Hills and Valleys, The End, The Beginning: 2018

If you’ve been anywhere near me in the last 72 hours, near my car, near the bathroom when I’m in the shower, in the close vicinity when it looks like I’m mumbling to myself, you’ve heard the following words being sang at the top of my lungs:

“Father, You give and take away, every joy and every pain. Through it all, You will remain over it all.”

No lie. I’ve had Tauren Wells’ song, “Hills and Valleys” on repeat.  It’s me trying to make sense of 2017, trying to remember where it went, how I didn’t fall apart, how those victories I didn’t deserve seem to come so easy, how life was so up and down (when people thought it was just me being moody) and I didn’t know whether I was coming or going.  The only conclusion I could draw is that, in all of that chaos, God was there and coordinating what is to be my next step.  It could be a hill or a valley.

But, seriously, 2018 has me believing that I’m going to reach the top of a mountain.  A big one. But there is a valley.

It’s called coming to face to face with a decade I like to call “What Really Happened Was….”

2008 changed my life. It started in the valley, went to the top of a mountain quickly for a minute and left me in the valley, on my knees, for the pretty much the rest of it wondering if my life was even worth living.  That year ended with me having surgery on New Year’s Eve. It’s a year I will never forget.

It’s a year that has shaped every part of my life since then.

It’s time for an ending.  It’s time for a beginning.

I saw that in a dream.

It’s time for me to……

I can’t even type it.  Even as I think about it, how painful, how earth shattering that entire year was, my eyes start to water.  This has been on my mind for a long time and the anticipation of finally freeing MYSELF from the hold that year has on me is wearing me down.  Right now, my eyes are bloodshot red because I’ve haven’t slept more than 30 minutes at a time in 3 days. Even as I type the words and the memories come flooding back to me, I hold my breath because I’ve never said out loud how much it hurt and how much that year changed how I saw myself and other people. That’s probably why I also ended that year with a two and a half month (not a typo) headache, started having seizures out of nowhere and have been on medication for both.

The end. The beginning.

What really happened was 32 year old Tasha wasn’t ready for life and life didn’t care.  What really happened was I was too afraid to tell anyone the truth so no one could sing to me, “God of the hills and valleys and I am not alone.” I felt alone.  The burdens I’ve been carrying for 10 years make me isolate myself even when I’ve tried to explain, cry it out, exercise it out, drink it out in Starbucks, sleep it out and/or eat it out.  And when you add years like 2011 and 2015 on to my life….

I’m sorry. Hold on. The tears are coming again…..

I know that we are only low for so long and it’s even longer if we never look up. “In the valley, I will lift my eyes to the One who sees me there.” It’s longer when we feel like we are being punished when life seems unfair.  It’s longer when we lie to ourselves about how ended up there.  It’s longer when we deny we are there.  It’s longer when we allow others to tell us whether we should or should not be there and how we should feel if we are or not there.  It’s longer if we give up our choice for life and leave everything to chance.

As 2018 approaches, I beg you to dig in your emotional closet and deal with anything that has you so wrapped up that you believe your life is destined to fail.  I challenge you to walk away from dysfunctional thinking that your current valley is your permanent location.  I dare you to let others folks handle their own messes if they choose not to deal with it and set yourself from your attachment to it if you KNOW you’re not responsible for it.

Pause. Breathe. Think. Believe. Pray. Surrender.

You don’t have to call it a resolution.  If you’ve been holding yourself captive, it’s a revolution.  The first person you need to set free is YOU.

“I’ve walked among the shadows.  You wiped my tears away. And I’ve felt the pain of heartbreak. And I’ve seen the brighter days.  And I’ve prayed prayers to heaven from my lowest place. And I have held the blessings, God, You give and take away. No matter what I have, Your grace is enough.  No matter where I am, I’m standing in your love.”


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