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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson


CoAmer Games

On the day I called, you answered me. You increased my strength of soul. Psalm 138:3

Last week one of the Summit speakers talked about “increasing our pain threshold.” The phrase resonated with me, and I wrote it down. It turned out to be one of those morsels I’d take away and chew on a while.

I think our family has crossed something of a threshold this summer. I’ve been aware of this a lot lately. Those growing pains that used to consume us are much less noticeable. Maybe a twinge here and there, but nothing to worry about. Most days we feel considerably healthier. And stronger.

I’m stronger for sure. I realized it a couple of weeks ago when I came across this verse in the psalm. On the day I called, you answered me. You increased my strength of soul. Have you ever noticed how the wording of something can kind of awe you? You increased my strength of soul. That’s it. The very thing God has been doing these past twenty or so months. All of this crazy stretching. It’s increasing the strength of my soul.

It’s a prayer I used to pray, and truth be told there have been times I’ve regretted praying it. God increase my capacity… And then during those days of intense expanding I told him straight out he could stop. No thank you. I’ve reached my limit and then some.

But now, looking back. All of these increases seem to be shaping my story.

Our story. Because what’s happening to me is certainly happening to all of us.

I read a book earlier this month, by Malcom Gladwell. David and Goliath. This quirky author weaves stories and research to support his conclusion that obstacles and hardships can make us stronger, giving underdogs a surprising advantage. And the whole time I was reading I was thinking about two boys from Colombia who are my sons, and how this book could be about them.

Goodness knows, if I’ve been stretched, they’ve been pulled to limits I can’t even imagine. They call me Mom, but I don’t know half their stories. If ever there were kids who’ve faced a few obstacles it’s been them. And here’s Gladwell painting this picture of ALL the advantages of facing affliction. It was rather exciting, realizing the resilience and resourcefulness innate to my boys might just give them a leg up in the future. And I have every reason to think it might.

A couple of weeks ago I did something I’d never done before in order to stretch my own limits. I did it on purpose as recreation, so I’m not even sure it really counts. But ever since walking the high ropes challenge I’ve had this cool sense of accomplishment. I did it. I overcame that particular fear.

Courage, of course, is not the absence of fear – but it’s doing the thing while we’re still afraid. I’ve never been all that good at courage. Still not, if I’m going to be honest. But just maybe I’m increasing.

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