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She Needed A Hero…

She needed a hero, so she became one.

How many times have you read that on your news feed? How many times have you posted something like that or related to self love, self reliance, inner heroism? I can tell you if I look at my past posts, I can call myself out for several.

What is the definition of a hero? When I think of what it means to be a hero, it is someone who is brave. They have courage to do things when others feel intimidated or inadequate. A hero doesn’t question they just do. A hero is a winner. A warrior.

That sounds exhausting…

She needed a hero, so she became one. I think that is a lot of pressure to put on ourselves. It really does sound exhausting. Now, that doesn’t mean that she couldn’t have fought a hard fight and pushed through the hard times. She might have had many sleepless nights. She might have had moments where she stood in the shower while the hot water ran down her face as she was slumped over leaning against the shower wall while tears ran down. I bet she spent some time wishing, hoping or praying that someone would come along to help her.

The responsibilities of a hero are 24/7.

Several years ago I had the title of a health and fitness coach. I had really embraced a healthy lifestyle and lost a ton of weight, was in the best shape of my life and walked alongside dozens of women who needed some encouragement and motivation to do the same. I certainly wasn’t what I would call a hero but there was a sense of responsibility put upon my shoulders. I had to be an example for other people. If I failed, I was terrified they would fail too.

I sat with a group of friends over breakfast one morning and I had a donut on my plate. A comment was made, ‘She is human! Look there is a donut on her plate!’. Little did they know, I probably inhaled a whole bag of Doritos the night before but they didn’t know or see that part of me. I felt so uncomfortable. Well, do I eat the donut or not… Am I allowed to indulge because in that moment I felt like I shouldn’t. Or do I eat it and show them that I am just like them and eat junk too. Looking back, it seems so superficial but in that moment, it was a really big deal in my head. That was my identity and I felt constant pressure to live up to it. I remember laughing it off and eating the donut.

I grew up in a house full of girls so I wasn’t exposed to boy stuff and interests unless I was in school or really until I met my husband. Batman, Superman, all the other Super Hero’s. They have a job that is 24/7. They have to be everything to everyone else. We don’t see real life Super Hero’s running around in capes, wearing spandex with all the latest higher than high-tech gadgets because it’s not realistic. No one of this world can fill that role because it’s just not possible.

In 2014, I remember sitting down in a dark room with a face I had recognized before but barely knew. She didn’t really know me either. She had seen me in passing several times but didn’t know me. In a chair in front of us sat a blue covered book. Next to the book was a box I had recognized from grade school. It was a simple plastic pencil box. She pulled out the blue covered book and opened up the plastic pencil box to take out a pen. On the first page of the blue covered book, where it was blank, she began to draw and image. The image changed my life.

When she pulled her hand back, the image revealed what looked like two mountains with a gap in between. She told me that in life, we sometimes try and cross from one side of the mountain to the other. We don’t ask for help but we attempt to do it on our own. We will fall but will try and get ourselves back up to try again. I don’t remember her exact words in that moment so I will use my own to paraphrase the rest. The side of the mountain we are often on we try our hardest to be our own hero. We push hard, we fight hard, we do what is needed to be done. But what if in those moments we hoped, wished and prayed that someone would come along side us and help us through it, someone actually did? What if we had someone to help build a bridge to get to the other side?
What is on the other side of the mountain across the big gap, you ask. Eternal life. Forgiveness from all of the things we feel that we need to carry around. Forgiveness from the things that others define us by but that we don’t define ourselves by. Acceptance in a world where we’re constantly feeling rejected. Unconditional love in a world where people change their minds and fall short of loving sometimes. What is on the other side of that mountain? God. And Jesus is the way to build the bridge and cross to the other side.

(Now, I would love to expand here a little more on the theology side of things to make it more biblically sound but for the sake of saving that for another post and not having this one be a 30 minute read, I will keep it simple.)

We are not designed to be our own hero. There is a reason it gets hard, we get frustrated and we feel like things are collapsing around us. It is because it is not our job. It was never intended to be our job. And no matter how hard we try, we just can’t do it. We can’t.

When we are standing on one side of the mountain with all of our baggage loaded up on a wheeling cart, just like the one you’d borrow from a hotel. The thing is heaping high with guilt, anger, shame, loneliness, frustration, judgement, sadness and you add the blank… We seek Jesus and develop a solid relationship with Him to help us cross a bridge, only He can help us cross, to get to the other side. The walk across the bridge won’t be easy sometimes. Days will be long and they might be hard, but worth it. Jesus is truly the only hero she ever needed.

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