even folks that walked right along with Jesus struggled — didn’t Peter return to fishing for a minute?? Be blessed as you continue to reflect our Savior!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.