I am a runner! I don’t like hard things and can so quickly look for any escape to the pain of life. Each and every coping mechanism you read about, I have tried it. For so many years, I lived as a prisoner to pain. It was all there trapped inside my mind, soul and body. My goal was to keep the pain tucked away in its proper place so that I could keep pushing on with life. Pain is terribly inconvenient! Much to my relief, dealing with the pain and the healing that comes is liberating: “And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
At the beginning of the month, I read Mary Beth Chapman’s book CHOOSING TO SEE, a book that I highly recommend. After the death of their daughter, there was no way for the Chapman family to escape pain. Throughout the book, Mary Beth said: “The Chapmans do hard things.” They pulled together to work through their heartache and loss.
Unfortunately, the Lord has given me the opportunity to push through pain, not denying it or running from it but through feeling it, grieving it, pushing into Him and to my family. It started with our family’s move to Houston and has continued throughout the year with 3 physical deaths and then the death of many dreams and expectations. Just Sunday, I got to spend two days with Frontier airlines as they sought to move me from St. Louis to Orlando. Instead of getting us there in the expected two and a half hours, I got to spend a sleepless night in the Atlanta airport and arrived in Orlando 22 hours later than I had expected. I kept speaking Mary Beth’s words but applying them to me: “Brooke does hard things.”
What I heard from top leaders at the Optavia convention is that obstacles are often the way. Obstacles require us to develop vision, perseverance, patience and grace. We certainly don’t overcome obstacles by ducking our heads and pretending they aren’t there. This season of my life has been grueling. It feels as if I could be completely undone as I continue to face the challenges, pains and disappointments of this life. However, by God’s grace and power, I will keep pushing into the hard things; I will keep overcoming the obstacles; and I will run this race set before me repeating the words: “Brooke does hard things.”
What hard things do you need to do today? Are you able to say that the obstacle is the way?
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).