Last week was a dark week.
It wasn’t supposed to be.
The New Year is usually a time of great hope and optimism for me.
But thinking of 2019 all laid out before me, filled me with dread and despair.
I felt like I was standing knee-deep in a puddle of heavy, concrete-like mud.
The kind of mud that swallows up shoes in an instant, never to be recovered.
I was struggling and fighting to pull my feet up and onto the banks.
But to no avail.
The despair of it was heavy,
Dragging me down.
And the fighting exhausted me.
It was from this place,
This exhausted, heavy, dark place,
That I reached out to my Heavenly Father for some relief.
And as I humbled myself enough to ask,
I felt the warm comfort of his love for me.
I was reminded that because he loves me,
He gave me the gift of agency,
All the way down to my thinking.
That the full-measure of this human, earthly experience is found in the ability to know pleasure AND pain.
That we experience sorrow and struggle,
In order to recognize joy and freedom.
As I stopped struggling to free my feet from the mud,
And instead stood still and opened my eyes,
I could feel the warmth of the sun.
I could see that all around me was beauty,
And that what I needed to do was pull my feet out of my boots and step onto the banks.
I was still covered in mud from my struggle,
But was ready to continue on my journey.
We are not promised that there won’t be mud,
But there is always a way to move through it.
We have the power and privilege of agency over our thinking.
We get to choose how we approach and navigate and THINK about the mud.
We can squeeze our eyes shut and struggle to get free,
Curse and wish away the mud,
Or we can open our eyes,
See the mud for what it is,
And be free.
It all begins with a thought.