During a recent 5k run, I was really struggling with the uphill parts of the route. Seeing them loom ahead of me, debating if I was going to make it up that part or not. It got me thinking that life can be like this, we see a challenge ahead and we begin deciding whether we are going to make it through or how hard it’s going to be, before we have even got to it. Can you relate?
I was struggling for various reasons during this particularly run. I had not slept much the night before (and I love my sleep!) and it was already a really hot day, despite it only being 8am. I decided on two of the uphill parts that I just needed to walk up. And rather than beat myself up or tell myself I had failed, I needed to accept there are times when I am going to have to slow down.
Life can be like this. we can go at full pelt, giving our all to everything but over time this can increase our risk of burn out if we not recognising those times we need to slow down.. Those times in life that can seem uphill, where its slow, hard, challenging – it’s ok to slow down. It’s ok to say actually this bit is really hard & I am struggling, let me handle this differently.
It would be a real shame if when we got to those uphill places, we just refused to go any further or worse, we decided to turn back and go back the way we came! If I did this I definitely would not have made any progress. Do you know the joy about pushing through & reaching the top of the hill, no matter how long it takes you to reach it? There is usually a downhill on the other side – bonus!
I finished my run, slower than I would have liked but I finished it. I have run the same route and ran up those uphill parts before. So under different circumstances we may find that we can get through life challenges much easier than other’s. I want to encourage you not to be so hard on yourself. If you have to take some time out, if you have to slow down or if you find something hard that you once found easy, then do what you need to do to get through it the best way you can. Just don’t stop or turn back, keeping moving forward.
“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”― Dean Karnazes
As a Christian, I know that when I face challenges in life, God is with me, this makes a difference in how I get through those uphills. I lived for almost 30 years without God in my life and faced many challenges without him, so I know how hard it is. Don’t get me wrong, I still face challenges, but He is with me and it makes a difference! He gives me strength and God can give you strength too.
We all need help, no matter how “together” you may think your life is, we never know what is coming ahead, what uphill struggles lie before us. You may already be feeling like you’ve been struggling uphill alone for a while. God doesn’t say that trials will never happen, but He does promise that He will be with you always, that He will give you His strength to get through. To me, that sounds like a pretty awesome promise that you don’t want to pass on. He’s just waiting for you to call on His name. So why not?
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.Isaiah 41:10
Maybe it’s time to slow down & approach those uphill struggles differently? I pray that you will realise that you no longer have to face those uphill battles alone.