Facing the uphill struggles in life

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.

Amber x

Walking into the New Year, knowing I need Jesus now more than ever before!

Last year I entered into a new season of life; some people would say it was one of the best years of my life! I bought my house and got married, two massive life changing events which are both part of my new season.

I am forever grateful for the blessings in my life and the way I can see God moving. But this does not mean that I don’t still have challenges, I do. Before I knew Jesus, I made a complete mess of my life through decisions I made or did not make, through the way I viewed myself, through the value I placed on myself or rather the lack of value. The relationships I made through my life were not always positive and productive to my life, my priorities were often wrong and short term, in the moment, self-gratifying.

I have suffered a lot of pain – emotionally, physically and mentally through the way I was living, and I still carry some of that pain, I am still processing and working through it. There are some situations and places that I still find extremely difficult to be in. I also wanted to give my children a different life and, in some ways, I have but in others I have completely let them down.

As a Christian, a follower of Jesus, I have been forgiven, redeemed and restored by God. But sometimes we find ourselves unable to receive these things, to believe they have happened and can even think we don’t deserve them. Do you ever feel like that?

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.                                                                 

– Ephesians 1: 7

As Christians, sometimes we can forget who we are called to be and become so bogged down by trials in life that we can become our own worst enemy! I think it is also important to be honest, that a magic wand isn’t waved over you when you become a follower of Jesus, there is still work to be done. I know God HAS done these things in my life, but often battle in my mind to actually live in that forgiven, redeemed and restored place even in those situations that I can’t even change!

So, although I am in one of the best seasons of my life, for which I am thankful for, I am still battling my mind, my past and my present. But I know one thing for sure, I need Jesus now more than ever.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

– 2 Corinthians 12:9

I am now a wife with a blended family, being pulled in many different directions, making a simple plan can become a full-on military operation! I simply want to be the best wife, mum, disciple and friend I can possibly be. So as I begin this new year, I am thankful and excited but I am not blind to the battles I am still battling, to my own weaknesses and shortcomings, to the people in my life who are hurting, some who I have hurt and for these I pray every day.

Being a follower of Jesus does not make you immune from making mistakes, it can make you more aware of them and your need for a saviour. There are some things in my life there is nothing I can do to change but with God, I can, and will, find a way to live with and work through them. This is why I know I need Jesus now, more than ever. Being a follower of Jesus has given me a purpose and hope for the future, something I didn’t have before!

As you begin this New Year, I pray that you can walk on the path God has placed you on. If you are not walking with him or don’t know him, I pray you seriously consider getting to know him because it was THE best thing I ever did. I pray that you understand how much you and I both need Jesus in our life.

Peace and Love for the year ahead,

Amber

xx