Recently I met with a dear friend and we caught up. She wanted to get together and hear how life was going. This is a trust-worthy person because she is a mentor and cares with kindness. As we caught up, she kept saying this phrase which I had never heard before. She said ‘you’re on the backside of the mountain’. She explained you’ve been strategically placed in solitude in order to prepare you for His work. The backside can also be a place of transition and pruning. Yikes! Those are all the words I’ve been fighting against for the last year.
What does the ‘Backside of the Mountain’ look like?
It’s a quiet place. It’s a place where we are grown, groomed and loved. We sometimes have to sit there for years and other times it’s for a short while. How long you sit there depends on how much of the world needs to come out of you. I love this definition of the backside from Michael Jake’s, “Sometimes the Lord needs to remove us from what we know and expect in order to prepare us for a greater work. It’s a strategic and obscure place where the Lord places us in order to prune us.” Those words finally excite me! The adjectives he uses of the backside give you an idea of what’s intended by God. Those adjectives are refreshment, preparation, pruning, solitude, development, lowliness, growth, instruction, and transition. All of those words lead to so much growth.
Another leadership article I found stated it this way: “The paradox of the desert is that in the quite dryness of the moment, thoughts often are unscrambled while priorities are reassembled. In the desert, God’s voice can be clearly heard.” Only when we get quiet with no distractions can we hear God’s voice. I personally want my priorities reassembled and unscrambled, so I know how to navigate the desert and this season.
How to navigate the Backside
The word confidence is huge for me this year. Part of this season is having the confidence to understand where we are, and be able to sit in the midst of the backside well. Here’s the deal, God will sometimes strip us of the things in our lives that tend to replace Him, including our own self-sufficiency. This stripping happens in the backside and as a result, the hope is that we find our confidence in Him. God is love and He does not violate His character. His judgement is always an expression of His love to bring us into conformity with Him and His will for us. Navigating this season includes the stripping of self-sufficiency and allowing His confidence to fill me. My goal is to write more on navigating the backside in the next few months.
How long does it last?
Here’s the kicker to all of this – I haven’t a clue how long the backside is going to last. Until everyone and everything is stripped away? Possibly. But in God’s goodness and kindness, He has been slowly (I mean so slowly) placing people and opportunities back into our life. And He’s been reminding me that I’m not alone in the backside. We always have God.
What does your backside look like? Is it a season of growing and refreshment, or a season of being stripped and humbled? Either way, rest in knowing something great is coming around the corner. The backside doesn’t last forever, but the sweetness which comes will enable you to live out your purpose.