“This summer has been a whirlwind.”
The phrase that I, and everybody I run into seem to be saying on repeat. What is it about the sweet things that make them go by so fast, and the hard things that make them drag into what feels like eternity?
To be honest this summer feels like a testing time for me. Like I’ve been tossed a basket of circumstances out of my control and am grasping at ways to handle it all, while not doing any of it gracefully. My brain is telling me I don’t have the capacity for one more thing, but my heart is telling me I’m stronger than I think.
I recently caught up with an old friend for coffee, and was sharing a little about my life lately. She looked me in the eyes and said, “You know I was just thinking of you last week, and I thought to myself, Katie is an overcomer.” I could barely make eye contact as emotion welled up in me. Feelings of inadequacy, shame where I felt like I had quit hoping and believing, anger toward the Lord, and defiance toward that word- overcomer. I’m sorry but I’d rather not be called that. You’re only called an overcomer if you have something to overcome, some big mountain looming in front of you.
[Overcomer: to get the better of in a struggle; conquer; defeat]
I remember high school graduation at my little private school so clearly. As each student was called forward we were presented our diplomas, and given an additional word to describe us.
I remember the feelings of confusion. My friends were getting words like loyal, kind, intelligent, and I had received this word resilient. (And I can almost guarantee you I probably was digging deep into my so-done-with-education brain to understand the meaning).
[“the ability to spring back; the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”]
Isn’t it funny how for years I never fully understood how that word applied to me. We are our own worst critics, and in my mind there wasn’t a tough bone in my body.
This is not just a “women empowerment, you can do anything you put your mind to, just rise above” kind of anthem. This is me sharing as someone who is in the trenches, and understands how unpleasant trenches can be. Overcoming (whatever your thing is) does sound SO empowering, but yet it is so not glamorous at all. It can be a long climb up the mountain before you even catch a glimpse of the peak.
Right now, in this “testing summer,” I am learning that it is in these times that I am more driven than ever to understand the Lord, to understand His promises, to ground myself in what He says, to fill my mind with what is true. I have to. Where else will my hope come from? This is my most recent revelation. The tried and true, common verses that you've probably memorized a million times before, yet they are speaking to me in a whole new way right now.