Hanging on by a Thread

Have you ever felt like you were hanging on by a thread? I bet you’ve heard that phrase before, and my guess is that you’ve experienced this feeling in some area in your life. Maybe you’ve had a moment when you felt like your marriage or career was hanging on by a thread. Maybe it was your patience or your willingness to sit and listen.

I don’t know when it’s showed up in your life, but I also guess that there is probably somebody reading this today and saying, “Yes, I definitely know that feeling. I’m there right now!”

I have a few things to say about these “hanging on by a thread” moments that I hope will be encouraging to you. The first thing I want to do is encourage you to not give up or lose hope. Going through these tough moments in life is normal. I don’t mean that everybody has been through the exact thing that you’re going through; rather, the experience of feeling like things are chaotic around (and inside of) you is one that other people have also made it through. You’re not the first person to have these feelings, and you don’t have to go through this alone.

If you’re struggling to see how you can make your way through, reach out for help. Talk with close friends and family members. Just know that while you’re probably hoping somebody will offer you a solution, that’s less important than the fact that you know you’re not alone during this hard time. Even if the comfort and advice you get from people doesn’t exactly apply to your situation, you will most likely feel encouraged and comforted just by the fact that they took time to be there for you. If what you’re going through is more than you and your current support system can handle, reach out to a counselor or coach.

I’ve had these “hanging on by a thread” days before too. Thankfully, for most of us, that’s not our day-in, day-out experience. Typically, these are seasons that may last longer than we’d like, but most don’t last forever. That means we eventually pass through it. Now, if you’ll let me, I want to remind you of something important. It’s something that feels deeply unfair and upsetting, but it’s also true. These “hanging on by a thread” moments are where you can really grow. When everything is going smooth in life, it’s hard to develop resilience and strength. Just like it’s hard to get muscular if your only exercise routine is occasional yardwork. We grow by facing adversity and resistance.

It’s upsetting to read and certainly feels like the worst time to have to summon more energy or motivation, but when you’re there, seek to grow deeper. They’re overwhelming moments to live through, but they’re the kinds of moments we can look back on after the fact and see just how meaningful they were for our growth, character, perseverance, and wisdom. They’re the kinds of moments where we can really grow in our ability to win more often at home.