I have started running. I'm pretty sure the reason for this has something to do with turning 40, so let me just state, I despise running. Making matters worse, I live on a mountain so running consists of me dying most the time, with one particular hill I just can't conquer.
Enter my dog Truman, my loyal, Clifford of a dog who outweighs me by about 60 lbs and makes up for in strength what he lacks in intelligence. He's the perfect uphill friend as holding onto his leash makes the incline so much easier.
Last week, with Truman at my side, I took on the hill. About half way up I started to slow, ten more steps and I was about ready to keel over when all of a sudden Truman started motoring up the grade. It was as if he said, "Oh, no, we're beating this one. Just put one foot in front of the other, friend, and I'll pull. I'll pull you up."
I made it up the hill. It wasn't pretty and it wasn't race legal, but I am claiming victory. I had my uphill friend, my beast of a dog, and I made it!
As I write this, I am very thankful Truman is not my only uphill friend. I am blessed to have several in my life, friends that pull me up hills that require endurance of the heart and soul. They are brave women who have, on more than one occasion called to say things like, "Have you made that phone call, the one that scares you to death, but still needs to be made or do I need to come over there and dial the phone for you?" Those women who love me enough to say, "Oh please, Jessica, I am not fooled, I see you struggling and I'm here to help." Most importantly, they are women warriors who pray for me, reminding me our hills here are temporary, and that we have a Great, Wondrous, Beast of a God who runs before us.
Do you have this type of uphill friend? If so, perhaps forward this to them just to call them out and name them. Just to say, "Thank you, my friend."
Taking it another step, are you this type of friend? Do you ever pull so someone else can keep going, so someone else can say, "I did it!"?
If not, now is a great time to start. Trust me, the world can always use a few more Trumans!