Swimming Uphill

Facing an uphill battle can be daunting, intimidating, and tiring. So often, we are faced with challenges that leave us with one of two options: lay down and quit or dig our heels in deep and keep on climbing. Looking back on the various aspects of life, I realize that I’ve responded in both ways and have gained valuable insight through those experiences and both types of responses.

Recently, my four year old daughter, Caroline, began swimming lessons. I’ll have you know that I pride myself on having good, well-behaved children. Unfortunately, my pride often gets a nice reality check. At her first day of swimming lessons, Caroline experienced extreme fear; such fear that her theme song of “Sweet Caroline” was quickly replaced by “Cry Baby Cry.” Prior to her lessons, she had recently experienced a mild set back in a swimming pool and wanted no part of reliving that experience, regardless of there being a capable, knowledgeable swim instructor by her side.

However, over the next few days, Caroline eventually realized that her fear could be conquered with a little help, a little determination, and a little bit of hard work (and perhaps even more persuading: the promise of a generous ice cream scoop at the end of the week if she complied).

What she quickly learned was she could do what originally seemed so frightening. The water, while having the potential to be dangerous, could be conquered by taking steps to learn the correct way to swim, but even more importantly: not giving up. I was able to attend her last swim lesson and see firsthand the difference a few days of hard work and determination can make.

Can you relate to Caroline’s fear? Not of swimming necessarily, although certainly a fear many of us have or once had. But rather of simply being faced with what seems like an earth shattering challenge that we simply cannot or do not want to attempt. I believe we, especially as believers, have an unmatched responsibility to not only overcome but also conquer life’s challenges…especially if the betterment of others is at stake.

Obtaining new licenses for our recently completed homes has been nothing short of a challenge. With the red tape placed on providers like BVT to open new facilities, we simply had one of two options: accept it and wait for someone else to do something, or (as Kevin Dinnin often says) “find another way up the hill.”

The saying “it will take an act of Congress to get this done” has never been more real to me than now. As many of you know, our team has worked diligently with local and state leaders to rewrite laws to allow HHSC to change the way they redistribute ICF licenses. I realize many of you had an active role in that process. Hopefully, you have heard that “our bill”, HB 3117, passed in mid-June and was signed into law. And while this does not guarantee a license for BVT, it certainly changes the way in which licenses are now dispositioned by HHSC; making our path to a license much wider.

I talk about this not to tout anything I have done, but simply to encourage others to never give up on facing their own battles or challenges. When you hit a road block, find another path. For this is the only way one has ever achieved anything.

Life is full of challenges. Some big…some small, but each one telling of the character and qualities that we individually possess. God created us for big things. I am thankful that our residents at BVT are able to respond to challenges. That they are given opportunities each day at BVT to do hard things. For it is when we do “hard things” that important lessons are learned: our confidence grows, we learn new abilities, and we see the impact of how relying on God’s strength can help us overcome trying times.

Albert Einstein once said “Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.” I challenge all of us this month to evaluate our attitudes. When faced with an uphill battle, what will be your attitude? Simply give up…or dig in your heals?

I think there’s a lot we can learn from a little girl learning to swim. Or at least there is for me.

Until next time,

Steven Campbell
Executive Director