continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success
I take from this definition that being a deer in headlights is not actually a “course of action.” This is a condition I have mastered through many stages of life. My excuses are 1) not knowing HOW to move forward, 2) fear of not moving in the right direction or 3) not wanting to experience any pain or discomfort. And yet God is clearly pointing out to me that it is time to walk through the fire and move forward…..to persevere. I could argue that I must have persevered because I’m still alive. But have I grown? Have I moved forward? Have I relied on a God who promises to never leave me to help me through whatever lies ahead? I guess not. And I do know that God will be with me, that I should not fear, and that persevering means actually MOVING.
Lord, I believe. Help me in my unbelief. Let me begin with prayer. Lord help me in my paralysis. Guide me in the right direction. Let me stay focused on you and your will.
This week my dear college friend and her strong boys lost their husband of 28 years/father. Julie mentored me in surviving college and in the South Carolina marching band (go clarinets!), in Tau Beta Sigma, in volunteering and majoring in Journalism and striving for excellence in all that you do. When many of us crumble in pain and loss, Julie finds ways to honor her loved ones and foster perseverance and HOPE in a God who cries with us and helps us through hard times. In high school she lost a brother in a tragic accident. These past 28 years she created a beautiful loving family. She worked her way into a challenging job in the graphics department with the New York Times. She developed her camera skills into a beautiful lifestyle photography side business that celebrates families and life and God’s creations. And she has volunteered many hours with her church to celebrate ministry and serve others. She inspires me so much.
Also, these past 2 years my dear pastor friend has bravely shared his journey as his wife was taken by cancer, leaving him a single parent of two teenagers. It hasn’t been pretty at all. Yet he has ministered to me and countless others with weekly breath prayers, meditation videos, and practical blog articles about life in the “valley of suck” that he finds himself in (http://jedipastorken.blogspot.com/). He continues to persevere and God has been glorified brighter than ever.
As my husband and I look to make a plan for tackling some financial challenges and replacing our beloved HHR car that was given a death sentence, I know that we can make a plan for moving forward and find better days ahead. As we continue to dream about downsizing, removing clutter, and living in a small (hopefully tiny) house, I know that if we are faithful in prayer and action, God will make a way when there seems like no way.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NIV)
Your servant is listening. Speak Lord to my soul.