Hashtag. I Lived.

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.

I lived.

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,

I Climbed That Mountain…

…and a month later, I still haven’t been able to put adequate words around it. I commemorated the 5 year mark of my late husband’s passing by hiking to the top of Stone Mountain for the very first time in my life.

Perhaps more words will come later, but for today, I share this journey in pictures.

And for anyone walking through circumstances that seem insurmountable right now, I humbly offer this encouragement:

Walk this difficult road…

one step…

one moment…

one day…

one decision at a time.


Allow others to help you. You don’t have to walk the path alone.

{A huge thanks to my dear friends Sue and Susanne for climbing with me. They represent so many people who accompanied me along this long, hard 5 year journey.}

StoneMt not alone

Even if you feel like fear will overtake you, don’t give up. Stay the course.

{It was at this moment that I realized the mountain was not as scary as I had imagined it to be. As my wise pastor, Billy, reminded me, fear tends to shrink when you face it head on.}

StoneMt face it

And finally, trust God no matter what. Yes, I said no matter what.

I stood in the very place where my earthly love shared his final moments on this earth because I know that this earth is not our final resting place. Because of Jesus, death does not and will not have the final say.

StoneMt-19 final moment

So I walk on. I live to face another day. I live to give all the Glory to the One, Jesus, who is my very life.

I live to tell you to keep climbing.


Dearly loved, climbing on,

Photography by the amazing Jade King Horton.