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It's okay. You can do it!

My abdominal muscles complained as I pushed myself through one more set of crunches that morning. In response to a few stray groans, Lyla rushed to my side, took my hand and said with all the focus and intensity she could muster,

"It's okay. You can do it!"

I finished the set asymmetrically with my right hand tenderly yet tenaciously clasped in both of hers.

In this seemingly trivial moment, my two-year-old saw beyond my immediate struggle, and because she recognized my potential, did not seek to remove me from suffering, but sustained me through it and enabled me to become something more than I was.

REALLY?  Developmentally, I'm just not sure that her thoughts moved through such complexity, but her words and actions that day were certainly reflective of her divine heritage and potential.

I have felt the spiritual equivalents of those crunches, as everyone has. Times of prolonged suffering, crushing sorrow, having to push through, and facing seemingly insurmountable obstacles are not unique to my own experience. I have also felt my Heavenly Father rush to my side to say,

"It's okay. You can do it!"

It has not been my experience in life to have God remove me from pain, injustice, or hardship. Instead, as my Lyla so eloquently reflected, He comforts, fortifies, and sustains me as I overcome and grow.

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Michele and her husband, Wes, live in Washington state where most of her exercise comes from keeping up with their five active children. She also runs laps around their property, followed closely by a barking Old English Sheepdog and several small children trying to "tag" her. For added variety, she sometimes tosses toddler-aided abdominal crunches into the mix. Keep up with her at Five in the Foothills.

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