In thinking about the letter “E,” the words energy and endurance came to mind. As I started working on my image, I wasn’t sure which one I was going to talk about, or what I would even say, so I created something that might tie the two words together. Obviously, this woman has energy, and it’s possible she’s trying to build her endurance. Still, I was drawing a blank.
And then I found my inspiration (thank you Google). This incredible quote by William Barclay…
“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”
As a recovering alcoholic who is now joyously sober (going on 5 years next month), and an agnostic turned believer, this quote really resonated with me. When you’re living a life of transformation, and sharing that story with others… it can be terrifying at first. Self-doubt loves to rear it’s ugly head and whisper things like “What if you fail? What if you screw it all up? What will your story say about you then?!?“
It’s a weird place to be. You want to tell EVERYONE the story of how God changed your life, with the innocence and excitement of a child, but you also sense that you’ll have to bear the weight of this HUGE adult responsibility… you have to STAY that way. You have to STAY sober. Otherwise, your story will be like so many other stories out there. “Yeah, God changed me alright. But then I turned around and changed myself back.”
If there is anything good at all that comes from the dark times that so many of us experience—no matter what those dark times might be—it’s that these trials, hardships and adversities make us stronger. They build our endurance. We have to get to the other side of them first, of course, but once we do… we are different.
The way I see it now is that if I was able to live through the hell that I put myself through when I was in my disease, I sure as hell can live out my sobriety. And with a daily surrender, there’s really nothing for me to bear. I turn it over to Him and then it’s in His hands. I get to live in His grace… and He gets all the glory.
Amen… and End of Story!
Thanks for joining me in my series Life: From A to Z. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on the letter “E,” and I’ll see you around soon for the letter “F!”
Some of you may have noticed that I’ve changed image styles again. I was recently inspired by an interesting abstract piece that I saw and so I’ve been experimenting with these motion blur backgrounds. When I added the woman (who I photographed at the beach some time ago), I noticed that the colors of her clothes and skin were blending with the water… almost perfectly. How cool is that?!