© 2017 by Lauren Wiatrek - Austin, TX
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The Last Staircase

12.07.2019

 

When I was 9 years old my parents took me skiing and on our last run I had to go down the River Run. It was the steep, icy LAST run before apres ski. And I was not budging. No matter how much my mom tried to coax me into following her down, the fear in me crept so high I just wasn’t going to move an inch. I begged her to call up the emergency vehicles to take me down.

 

Thankfully my mom refused to be swayed by my fear and we took a very, v-e-r-y slow (pie-ing allllll the way down) route that went from one side of the run to the other until we safely made it down.

 

I am sure I am not the only one who has faced other moments in life where you get to the end and all of a sudden you feel like you can’t finish.

 

Whether that is something physical, mental or even emotional.

 

Why do we let ourselves get to the point where we let fear, pain or self-doubt rob us when we are standing at the last stair case?

 

I was on the triathlon team in college and I remember facing my biggest race… a 50 mile trail race in Bryan, Texas. I had never run a marathon before and yet here I was. The guys on the team didn’t think I could do it, so the first thing I did after that was sign up. I trained and I pushed myself. The morning of the race (3:30 am) I lost one of my contacts, my eye sight back then was pretty bad, but I refused to let that hold me back. During the race I tripped every few feet because my depth perception was so off, but again I refused to let that hold me back.

 

When I was nearing the last go round, I was told I couldn’t finish the race…. For fear that it would get dark. I was forced to stop. I had run 38 ½ miles and yet I was so disappointed in myself. I had pushed myself farther than any physical limit I had ever faced.

 

A month later, I ran the Austin Marathon and as I rounded mile 24 I saw my dad, I broke down in tears and that fear, that exhaustion just overwhelmed me and almost kept me from finishing.

 

When I was giving birth to my second daughter, I chose no medication. When facing those waves of contractions there were moments I didn’t think I could finish. And yet I hand delivered my gorgeous 8 lb 9 oz baby girl.

 

Why do we let fear riddle us so?

 

Why do we let our mind chatter trick us into thinking we are weaker than we really are?

 

When facing chemotherapy, there were times I just didn’t want to anymore. In fact, one of my trips to the infusion room I was sent home because my white blood cell count was just too low. They warned me this would probably happen. I blamed myself.

The amount of hardship, pain, stress, and physically challenging obstacles, endeavors, feats we face day in and day out should give us that can do attitude.

 

All of this leads to this summer… two years after my summer on chemo. I have been free from chemo for one whole year (although the effects are still there) and my family and I are on an unforgettable, incredible road trip on the west coast.

 

In Sequoia National Park, there is a 34-flight staircase – 350 steps – ¼ mile walk up to Moro Rock to 6,725 elevation viewing the panoramic view of the Sierra Mountains and the Giant Forest. Since the girls were in the car napping, Evan and I took turns walking the trek up.

 

On mine I welcomed the solitude and mini workout. All of these thoughts above ran through my head as I willed myself up each new set of stairs. When I came to the last staircase, it became such a metaphor for my life.

 

The last staircase.

 

 

 

How many times had I looked up at that last staircase?

 

How many times did negative mind chatter try to keep me from finishing what I started?

 

How many times did I doubt myself, even for a second?

 

And best of all, how many times had I pushed forward and succeeded?

 

The moment I climbed that last staircase, although the entire trip wasn't that grueling, it represented that no matter what, I can push through. The view from above that last staircase was gorgeous. The Sierra Mountains sprawling a panoramic view.

 

 

 

It made me think, what could I have missed, in life, if I didn't push to finish that last staircase? 

 

This staircase represented so much of not only my battle with life’s challenges, but many others.

 

When facing that last staircase in life, breathe those affirmations into your soul. You are worthy. You are strong. You will not falter.

 

I know when I lean on Jesus my life is complete. That fear has no hold on me. That all my chains are gone. No matter what I face, I can be confident and sure knowing Jesus has my back.

 

And He has yours too.

 

Climb that staircase.

 

 

 

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