Sink or Swim

I don’t understand, how can people can call me strong when I feel so weak? How can they call me beautiful when I feel so ugly? How can they call me productive when all I’ve done is wasted in bed?? Then I realize the answer is one word—Jesus.

This past year I’ve been broken, I’ve been bruised, but I’ve been made new. I’ve been stronger and weaker than I’ve ever been in my life. This may feel like a description that many of you would use for 2013.

It’s not that I wasn’t ready for the challenges I had in 2013, I just wasn’t anticipating them. God  is faithful to never let us face any temptation we are not able to resist, so He prepared my heart to be ready before the car accident happened and the trial of disablement hit. When I look back at the past couple of years, I see that God was teaching me the lessons I would need to know for right now. That way, when the challenge of disablement hit me I wouldn’t turn from Him, but instead I would cling to Him- and that would bring me through.

As we were approaching a new year from 2013 to 2014 I had some mixed emotions. There was a part of me that was more than ready to say good-bye to 2013. It had been a year of pain for me, literally. At the same time I wanted to push 2014 farther away. I wasn’t ready to enter a new year because I wasn’t where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to enter another year disabled, recovering, and bedridden.  I didn’t want to go through another year of pain and recovery.

God knew where I was at and He knew I needed encouraged. So I was really blessed when we had some family friends come over to pray for me. During their prayer they said, “God I pray that this year would be a new beginning, rather than a new end.”  We continued to pray and as we continued to pray I realized how much good has come out of this past year.

God reminded me of all the ways He has changed my heart and grown me. He reminded me of the people He has touched through my injury. He reminded me of all the wonderful time I have had to just worship and spend time with Him. Why would I dread another year like that??! 2013 was an amazing year!!  It was hard, yes! It was so difficult, so painful, and SO worth it. The good far outweighed the bad. I just had to turn my physical eyes off and look for a minute with my spiritual eyes.

We have to stop focusing on and dreading hardships. Instead we need to focus on the good God has brought out of our trials in the past. I’ve learned that there can be no good that comes out of trials unless we allow it to. And when we do, it is incredible to see what God can do with our dirty ashes. We have to choose whether we are going to “sink or swim.” Maybe we can go beyond swimming and we can walk on the water.

The story of Peter walking on water is full of beautiful lessons. When Peter saw Jesus walking on the water in the distance He jumped out of the boat and started walking on the water towards Jesus. The moment he took his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the storm that surrounded them he started to sink and was soon struggling to just stay above the water.  This reminds me that I cannot focus on the storm around me, I must focus on God as I walk through this storm.

Gravity is whatever pulls you down. For us our “gravity” can be trials, obstacles, or whatever it is that “pulls us down.” In order to walk on water you must defy gravity.  There’s no way to do that except to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

I feel like I’m slowly learning to walk on water. People have asked me how I can stay so joyful when my whole world was turned around. How can I stay positive when I’ve become disabled from my car accident?? For me, when I keep my focus on the Lord and how amazing He is, I’m able to keep a thankful heart regardless of my circumstances. Maybe that is “defying gravity.” I’ve definitely gotten distracted from time to time and fallen through the water. But I just get back up and try focusing on Jesus again.

I know my trial is different than many of you. But my prayer is that God helps my readers, and myself, to keep focused on Him. I hope that each one of us will say “no” to sinking. I hope we would even say “no” to swimming, but instead we would walk on water :)!!!

 You call me out upon the waters                                                                                                                            The great unknown, where feet may fail                                                                                                            And there I find You in the mystery                                                                                                                        In oceans deep, my faith will stand                                                                                                              

Your grace abounds in deepest waters                                                                                                      Your sovereign hand will be my guide                                                                                                            Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me                                                                                                You’ve never failed, and You won’t start now                                                                                 

Hillsong United: Oceans (Where feet may fail).

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5 Responses to Sink or Swim

  1. Barnabas says:

    Hey Rachel thanks for the encouraging word appreciate you sharing with boldness, yes I totally relate to what you are saying 2013 has been a very hard year for me too but I learnt a lot, I would like to walk on the water in 2014, and The Lord gave me Psalm 65:11 and told me to claim my blessings for this year, I would encourage you to claim your blessings for this year and you will walk in victory, praying for you all the time. I do keep up with your Blog. Take care God bless

  2. Esther says:

    “…there can be no good that comes out of trials unless we allow it to…”

    Soo very true and what an amazing and inspiring post this is Rachel! I love that you are “defying gravity” – only through the grace and power of our Lord and Savior!! You touch my heart on so many levels and lead me closer to the Father through your words of truth. Thank you for sharing!!! Love and prayers! ~Esther 🙂

  3. Pingback: Choppy Thoughts Monday | Angela Giles Klocke | Colorado Springs Freelance Writer and Photographer

  4. Kirk Peterson says:

    Rachel:
    You continue to amaze me! I’m headed off to India on Sunday. When I get back, we’re scheduled to go to the cabin the weekend of February 28 – March 2. I’d like to come by for a visit either going down, or coming back. We’ll be in touch with your mom as we approach that to see how you’re feeling.
    Love, Kirk

    • rchamplin says:

      Dear Kirk, My mom read me your posts, sorry for the late reply. I havent been able to handle the computer. Thanks to you and Julie for coming to see me. It really brightened my day and blessed my Spirit. I feel so supported by your family, and I thank God that He brought you into our lives. Love, Rachel

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