Hitting The Wall
By: Kristen L. McNulty
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Just over a year ago I was going through a hard time and I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel and I wrote the words "The waves are crashing in and I feel like I'm drowning."
Since then life has only gotten more difficult but if I had to rewrite those words today I would write "The waves are crashing in and I feel like I'm walking on water."
This isn't because I'm a super human or some ideal Christian. Honestly, over the past year I've come face to face with exactly how truly weak I am. But it is because through all of these trials and all of the pain I've learned something that has transformed me and that is: the question isn't how big is the storm, but the question is how big is our God and how much do I really trust Him?
I've been a Christian for over 11 years and yes like most other Christians I could say that I trusted God, but deep down the buck often stopped with me. If there was a problem, I was going to figure it out. If there was a mess, it was up to me to clean it up. But after being presented with problems that had no solutions and messes that were too big for my hands, I hit the wall.
When we hit the wall we have two choices- we can bounce off and run in the other direction. This running usually involves drowning ourselves in sin to ignore the pain of the impact. Or we can allow God to take us through the wall and onto the other side.
I won't lie to you, choosing to face the pain head on isn't an easy process to go through. For me it involved asking a lot of hard questions about myself and really looking in the mirror. And I haven't loved everything I've seen. But through this process I'm telling you- I am a transformed person. I feel more at peace and more secure today than I can remember feeling at any other point in my life. I also feel more overwhelmed and consumed by the love of God than I ever have before. The truth is, sometimes it's only by being broken that we can become fully whole.
Honestly I would have never written a lot of events that happened during the last year in my life story if I was given the pen, but looking back, if I had a choice- go back to who I was a year ago and remove the pain or experience the pain and become this transformed person, I'd choose the pain and resulting transformation everytime.
So let me encourage you, right now you might be facing something that is so big you don't know where to go from here. You might feel overwhelmed and unprepared for what life is throwing your way. If that is the case, your life is in the place where God often does His best work. Remember that it was in the middle of exile that God met the Israelites. That it was at the bottom of a lions den that God's power was displayed. And it was in the midst of a life-threatening storm that Peter experienced what it was like to walk on water.
But in all of these situations the people involved had something in common- instead of running from God and the pain, they ran towards Him and saw Him move in miraculous ways. And that's the choice we all have today. When life gets difficult you can run around and try to pretend everything is okay. Or you can face the pain and face God, asking Him to work in your heart and teach you the lessons He wants to teach, even if they are hard ones to learn. And for me, facing the pain and running to God has been the difference between feeling like I'm drowning in the storm and feeling like I'm now walking on water. That doesn't mean that my life is going to be perfect from here on out, but that does mean that I'm equipped to not only survive, but thrive with each step along the way. And that can be your story too.
The process may not be easy, but the outcome is one of real beauty. Allow me to close with James 1:2-4: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."
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