Have you ever felt like you were stuck? Stuck because you agreed to something you didn’t really want to do? Stuck because decisions you made had consequences you didn’t anticipate? Stuck because circumstances or the decisions of others were out of your control and you couldn’t go in the direction you thought was right? You wanted something different. You were ready for change. You needed to move forward. But you were stuck.
Maybe you feel that way now. Or know someone who does.
Most of us at one time or another have felt stuck. The mud pits of life are notorious for sucking us in and holding us tight. We struggle to the point of exhaustion. And we’re ready to give up because we don’t see any hope of breaking free. We sink down, alone and weary, wondering how we got to this place.
Regardless of why we’re stuck, we don’t have to stay stuck. It’s time to rise up and get on solid ground. How? The 3 C’s of Rising Above.
1. Courage. We don’t think about courage much unless we’re talking about people serving in the military or watching the cowardly lion sing his famous ballad in the Wizard of Oz. Few of us feel courageous. What is courage? According to the dictionary, it’s facing or dealing with anything that’s dangerous, difficult, or painful–instead of running away. Whether or not we feel courageous, many of us display courage every day. We have to. But there’s a different definition of courage I like even more. Terri Guillemets says, “Courage is tiny pieces of fear all glued together.” We all have fear, and that’s okay. That’s normal. It’s what we do with our fear that makes the difference. So instead of letting fear overtake us, let’s face one fear at a time and cut it down to size. Then we can take all those tiny pieces of fear and start gluing them together. With each piece we add, we’re a little bit stronger. We see things a little bit clearer. We rise above our real life and begin breaking free of our fears. It may not happen overnight. But it will happen. Piece by piece. Step by step. And never doubt: You are courageous. You’ve made it this far.
2. Consistency. Change is hard. Whether we’re trying to move in a completely new direction or just do things differently so we get a different result, it’s not easy. One of the most important factors of enacting change as we rise above real life is consistency. What do I mean? Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Keep going. Finish strong, even if we didn’t start out that way. I heard recently that consistency is starting over a thousand times. Diet, exercise, saving money, reading the Bible, turning from temptations. Whatever it is that we want to change. But we keep messing up. We feel like we failed. We get discouraged. So let’s start over. Again. And again. And again. As many times as it takes. Each time we learn something about why it’s so hard for us. We learn what to do differently or what to avoid. If we stick with it, if we don’t give up, we can get to that place of victory. Whether it’s changing something significant in our life or just reaching a personal goal, rarely do we get what we hoped for on the first try. Or second. That’s okay. Start again. It’s never too late.
3. Counsel. We can’t do it alone. We can’t rise above real life by ourselves. We need at least one trusted friend, a wise counselor, to walk with us. Throughout life. Good times and bad. The people we turn to for counsel may change over time. But we always need to have at least one person that we can be completely open and honest with. Someone who holds us accountable. Someone we promise to go to in times of doubt, fear, anger, and temptation. Before our feelings become a tornado inside of us. Seek out someone whose wisdom is based on a solid understanding of God’s Word and His strength offered to us. When we stand firm on the Rock of Christ we allow God to work in us to transform our life. Wise counsel grounded in God’s Word can help us stay on solid ground.
The 3 C’s of Rising Above: Courage, Consistency, Counsel.
Face fear. Keep going. Walk together. And know that you will never be the same again as you rise above the past and present, and move forward to new life ahead.
“I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
May I pray?
God, it’s hard to face our fears. It’s hard to pick ourselves up over and over to start again. And many of us don’t feel like we have someone we can turn to for wise counsel. Father, help us to come to You today in prayer and Your Word so we can hear from You. Help us to piece together our fears so we can stand courageously. Grant us the strength to keep going, even when we make mistakes. And please, Lord, bless us with close friendships so we can begin walking our journey together in sisterhood. Amen.
Q4U: What is the hardest C for you: Courage, Consistency or Counsel?