As an SLM, I learned perseverance and trust. I learned to let God, other people, and even places surprise me with their goodness. I once thought perseverance meant blindly forging ahead while pretending not to be bothered by whatever trials I had to endure. Jesus died for me on the cross, people said, so why couldn’t I just deal with the pain? But perseverance isn’t forging or dealing or comparing. God is not asking me to carry my own cross so that I might impress him with my strength. He is asking me to go beyond the end of myself so that I might learn to rely on him. Perseverance is moving forward while holding on to hope. Along the way, I tell God I can’t do it. This is pointless. It’s not going to work. I want to give up. Then, God whispers to me, "Hold on. Just one more moment." He wants me to keep walking when I can’t see where I’m going because the view from where he is leading me is better than anything I could imagine.