“Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”—Frederick Buechner
Twenty years ago my college sweetheart, now my husband, invited me to join him on an ambitious trek into the mountainous Wind River range of Wyoming. To say that I was unprepared for the adventure was a comedic understatement. I had never even crossed the Mason Dixon line! Fifteen miles of hiking up and down peaks each day would have been daunting for even the experienced hiker. But I was in love and that inspired blind courage. David and I blazed a trail through the wild wilderness, up and down mountains, around glacier lakes and mossy knolls. We were never quite sure what we would encounter around the next bend which was both a little scary (think Grizzly bears, bull moose, lost toenails, crazy blisters and a touch of Giardia) and exciting (fields of wildflowers, startling views and daring swims in snow water). But boy was the adventure worth it!
For the last ten weeks I have been on another adventure of sorts. One day before Christmas I was put on serious bed rest at 28 weeks into my pregnancy for my sixth child. There were many emergency visits to the hospital, unpleasant ultrasounds, worry for the dangerous fifth c-section and too many sleepless nights to keep count. But like my adventure into the Wind River range, I’ll remember this time in my life, less for the blood, sweat and tears and more for the moments of crazy grace.
I far from deserved the outpouring of love and tender care that my family, my friends, my doctor and nurses and my church surrounded me over these last three months. And yet, that’s how Love works.
Is there any greater feeling on this planet than the experience of Love–Whether given or received?
It must make God and all His court of angels grin when we rise and take care of one another, put love into practice, and bravely see those we love up and over the mountains of life to the other side.
To all those who curled up in the bed with me, nourished me with beautiful meals, showered me with gifts, carpooled my children all over God’s creation, made me laugh when I should have been crying and prayed for me and this baby, I will be forever grateful. Griffin “Finn” Lauve Mason arrived safely to this world because of you!
Now that I’m on the other side, I’m reminded of what the author Marilynne Robinson beautifully wrote:
“Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. There must also be a prevenient courage that allows us to be brave – that is, to acknowledge that there is more beauty than our eyes can bear, that precious things have been put into our hands and to do nothing to honor them is to do great harm.”
God has certainly star-dusted this challenging season in my life with glimmers of amazing grace. My heart is swollen with gratitude. Please trust that I will strive to show each one of you how thankful I am that you walked this path with me. And what an honor it will be to do the same for you when it’s your time to climb a mountain and make it to the other side!
May we never underestimate or take for granted the miracle of love. It lifts us up, imbues our lives with profound meaning and transfigures even the brutal into something beautiful. Love makes it all worth while!