Have you ever been in place where you think “If I make it through this, I can make it through anything”? Yeah, me too. And when I get through that circumstance, the next “If I can make it through this” situation seems to throw itself into the middle of the path I call my life, and there I am again, looking at a wall I can’t seem to scale, or a hole I can’t seem to get out of.
At some point in our lives, we are going to experience collateral damage. We are the innocent bystanders in dramas that we didn’t ask to be a part of. Poor decisions by others, bad deals, wrong words, hurtful actions, thrust us center stage, under a spotlight that makes us sweat armpit pancakes and leaves us frozen, wondering “Why me? Why am I experiencing this?” and then we utter the phrase “If I can make it through this, I can make it through anything.”
Those circumstances are tragic, and we often feel like the three Hebrew Children in the flaming fire; they were innocent and yet were thrown into the furnace. But, what about the fire that we create? The holes we knowingly dig with a spoon and fill with water using a thimble? How do we survive the situations where we are not the collateral damage, but we are the cause of it?It’s hard to think about. It’s even harder to admit that the “If I can make it through this” situation is, BECAUSE. OF. YOU.
I have created horrible situations that have left those around me, the ones I love with ALL my heart, shattered, broken, and wondering, “How can this be happening?” In those moments I have thought “If we can make it through this, we can make it through anything. But how can “anything” be worse than this? And do I even deserve to make it through? Can I ever rise from the ashes of the fire I started? Am I worthy of being able to move beyond the mess I created?” Round and around goes the merry-go-round of shame, self-hatred, depression, self-loathing, self-punishment, until one of two things happen.
- The merry-go-round starts spinning so fast that you can’t hang on and are flung with violent force into a wall that you have built, so hard, that it breaks you. You can’t seem to recover and you sink into a life that is, as you think, ruined. Never healing, never allowing things to be put back together, never rising from the ashes into a stunning creation and in essence, never becoming the person you are truly called to be.
- You can hang on tight and dig with all your might, into the ground, slowing yourself down. You dig into transparency with the people you hurt, you dig into truth about the situation you created, you dig into counseling if you need it, you dig into looking at the painful, ugly parts of yourself and confronting them. You dig into renewing your mind, you dig into casting down self sabotaging thoughts, and you dig into forgiveness. Forgiveness of yourself and accepting the forgiveness of the Father and the ones you hurt.
Dig hard enough and the merry-go-round comes to a complete stop. You may be lying on the ground, breathless, sore, bruised, holding onto one of the poles, filthy from being dragged but you have stopped spinning. The only thing you have left to do is to LET GO,STAND UP, BRUSH YOURSELF OFF, and WALK AWAY.
That. Is. Strength. That moment when you dig into all the issues, all the ugly, all the flaws, that you have, when you start to walk in forgiveness towards yourself, when you start accepting the forgiveness that the Lord has for you and when you stop saying “IF I can make it through this” and start saying “WHEN I make it through this”.
That my dear friend is not just being strong, that is being STUNNINGLY STRONG.
No matter the fire, whether you created it, or others tossed you into it, I know that HE GIVES BEAUTY FOR ASHES.
This is what Stunningly Strong is all about. A movement of women who say:
We aren’t perfect. We have been the cause of collateral damage.We have been the victims of collateral damage. We have been broken and bruised. And we have caused others to be broken and bruised. We have some ugly chapters in the story of our lives. BUT, we choose to rise from the ashes, to dig in and to walk in freedom and forgiveness. Not giving glory to the past, not giving glory to mistakes, but giving glory to the One who forgives us, refines us, and gives us the strength to be Stunningly Strong.”