If you haven’t met my youngest child, Kennedy, you’re in for a treat someday. She is funny, charming, and gives the best hugs on the planet. That being said, she came out of the womb with a stubborn streak a mile long. She has always wanted things done a certain way and she would fight me to the death to make sure that happened. You can imagine with my stubborn streak the wars that we have had. The first five years of her life were challenging, but I also knew that if God could use that gift, she would be unstoppable.
Within the last year I have seen that attribute begin to mold and shape into one I admire more than anything else in the world. She is beginning to use her stubborn nature in a tenacious and focused way. In gymnastics you will often hear her mutter to herself, “I’m not stopping until I can do it.” You can literally see the determination in her eyes.
The other day she was in the swimming pool, trying to make it from one end to the other. Her sister, Delaney, was doing cannon balls in the middle of the pool, and with each jump, the waves would push Kennedy back farther from her goal. It was painful to watch as her little arms were beginning to ache and her kicks were slowing and becoming erratic. But then, true to who she is, she looked at me at the edge of the pool, and in her sweet voice, said, “I’m never giving up.”
It was one of those proud parent moments where I thought, “That is ALL I want from her. I just never want her to give up. I want her to give it all that she has, because I know that she can get to the other side.” I allowed her to struggle, although I wished desperately that I could help the journey go easier, until she reached the edge. I had to hold back the tears as I told her how proud I was that she didn’t stop.
It’s the same way in our lives as well. I think God looks at us and hopes, above all else, that we display a tenacity that will not quit. I think He just wants us to BELIEVE that we will make it, one way or another. I often wonder how close some people have gotten to something amazing, but gave up an hour to soon, a mile to soon, a moment to soon. What if we bared down and refused to stop short? What if we fought the discouragement for just a little longer? What if we lived life with the “I’m never giving up” attitude?
If you’re thinking about quitting today, why not wait one more day? Why not swim a little harder, try a little longer, focus a little stronger? You might just reach the edge despite the waves wanting to hold you where you are.