“When surrounded by adversity, rising above it can be daunting.“
from “Reflections from the Everyday” (Fizz) c-a allen
“Now, hold your breath. Put your face in the water… and blow,” the swimming instructor said to our shivering group standing in the shallow end of the pool. Those long-ago swimming lessons at the local recreation department were something my brothers and I had looked forward to. I just never really got comfortable with the whole experience. On our last day, I struggled to stay above-water in the ten-foot end while my older brother cheerfully treaded water and joked with them.
Like all of us, there have been times in life when I’ve struggled to stay “above-water.” Adversity comes to us all. There are the very real struggles of trying to figure out our place in this world… wondering about life, death, and faith… working through difficult relationships… or dealing with feelings regarding value or purpose.
I value the example and encouragement of others as I work to learn something new or try to keep on through challenging or difficult situations. Getting through that last swim test was a satisfying accomplishment! I literally had to “rise up” to keep my head above water. I get stressed when I have to learn new complicated (for me) tech-related things for my work. When family members, or other loved-ones, encounter health or emotional struggles, I can only offer my prayers, presence, and help. I just want things to be okay… That can be tough.
I love the writer of the book of Psalms. Just like me, in all their humanity, they were imperfect and weak. Sometimes doubting and despairing; nevertheless, they remind us of more… ultimately acknowledging and having faith in the one who lifts up our head.
But you, Oh Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, and the one who lifts up my head.
Isn’t that great?!! Whether we’re “surrounded by adversity” or rising to a new and hopeful day, knowing that God lifts us up will give energy to our step and calm to our soul. No matter how daunting the task or how stressful our day, God helps us to rise above it. I pray that God will encourage you and bless you as you take these thoughts with you.
Charlotte-Anne Allen 7/18/2021
*This post is dedicated to my mom, who would have been 97 today.
Love you mom.