Hands outstretched, I held my breath to balance and focus on catching the cube of plastic tossed up to me. Once caught, I bent down to place it carefully and securely so I could then step up onto it. With each crate I stacked, I gained a little more height in the air…the higher I went, the less stable I felt.

In fact, I couldn’t believe the difficulty in balancing on the plastic surface, catching the next crate, bending down to put each securely in place, and then taking each step up to continue the climb…all while wearing a harness and helmet and two safety wires attached to the tall pole behind.

What looked super easy from the ground translated into a very different story once I gained a true crate view.

The climb challenged me and stirred a self-competition/desire to stack and conquer a certain number of crates. I couldn’t have done any of it without the expert in charge tossing the crates up in the air to me, giving me coaching and advice.

Or without the new friends shouting out encouragement and helpful tips from below.

Or the others who gathered to watch or to get in line to give it a try.

I didn’t make it as high up as I wanted, and the fun activity proved a waaaaaay bigger challenge than it looked from below, but it promoted teamwork, encouragement, and a big dose of “I can do this!”

When we face challenges and feel all alone in our pain, the people around us live out a vital role in our lives when they offer practical support. When we all learn a little more about different life situations and ways to help, it prepares our hearts and hands for practical compassion to reach out with care and empathy to those in need.

Join me this week on The Bearing Life® Podcast as we close out this season and talk Mother’s Day. Yes, we have a few weeks to go until that day of celebrating moms, but I intentionally want to address it early for two reasons: one, so we can prepare ahead of time to offer care, practical compassion, and plans to someone we know walking through an infertility season or to friends who are involuntarily childless, and two, so the women (and men) walking in the painful time of infertility and loss right now might hear some ways to prepare themselves for the Mother’s Day season.

We all need our friends and loved ones cheering us on when we face an unknown challenge or climb. Join me in the posts this week and the podcast to learn how you can help. If you know anyone on either side of this issue, please share the links with them.

You are not alone.