September 15, 2019

Jesus taught that even if we have a very small amount of genuine faith, we can move mountains from Here to There. We can even tell a mountain to throw itself into the sea and it will! I take Jesus at his word and believe he meant this literally. He wanted us to understand that we have access to the power that created the universe. That whatever we want, whatever we ask for in prayer, if we believe and do not doubt, will be given to us. That faith is a gift from God because we are special to Him. That our desires and our needs are important to Him. That He wants us to reach out to Him and ask Him for what we want. That in fact, He created our hearts and planted desires in them in order that we might see how much He loves us when those desires are answered.

God created those mountains Jesus talked about. He created them and He planted them exactly where He wanted them to be. And for my part, I don’t have any desire to rearrange the mountains. They seem good right where they are! The mountains I’d like to move are the mountains of bills sitting on my desk. The mountains of chores that pile up in my home on a daily basis. The mountains of projects that have already passed their deadlines.

And to be honest, lately there are mountains sitting on my shoulders that are crushing me. The Mountain of Loss. The Mountain of Parenting Failure. The Mountain of Heartbreak. The Mountain of Financial Strain. The Mountain of Constantly Struggling Because I Never Have Enough. Never enough money. Never enough time. Never enough sleep. Never enough joy.

Single parenting is lonely business. When my son struggles, I bear that pain alone. It’s always up to me to find solutions for his problems, stay ahead of his challenges, protect him, fight for him. I have lots of helpers, but I also have a son with lots of special needs and there is no one who cares for him the way I do. So I carry around his pains, his losses, his trauma, his struggles the way any parent does, but I do it alone. Like only single parents can understand.

I started my own business almost a decade ago, and it has been my family’s only source of income since day one. So when my business struggles, we struggle. There have been times when I couldn’t afford milk. Or tampons. Or toilet paper. There have been times when I appealed and groveled and begged for debt relief or payment plans or reduced rates in ways so humiliating, only someone who has done the same can understand. There is an exhaustion and a shame in struggling financially that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I love my work and I love my customers. But I am a one woman operation. Renee Smith Hair Design. It’s all me. I bear the entire weight of my business on my own.

My heart has been so broken and crushed lately that I don’t think it will ever completely recover. It will always carry around the disappointment and embarrassment of unrequited love and the grief of loss. My dog has died. He was my best friend. The most constant companion of my last 16 years. He cared for me when no one else did and he comforted me when no one else could. I will always have a Baby Fish Mouth sized hole in my heart.

So. The idea that Jesus tells me that I have the power to move all of these mountains is amazing to me! Of course, I realize that no matter how it feels, I am not bearing the weight of all these mountains alone. God is with me. He fights my battles. He comforts me in despair. He has a beautiful plan for my life that includes joy and restoration and comfort. He doesn’t want me to suffer and He doesn’t want me to feel overburdened. What He wants me to do is to move these mountains from Here to There. He wants me to tell them to throw themselves into the sea! He wants me to move them off of my shoulders and into His hands.

And that is what I will do.


“Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”  Mark 11:23


Baby Fish Mouth and his person, 2011


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2 Responses to “Mountains”

  1. Viviane Scott said

    Aww!! My heart is stirred again!! What an amazing Daughter of our God you are and an amazing Mom to your Son, and a Sister that inspires so many.
    I wish I could have met you when I lived in NYC, I wish I could have had more than five minutes when you came to Denver. You probably don’t remember me and it’s all right. I have a lots of sisterly love for you and I will pray so that our God will throw those mountains in the ocean for you 🙌🙌🙌
    I hope you feel cherished and honored on your birthday 🥳🥳🥳


    • Thank you so much Viviane! I feel like God introduced us for those few minutes because He intended us to be friends this way—through words, stories, pictures…
      Your encouraging words and empathy are so meaningful and helpful to me, especially because we don’t really share any memories together, just a kindred spirit and common love for God.
      Much love 💛


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