When it was time to head home after one of our family adventures last, Oaks found himself in a predicament. The path he and Scott rode down to the creek on was covered in tall “weeds” that apparently didn’t bother him on the way down. But when it came time to head back up, they looked a little more daunting. So he decided to take his bike up the concrete embankment on the underside of the bridge, in his water-filled mud boots. I offered to throw his bike in the back of the jeep and give him a ride, but he was insistent. My instinct was to demand that he ride up with me, because we were all hot and tired, and ready to get home.
But I paused, and consciously made a different choice.
Of course it would have been easier for him to ride with me. We would have gotten home sooner. There would have been fewer moans and groans. But in that moment, I remembered a phrase I’ve been working hard to use often around here. Right at the point where he was struggling his hardest to get that bike up the hill, I shouted it out to him.
If anyone can do it, I know you can!
He gave it one more hard push and made it over the top. He would have made it anyway, he’s not a quitter. He’s had to learn to work harder on almost everything than most kids his age. So he’s a tough one already. But I’ve noticed that when I use that phrase to remind him that the struggle has made him strong, he perks up and gets a lift of wind in his sails. He knows he’s strong enough to face whatever comes his way, but sometimes he needs a little reminder.
I bet you do too.
All of us have struggles throughout our lives that seem unfair or extraordinarily difficult. Some more daunting than others, no doubt. Even though what you want so desperately in those moments is a rescue, it’s doing the hard work, pushing through, and surviving that teaches you what you can never learn by taking the easy way out.
The struggle makes you strong.
It imprints on your spirit, that you’re the kind of person who can do hard things. You are, you know. Whatever you’re going through today, this week, this year, don’t give up. Quit looking for a rescue. This is your path. You are strong enough to make it through.
If anyone can do this, you can.
to more love,