Bruce was up against the wall. At 22, he’d signed a major record deal and thought he was on the road to success. But after two disappointing albums, the label was on the verge of letting him go.

He had one more chance to prove he could be a commercial success. If he failed, he would be broke and unemployed. Feeling the pressure of the studio and his band, he agonized for six months over the title cut to the album alone.

Upon hearing the first song, label executives thought so little of it they considered not finishing the album. A producer had to leak it to radio stations for the label to begin seeing it gain airplay before green-lighting the rest of the project.

Finishing the album was tremendously challenging. Bruce kept pushing his band and everyone working on the album to produce the sounds he heard in his head. At one point, they worked eight days nonstop. The sound engineer resorted to chewing the aluminum foil gum wrapper just to stay awake.

Ultimately, Bruce saw his vision come to fruition. The hard work paid off. The record, which Rolling Stone magazine ranked as the 18th greatest album of all time, catapulted Bruce’s career. Some even argue that it saved rock ‘n roll.

The year was 1975. The album was "Born to Run," and the artist is Bruce Springsteen.

Each of us has dreams. It might be to find a spouse. It’s possible it's a better job. Whatever it is, we can see it as clearly as if it were happening before us.

Like Bruce, many of the families who come to Buckner Family Pathways and Buckner Family Hope Centers have their backs against the wall. They are fighting to stay together. Some are struggling simply to survive.

These families are filled with fighters. They’re constantly pushing for a better life they believe must be out there if they could just figure out how to get there. They’ve tried a host of different ways to get there, but their visions for their lives hasn’t yet become reality. Buckner gives them the tools to achieve their visions.

Buckner families run into obstacles that stand between them and their goals. The families that change their lives push through those obstacles. They believe what they’re seeking is important enough to keep trying, keep plugging away. Though they may see their visions fully realized, they see God work in beautiful ways. They experience unexpected blessings.

This week, let’s push through what stands between us and what God is calling to do. Let’s experience his unexpected blessings.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. —James 1:2-4

Deeper reflection:

  • What obstacles have you overcome in your life?
  • How did you feel after overcoming those obstacles?

Next step:

  • Look for ways to encourage and help someone who is encountering obstacles in his or her life.

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