It’s taken me 7 months to share this photo publicly.
I suppose I wanted to take some time to really ponder, to really reflect what this picture represents.
I get teary just thinking about it.
I made this sign and carried it to the top of Stone Mountain this past March. (Actually, let me clarify that my sweet friend Sue offered to carry it for me.) I got the inspiration for the words, “I Lived,” from the OneRepublic song blowing up the radio then. More so, I wanted to make a statement when I got to the top of that mountain representing one of my greatest fears, a literal mountain that I needed to conquer in my life and in my faith.
So I made it to the top, and with the background of my hometown Atlanta behind me, I made my statement.
It tells my comeback story. It points to the impossible that my great Healer God has made possible in my life. I can’t tell you how many times I was ready to give up after having my life, my heart, my every hope and dream shattered on this mountain.
Yet, God never let me give up.
He never let me.
He is relentless like that.
I do recognize I did have a choice in the matter. I could have chosen to let tragedy very well destroy my life.
I chose to lift my hand up to heaven instead.
I chose to enter into my sorrow, to a storm so intense, to a pain so deep. Jesus, only Jesus, could meet me in it.
And He did.
And eventually He led me through it.
These last few months have been a season of treasuring what God has done and continues to do in my life.
Often in the Old Testament, God calls His people to create a memorial so that they could remember what He has done for them.
“Then Joshua said to the Israelites, “In the future your children will ask, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘This is where the Israelites crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ He did this so all the nations of the earth might know that the Lord’s hand is powerful, and so you might fear the Lord your God forever.” – Joshua 4:21, 22 & 24
“Then you can tell them…” I love that line.
I’ve got the biggest memorial in all of metro Atlanta, the very mountain that I swore I’d never be able to look at again. I’ve got almost every spot around the city where I can catch a glimpse of it memorized; I’ll even catch it at times from my airplane window.
Stone Mountain is now my memorial mountain.
It reminds me of the great work God has done in me.
It reminds me that I lived.
It reminds me that I didn’t just survive tragedy, I lived in the midst of it. I lived to see the other side of it.
It spurs me on to keep living.
Dearly loved, grateful,