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I haven't done this in months.  Linking up with Kate Motaung at Heading Home to write about one word for five minutes...


Rise sounds so powerful.  Like a dramatic way to wake up, lift off, power soar upwards.  Its no wimpy word.
Maybe thats why merely pushing through difficult days laden with doubts and darkness feels nothing akin to the courage in the word Rise.
Rising sounds like pushing past bleak circumstances and fist pumping upwards to a higher place of hopeful perspective where the fray doesn't cloud your vision.
It hasn't felt like I've done much rising in the past six months, just floundering.

One frigid January evening, minutes before the winter sun burned out eclipsed by darkness I had a friend tell me courage, "Sunrises and sunsets look often times the same.  But your sun is rising, not setting."
I was looking at that bold  sunset splashed all over a January backdrop when I read those words and I smiled hopeful at that thought.   Because sometimes a new beginning does look strikingly similar to a dark ending. The same hues seem prominent and you don't quite know which is which.
Rising takes courage.  Because rising means the potential to once again fall or be knocked down.  Again.
Something I have learned over the past few months is this:  Everyone needs a few loyal people in their corner to help lift them to their feet by giving them wings of courage.  We simply can't muster that courage all the time on our own.  Our own perception is clouded by how close we are to the trees in our lives and we do lose the scope of the forrest.  We look through the magnifying glass of now and it exacerbates the discouragement we are feeling. What is going on now seems bigger than what it actually is.  We are far sighted so to speak.  The present is blurry.  We need people with some serious stock in our story, that helps us remember some previous chapters and can tell us that the next chapter, the next part of the journey is better.  People who give us vision.

Many times those people could be acquaintances, new friends, or family.
Newer friends provide some objectivity to your perspective.  They aren't as farsighted as you and aren't nearly as pessimistic as your clouded vision seems to be.  They can be fresh air, oxygen, and a chance for new love and growth.
But old friends...
Let me tell you there is nothing like an old friend that has stood sturdy with you through the thick of your life and has weathered many storms with you to provide that healthy perspective to who you were, who you are, and who you will be.  Someone who sometimes knows your heart better than you and who has dreamed your dreams with you.  Someone who will stop you sometimes and say, "Remember when you wanted to?"  "Are you sure you think you can't do that?"  "Do you really want to give up on that, because its always been important to you?"  Old friends do that.  And their words carry weight and have lift off power because you know that they really do know you.  And they aren't going to exit in the midst of a gale.  They've been tethered close by for years now.  All those shared experiences make them like a veritable map back to your roots and what really makes you.

Through this time of just plain weirdness I have to say that I have been reminded so many times of the power of a faithful friend.  Many moments when I just felt like I wouldn't rise again and be the old me, I knew of a few people with some serious stock in my life and I in theirs that wouldn't let me give up and that I just had to be with.  Right then.
It's amazing how just being with the people who have pushed through the dirt of their life and yours together towards the much it circulates courage blood back into you. It's almost like you can't choose to lay flat. You rise simply by being with them.

I cannot tell you how happy I am for the friends that God has given me that give me lift off power and fresh vision when mine is dulled.  And I with them.  I believe that is such a necessary part of friendship.  To help that person you love see what they cannot see right now.  It's part of faithfulness. Being full of faith for them.
So in the past six months of tears and questions I have to say that I have had some rich moments on playgrounds, street corners, in long hugs, and laughing over past memories and looking deep into some eyes and being willing to see whats really there and accept it.  Sometimes that sun that looks like it is setting is indeed really rising and you need someone with vision to tell you.  You nod your head simply because they believe in you with all their heart and you say, "Yes." Even if you just have the courage to say,"Yes" to today.
 I read these words recently and I think they perfectly describe what a real friend is like, "That's how you know your true friends: you hear their laughter and look into their eyes, and it feels like coming home." - Melanie Shankle

It is so true.  I have felt like coming home when walking into the arms of friends.  I always want my friends to feel like falling into a safe place when they look into my eyes too.  True friendship is necessary for a healthy vantage point on your life and it is what will give you the courage to rise again and again simply because you don't want the fire burning in the eyes of those who really love you to go out.  You rise simply because you have to honor the tenacity of their commitment to you.  It is a precious gift they've bestowed on you...their hope and you simply can't give up because that is too much of a treasure... a person that doggedly believes in you.

Some eyes that always feel like home to me.....


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