Put to Shame

From the age of nine until I was in Highschool I played basketball. I loved it. To this day it holds such a special place in my heart. When I walk into a gym and hear sneakers squeaking on that shiny hardwood floor my heart flutters a bit. I love everything about the game.  A few years back I got into a debate with a gentleman I worked with about who would win a friendly game of one-on-one. Never mind the fact that it had been years since I picked up a basketball, in my mind I still possessed the skills I once did. I was bold in my confidence and ready to dominate. (Clearly that little competitive heart of mine was still beating strongly.)

Our barking at each other went back and forth for weeks until we finally decided to have a friendly (or all out brawl) game. 

It wasn't long into my warm-ups that day I realized I was out of shape. Big time. I was huffing and puffing within minutes. I looked at him sprinting up and down the court and knew he was going to win the game. No question. I had talked a much bigger game than I was able to deliver, though at the time I believed every word of it. 

Even though I made some excellent shots, and put up a good fight, ultimately he put me to shame. I learned quickly who I used to be isn't necessarily who I currently am. 

Recently I have had some days of grief that have utterly put me to shame. I had no clue, two years into this journey, that I could still mourn and hurt as badly as I have these past few days. It has been draining, difficult, eye opening. I've learned to give grief the respect it deserves because the process has wrecked me all over again.

As CS Lewis said of grief, it is a winding road each bend revealing a new landscape. Never have I understood that more than now, many years into the process. Some days I feel just like that girl on the basketball court so sure of her ability yet gasping for air once it's go time. 

In the midst of pain and sadness and grief that will take your breath away, I have found the one thing that won't put me to shame. 

HOPE

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,  and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame." Romans 5:3-5

There are days my emotions will betray me. I know there will be days my heart may feel shattered. I know there will be days my tears will flow freely and our loss seems as real as ever. 

Have you ever head those days?

You thought you were making progress towards something and then you were just as quickly snapped back to reality? 

You realize you are not at the top of the mountain yet, but still carefully and methodically ascending to where you wish to be. 

That's many of us for many different reasons. 

In those moments I hold onto HOPE. And no matter who I was then or where I am currently it is the one thing building within me and leading me forward in my march. 

This HOPE is my anchor. No matter how fierce the winds get, or how high the waves are, I can hold onto that HOPE. It is the unshakable force when I feel the most fragile, the most broken, the most unsure, the most shaken. 

My march continues, not knowing what bend of the road is ahead, but knowing my foundation is secure. And believing no matter what new landscape is before me, as I hold  onto HOPE I will never, ever be put to shame.   *Love reading this blog? Let's be friends officially! I can come right to your email Inbox. All you have to do is hit the follow button to your left. Thanks for following along on our journey, new friend.