This isn’t my usual post day or my usual post. I am writing under the pretense of inviting you to a book signing this weekend because really that’s what I should be doing to sell books and I need to sell books. But that isn’t really why I am reaching out.
Mostly, I just have noticed that life feels extra hard right now. I hesitate to share that because I don’t want to be a downer. Besides, I am not down. My family and I just returned from an adventurous trip to Maine where I hiked and climbed mountains (and slid down steep rocks on my bottom so I wouldn’t have as far to fall) and I rode a bike (and sometimes walked a bike) through Acadia National Park. I felt brave and discouraged and scared — sometimes all at once.
I thought about God a lot, and what it means to have faith and trust and just take one more step on the climb and how going down a mountain can be just as hard as going up. Either way, sometimes we need someone to catch us.
I don’t know what to expect of middle age or if it has anything to do with age at all, but I know so many people who are losing people they love – to age, to illness, to what feels like complete randomness. And with the ravages of COVID, life once again feels too fragile, too precarious, like one wrong step is all it will take for us to fall.
I lost a dear, dear friend, this past week. Someone my family traveled to parks like Acadia with. We awed at the Grand Canyon together and at our growing children too. And, now he’s gone. Another friend I’ve lost in this abyss of the middle years. And, none of it makes sense to me. Too young. Too precious. Too final.
So, I guess I just want to take a moment to encourage you that your love and mercy towards your neighbor matters more than ever, not because of anything I am going through but because of what we all go through in this human experience of love, beauty, grandeur and the loss that seems to vacate spaces wide and high in our aching hearts. Our compassion towards one another is sometimes all it takes to bridge those seemingly impossible gaps.
One of the things I learned on my hiking adventures was that the view from the top, no matter how spectacular, wasn’t the part that impressed me the most. It was the climb. It was the trust that it took; the faith; the sheer endurance; and the just enough courage it took to keep going. That’s why I am really writing, because more than the mountaintop experience, I am reminded that none of it happens without the climb.
May mercy always accompany you on yours.
Hi dear friends, I hope this finds you and your loved ones well. I’ve been praying like crazy for so many people who are carrying heavy crosses right now. If you need prayers, please let me know, I will be happy to pray for you too.
And, if you live in Jacksonville, please come visit me this weekend for a book signing at the Queen of Angels Catholic Store. Signed books make great gifts and I love to meet people who like me! Also, if you have not already, please, please, take a moment and leave a review on Amazon for Simple Mercies. It is a huge help to me.
Mostly, know that whatever you are going through on your own journey, God is with you every step of the way. ~Love, Lara