A different version of me.

I was suddenly something that I am not. Starbucks latte in my hand, (way too many) inch heels on my tired , pregnant feet. Carrying out my Olive garden to go soup and breadsticks. I felt like a rich white girl picking up dinner for my two children and husband. I felt like I had been working all day on this big project at work. My lipstick was on just right.

I was not me. I was living someone else’s life for five minutes.

But I was me. Just a different version. This got me thinking. 

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Sitting on the cold tile on the bathroom floor. My head spinning from panic attacks all morning. I had to get myself together. This isn’t me. This isn’t how my body acts.

I try to stand to reach my phone to ask for prayer from a friend. My ribs pop and my lungs tighten, and the panic attack begins again. I just lay there on the floor, pretending this isn’t my life. I don’t do this.

I’m a together, carefree person. I don’t have anxiety.

But I do. I’m crumbling. Dying inside.

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Sitting there on a high chair behind the podium , I began to speak to over 50 women. My palms sweating, and my mind racing. They were looking to me for a story, maybe some wisdom.

I don’t do this kind of thing. I’m too introverted. They won’t learn anything from me.

But I’m here. They asked me to be.

____________________________________________

Pregnant with our fourth child. The joy turned to sadness days later as the blood began to flow. Anguish and pain followed. I was having a miscarriage. Losing a child. I’ve never done this before.

I didn’t imagine my life turning out like this. I make healthy babies. What is wrong with me now?

I don’t suffer like this. But I am now.

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Scrolling through Amazon top 100 I see my name. Suddenly the realization comes that I am a published Author.

I don’t write books. I’m just a Mom.

But I do now.

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There are seasons of our lives where we literally do not recognize ourselves. It’s as if we are having an out of body experience, trying to cope with what we are going through. The good, the bad, the painful.

Grasping what life hands us is never easy, but with the grace of God we can begin to understand the good that each season is holding.

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The diverse versions of our normal selves shape us into the people that we are today. Without them, we would have no character. 

Through seasons of deep grief we gain empathy for others. You see, we cannot ever fully grasp what someone is going through. But when we experience pain, we are seasoned into something fine. Something tangible we can hold onto, and give away in our next season of joy.

When we climb what seems to be the highest mountain, and we take pride in our hard work, we know what it is like to fall.

Yep, I said fall.

Because NO great prize is received without blood , sweat and tears.

When you are standing on your own mountain that you had to climb, mostly alone… you can see all the other mountains around you.

You can see your friends struggling to climb. To make it to the next day.

You’re at the top of yours shouting:

” COME ON! You can make it! I DID!”

Be that friend that shouts from your own mountain encouraging others to keep climbing.

Don’t just sit on your mountain, and be content in your own success.

Show others the trails and the short cuts you took. Show them which way was dangerous, and which trail had fresh flowers. Share your wisdom with them.

Your wisdom isn’t meant to just be with you on your mountain.

Shout it out.

Even though you can’t believe you made it, you did.

You made it to the top, but you aren’t finished yet. Maybe you need to climb back down and grab a couple friends, show them the way.

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