“I think I hit my threshold,” I said in exasperation to a friend. Heart racing. Blood pumping. Angst rising. Patience shot. I motioned my right hand toward my forehead.
“Up. To. Here!” I huffed in desperate complaint, and my friend’s eyes widened with concern.
“Uh-oh. What happened?” She asked, genuinely wanting to know. I spilled the aggravating details of my frustration. She listened intently and talked me off the ledge of quitting. I was ready to throw in the towel that day.
I’ve had more days like that than I care to count. They keep piling up one after another. Tiny issues seem to grow bigger beyond repair. It isn’t just one thing coming at me but multiple things. Life can have so many unexpected twists and turns that I was left breathless, restless, even fed up, and worn out. I was on the brink of giving up.
If I shield my front side, my back is exposed. If I duck to the left, my right side is exposed. If I cover my head, my feet are still exposed. I cannot protect all of me, and I have been ready to throw in the towel, to sit in a corner until the storm blows over. Life has been this way – assailing me in my most vulnerable moments. It’s bee battering the door to my heart and hope with relentless pressure and pain. But after speaking with my friend that day, I stopped to think through my concerns and the obstacles so I could guard my mind with peace. Once the heat of the feelings passed, I took another look to dig deeper to the root cause of the issue.
I learned a while ago I cannot ignore my feelings. I have to acknowledge what is the root, the real issue to be dealt with so I can overcome. I have to stop and ask myself why I’m reacting as I am or in what ways are my threshold is being challenged. If a threshold breaks, that doesn’t mean it’s going to break me. If anything the boundaries of my thresholds are flexing in ways I had not previously conceived. I find it interesting how asking the hard questions, takes the steam out of the emotions and gives me a chance to think objectively. Of course, the answer is never an easy one nor an obvious one. It’s the answer that demands a change in me – a change in heart, belief, response, and perspective. It requires a conscious act of my will, a choice to think differently so I can live free.
I decide not to throw in the towel. There is something deeper to explore which is a doorway to overcoming the trials and adversity. There is an invitation to living free that means exercising my faith and endurance muscles. I am willing to go there and see what God is doing. He’s taking me higher and closer to places of faith where I have to drop old baggage that has become a hindrance to my growth.
Thresholds are giving way to maturity and perseverance in me. They are like doorways of intensity where a reaction is about to breakout because of the pressure. Those moments I think I have exceeded my limits are becoming defining moments in which I gather strength, grace, and resolve to continue moving forward. As the limits are tested beyond what I think I can bear, I find an unexplainable tenacity to persevere and hold faith. A deeper hope is summoned in me that I could not have produced on my own without the struggle or pain. I find breakthrough. I find a deliverance from what I once perceived as personal weakness.
Thresholds can be those places and times in which we find ourselves coming into the full effect of what it means to be whole – lies break away and truth becomes our steel. What is meant for us to be and do comes into full and mighty effect when we cross a threshold. We do not break, but we bend with resilience. The moment we’re ready to throw in the towel is the moment we need to press in the most. The breakthrough is coming. It’s about to breach the limits of our expectations.
As I ponder moving forward, I think about all the ways I cannot protect myself. But then I am reminded of how I am hemmed in. God goes before me, behind me, and all around me. He protects every part of me. He watches over me. He sees and knows the places where thresholds will be crossed, and He leads me through each one so I can overcome. His grace appears in the uncommon hours and deepest of dark valleys. He gets my frustration, but reminds me to hold faith and not give up. Victory is coming if I just keep on keeping on.
When I feel like I’m ready to throw in the towel at the threshold’s breaking point, I throw myself on the mercy of God. He gives me strength to endure, and hope rises. I know breakthrough is coming.