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You know that feeling you get when you’ve actualized a massive, hard-fought, fiercely-earned goal? Like you’ve won a state basketball game, or crushed the SAT resulting in an invite to your top college, or received the promotion you’ve coveted for years, or completed your dream house?

Elation. Right? All your hopes and dreams come true!

And after the high, a little relief probably sets in … that the project is over … for you’ve spent months, maybe years preparing and practicing. You were anxious for the culmination of the big moment and anticipating the time when life settled back down. But when life did get back to normal … or the new normal … perhaps it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. You realized it was more exciting to live in the adrenaline-soaked world that was your life before you reached the summit of your Mount Everest.

Sigh!

Many of the posts you see on this blog were written in the years on the backside of my Mount Everest. For two years we cared for a little girl who came to the States from Cote d’Ivoire, Africa, to receive treatment for retinoblastoma – eye cancer. We walked with her through surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, prosthetic eye-fittings, hearing exams, eye exams, diaper changes, tantrums, snuggles, learning to walk, learning to talk, sleep issues, and even malaria. We were running at full speed for a very long time.

And then our time with her ended.

After she returned home cancer-free (thank the Lord), I returned to my life. However, nothing was familiar any more. In the words of Nelson Mandela …

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.

While I welcomed the rest, I could not settle long enough to receive the peace I needed. I tumbled. Hard and fast down the backside of the mountain and didn’t stop until I reached the valley below.

And there I stayed for quite some time.

I didn’t know I was depressed. I also didn’t know that all the tv-watching, the nap-taking, the unnecessary housework, the half bag of chips, the hours spent scrolling through social media feeds, the buying of yet another pair of jeans were all attempts to numb the sadness. I figured since no single activity was out of control that I was still in control.

Until I realized I was not.

The mind is a vulnerable thing that can be so easily hijacked if left unaware.

I am grateful for my spiritual upbringing, without which I would still be stuck in the valley. With some effort, I did some retraining of my mind. I read the Bible, exercised, journaled, prayed, and I even tried my hand at meditating (I’m still working on that one). As a result, I filled several journals. So I thought I’d restart the blog and share some of those words with you.

Most of the posts will take the form of reflections from Bible verses that spoke to me. I am a Jesus fangirl … not only because of the whole ultimate sacrifice thing, but because he is a rebel with a cause who stands up for the weak. As a result, I have lots of references to the Gospels. I also have a crush on Peter for his passion (don’t tell Dave). And I adore Esther for her courage, Paul because I’m a sucker for a good redemption story, Ruth for her loyalty, King David for his big feelings, and Mary the mother of Jesus because she is a parent who suffered great loss.

I write about these stories. And more. I will tag them all as “5 Minute Reflections” so they can be found easily.

I hope they encourage you as they have encouraged me.