My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for transform

“I’m so tired of dirt” – the challenge to endure

I felt like the little boy in one of the stories Max Lucado told in his book, Traveling Light. I felt a groan, a whine, a good cry coming on. “I’m so tired of dirt!” Normally I’m a pretty tough cookie, I don’t allow the things of life to beat me down so badly that all I want to do is cry. But that’s how I felt. I just wanted to rest my head on my Daddy’s knees and weep. I knew tomorrow would be better, but I had been physically drained and exhausted for days, and everything seemed overwhelming.

But life goes on, pour, fill, stack; pour, fill, stack.

That’s also how the boy in the story felt. He lived in the valley at the base of a large dam. Every day his father would go to work on the mountain behind the house and return home with a wheelbarrow full of dirt. “Pour the dirt in the bags, Son,” his father would say. “And stack them in front of the house.” The boy obeyed but he also complained. Why didn’t his father give him what other fathers gave their sons? They got toys and games; he got dirt.

He objected to his father, “They have fun. I have dirt.” The father would smile, place his arm on his son’s shoulders and say, “Trust me, son. I’m doing what is best.”

Every day the father would bring the load of dirt and every day his son would fill the bags. “Stack them as high as you can, Son,” the father would say as he went for more. And so his son filled the bags and piled them so high that he couldn’t see over them.

“Work hard, Son,” the father said one day, “We’re running out of time.” As the father spoke, he looked at the darkening sky. The son stared at the clouds and turned to ask about them, but when he did the thunder cracked and the sky opened. The rain poured so hard he could scarcely see his father through the rain. “Keep stacking, son!” And as he did, the son heard a mighty crash.

The water of the river poured through the dam and toward the little village. In no time the tide swept everything in its path, but the stacked dirt gave the boy and his father the time they needed and the father led his son to safety.

They ran to the side of the mountain behind their house and into a tunnel. In a matter of moments they exited the other side, hurrying up the hill they came to a new cottage. “We’ll be safe here,” the father told his son.

Only then did the son realize what his father had done… he had denied him fun and games for a season so that he could prepare a safe passage and a safe place for him.

That night after I had wept at my Daddy’s feet I had gotten up with renewed strength to face down any challenge. My circumstances had not changed, I still had to get up the next day and pour, fill and stack. But I’ve found that taking time to sit at God’s feet empowers me to overcome life’s situations. Seeking Him reminds me I am loved well and I can trust Him completely.

So bring more dirt, Daddy. You know what’s best. See, I’m pouring, filling and stacking as you transform me, prepare me and use me.

The Challenge: Endure hardship like a good soldier…
The Promise: You will seek me and find when you chase after me with all your heart

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Learning the Faith Walk – Stepping on your fear

Leave fear behind and do the faith walk

"Join the faith walk, it dispels fear"

I hate saying this out loud, so I’m just going  to whisper — “I can’t swim”. Just imagine, an island girl who has loved and spent so much time at the beach never learning to swim. I love the ocean and when I think of vacation I think about heading to the beach. Refreshing means cool water against my body, waves massaging me, causing me to relax and unwind, lounging on the beach enjoying nature, and for some reason swimming was never a part of that. It was time to make a change, however, so I decided to use the pool at the “Y” to rectify this situation and almost a year later I’m just having a breakthrough.

I’ve always known that the thing that has hindered me most from learning to swim is that though I love the water I’m also terrified of it. My comfort level has always been where my feet can still feel solid ground beneath me and if I can’t feel it, fear sets it. FEAR — that paralyzing, limiting, stagnating force that keeps us stuck, casts doubts on our efforts and if not challenged robs us of our courage to try, move, learn, change, grow, leave, achieve and conquer.

I had to deal with that fear because I was determine to make a change — I needed a breakthrough. But this breakthrough actually came as a result of seeing other people trying and learning more so than having someone teach me. I happened to be at the pool when a class showed up for a make-up session. I watched fearful, timid, uncertain grown ups as they followed their instructor’s directives—splash around, sink, gasp and fail but kept right on trying. I had not paid to take this class but I decided to observe, try and learn as much as I could.

I listened and joined in the splashing, much sinking and gasping, then a light came on. Instead of allowing fear to cause me to reach for the comfort of firm footing when I felt I was sinking, I realized I became buoyant when I relaxed, and moving my arms and legs lifted me and caused me rise to the surface. It was amazing! The more I experienced positive buoyancy and was able to move in the water, the more I wanted to try. Soon I forgot about fear and afterward wondered why I had allowed fear to hold me captive for so long.

This seemingly simple lesson has re-enforced my journey to ensure that fear is not controlling any area of my life. I’ve been learning the faith walk, that is recognizing my fear triggers and in faith stepping on and over those things that otherwise would hold me captive. I’m developing confidence in the One who reminds me to “Fear not,” that is allowing me to trust and relax, enabling me to not sweat the small or large stuff as I journey. I’ve learned to keep moving and if I fail to get up and try again. As I grow and change there is this hunger for more growth and a new voice of faith is replacing that old voice of fear.

Is it fear that’s keeping you where you are? Is it fear that’s making it impossible for you to stay put? Is it fear that’s causing you to conform, to feed that desire to fit in? This is Dona Halliday challenging you to face your fears and experience the transforming power of the “faith walk”.

Take a listen to my favorite worshiper, Pastor Donnie McClurkin’s, I]l trust you Lord

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