Persevere. I spoke this word out loud to myself almost every single morning for the past year.
On runs when every muscle in my body was aching for me to stop.
When I would be reminded of devastating circumstances that would crush my spirit within the instant.
Out running errands when I would be completely engulfed with anxiety and I wanted to just go home and hide.
Attempting to get out of bed every morning when I was dealing with a heart condition that made the littlest task seem like a never ending battle.
Romans 5:3-5 tells us “And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
God commands us to keep on going, for our benefit. In doing so, we will receive the Hope God has so graciously and freely given to us. Through each trial you persevere through, your endurance will grow.
Once my health allowed, I picked up running again to help parallel the trials I was fighting in my life with my every day endurance training. I would push myself to keep on going when I didn’t feel like I could take another step, and in doing so, it would help me to push through each hardship I was facing that day. Whether it be anxiety, health issues, healing from a broken relationship, or even just the drain of everyday.
Now, I don’t want to make it seem like I run 5 miles without stopping or slowing down at some point. I haven’t reached that goal quite yet! But that’s the point about perseverance.
It’s not about not stopping, it’s about getting back up. Taking a breather when you need to, slowing it down when you can’t keep up, but always moving forward.
Perseverance, just like everything in life is a process.
Dealing with anxiety, is a process of figuring out what your triggers are and what works for you to help manage them. Fighting the horrors of a halting health condition in your last semester of college is a process of reaching out for help, being patient when tests don’t show concrete solutions and attempting to keep all the commitments and responsibilities of everyday life. Wrestling with the loss of a dream or relationship is a process of trusting God, accepting what isn’t, forgiving, and embracing the new.
Life doesn’t stop when we face trials, but neither should we.
If we are still breathing there is still a beautiful plan that God is orchestrating for us, even when we just see a huge, ugly mess. Keep on going.
Your season may be dark, and gritty and unfair, but that’s just it, a season. It will not last forever if we don’t stay stuck in it. Break free from your bondage like young Tom Hanks, and run like the wind blows.
God has allowed whatever is and has happened in your life. He has got you, He has a plan. Hold onto the Hope of Christ that demonstrates that everything will be okay. The battle has been won, the enemy has been defeated. He holds the victory.
Get back up and keep on going to see it.
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