The Step I'm On
by Shelley Rogers
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The Step Iím On
I feel very small today, as though the world has become far too large for me to navigate in. I say the world is too large, or is it that I have become so small?
I have had a lot of ďhave beenísĒ in my life. I have been married and divorced, I have been single ďagainĒ and I have been engaged to someone I loved very much. I have been grief stricken over the loss of that love and I have been gravely ill. But what am I now?
Now, now I am....I am a tiny, tiny person standing on the first step of an enormous staircase. I am standing on that first stair looking up, I am looking at the lip of the next stair and wondering... ďhow I am going to climb up?Ē. I am standing on that first stair, with my head tilted back, my right hand cupped over my eyes hoping to see things more clearly, but all I see is a another stair and no way to reach that lip. An eternity seems to pass and my neck cramps as I try to wrap my mind around the problem I am faced with. The wood of the stairs is so smooth, there are no foot or hand holds, nothing for me to grasp on to. The sheer weight of this knocks me to my knees, there is a way to do this, I just have to find it!
On my knees now...this is a familiar place, I have been here many, many times, but from here things look different. I am no longer facing the problem, I have turned my back to it and I am looking over the edge of the ďstep that Iím onĒ. With my head bowed I try to pray, but my brain is so full of other thoughts, stress, worry, fatigue, prayer just doesnít come! In a moment of, well, clarity I guess, I decide that before I try to take on the next hurdle, I need to examine where I am more closely. I lay down on my stomach, with my head hanging over the edge of the stair that IĎm on, but there is nothing to see, only a vast blackness, an insurmountable abyss. I am definitely not going back that way, the only way is forward and that way brings many challenges.
As I turn to face the mountainous stair case, I do the only thing that comes to mind, I stretch out my arms and try jumping up to reach that next stair. After multiple attempts the effort seems futile, Iím exhausted, out of breath and frankly out of patience. But there is no other way! A last ditch attempt finds me clinging for dear life to the edge of that next stair. I dig my fingernails in and with a determination I didnít know I had, I begin swinging my legs to and fro hoping to get a foot over the edge. With my legs swing back and forth I begin to wonder at just how ridiculous I must look, but that thought drives me forward causing me to swing my legs even harder, to my great relief my right foot grabs hold! In that very moment I begin to pray, my first thought, is to thank God that I remembered to wear my new sneakers and not the old ones with the worn out tread. And then I pray, no....I beg God to give me the strength to pull myself up and onto the next step. With every ounce of energy I possess I haul myself up and over.
I am now, on the next step. I am worn to a frazzle, every muscle in my body has been strained with the effort, but the effort has paid off and I find myself laying right on the edge of that new step with arms splayed out at my sides. While laying there I become keenly aware of the severe pain in my hands and fingers. I cannot lift my arms so I turn my head to the right, itís only then that I see why I am in such agony, my hands and fingers are bleeding. There were thorns in the wood, I couldnít see them from where I was, but I see them now. Thorns are everywhere on this step, they may be small and mostly hidden, but they are barb wire sharp, piercing and cutting. Iíll have to step carefully here.
This new step has shown me something else as well...light, just a glimmer shines on the edge of the step above. My heart takes a little leap, barely audible, but there just the same. Up to my feet I go, I have to get a closer look at this glimmer, this light. After taking several deep breaths I examine the injuries done to my hands and fingers. There is nothing do to, I have neither bandages nor band-aids, so I carefully wipe each hand on my shirt, I didnít like that shirt anyway and I begin the climb again. I jump and I jump, arms out stretched, hoping to grab hold of that next step. The light will be brighter there, Iím sure of it.
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Shelley- how raw and honest! I have been there dear sister. One step at a time- He will move us forward. God is faithful as you so beautifully affirm at the end- you know the light will be there... thank you for sharing you heart- poignant and moving. - hugs- Cindy
This is such an honest and raw heart-felt piece. Thanks for sharing. May you find peace, joy, and strength as you climb the steps and continue on your journey. Thanks for sharing.
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