So many of us have endured some struggles that we thought would surely take us out. Yet, we made it through. Even though we may have gone through by the “skin of our teeth”, WE MADE IT. In fact, if we really take some time to assess our lives, before and after these situations, WE WILL NOTICE THAT THESE SITUATIONS USUALLY STRETCHED US, STRENGTHENED OUR FAITH, AND OVERCOME OUR FEARS. Consequently, James 1:3 states that “…when [our] faith is tested, endurance has a chance to grow” (NLV). In other words, the resolve that we have to run this race called life is usually produced by the hardships we face and the faith that we have as we go through. It’s kind of like lifting weights: if [you] want to develop muscle and form, [you’re] going to have to lift weights that seem heavy and stretch you beyond what’s comfortable.
I want to talk to you about three difficult circumstances that usually face us all and how we can use those situations to BE EMPOWERED AND EQUIPPED FOR BREAKTHROUGH.
The 3 Things That Will Make You Or Break You
For the last seven years, many of our pockets have been hit pretty hard by the “economic downturn” in this country. A number of us went from “living the life” to “losing homes in foreclosure,” because of job losses or company lay-offs. Not to mention the millions of Americans who found out that their homes were worth half of what they once paid for them; thereby putting them in further economic distress. What was once thought of as part of “the American Dream” had become a “nightmare.” Because of these things, many of us had to develop a “new normal.” We were forced to downsize and learn how to be content with less. In fact, many of us began to “get back to basics”: spend less, work more, and be happy with what we had. Thus, if we had/have the “right perspective”, we saw the lessons that came from this hardship, which enabled us to “LIVE BETTER, LOVE HARDER, AND CUT BACK ON UNNECESSARY STUFF.” There are also some of us, who because of the HARDSHIP, who were forced to take a new direction. We, by faith, stepped out and decided to create our own business, go back to school, get additional training, travel the world, etc. In other words, HARDSHIP BECAME THE IMPETUS THAT MANY OF US NEEDED TO STEP OUTSIDE OF OUR COMFORT ZONE.
Be it big or small, sickness often causes us to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and take our health more seriously. For example, I know a young lady, who because of “ weight gain, suffered a severe illness, which almost caused her to lose her sight and life. Though an extremely challenging situation, she faced it head on: SHE PRAYED, LISTENED FOR THE ANSWER, and BEGAN TO DO EXTENSIVE RESEARCH ABOUT HER CONDITION. After she got informed, she decided it was time to change her life and her eating habits. She is now a mogul in the making. With her business, “One Less Fat Chick,” she has changed her life and encourages other women to do the same by providing exercise/healthy eating tips and weight loss products. How many of us could do the same? I would love to say all of us. But, again, it is about our faith and perspective. The moral to this story: DON’T ALLOW SICKNESS TO TAKE YOU OUT. GET INFORMED, GET HEALTHY AND CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER.
3. Relationship Failures
As human beings, we were created to “be in relationship.” No matter how much of a recluse or narcissist one may be, we all long for relationship: to feel needed, cared for desired. The relationship(s) become especially intricate to our lives when they are intimate connections: you know the kind of relationships that have caused us to let down our guards and let the person(s) into our lives and hearts. Consequently, when these relationships “fall apart”, they often cause great damage to our esteem, trust, and/or confidence. Yet, even in the absence/break-up of the “relationship”, which we will all face at some point, there is an OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPORVEMENT AND LEARNING. Not only can failed relationships teach us how to value those who are in our lives, they also cause us to use our discernment, strengthen our communication, and teach us how to interact more constructively as we move forward. In fact, I use the “testimony of my relationship struggles” to empower other young women and help them to avoid many of the mistakes that I have made in both platonic and romantic relationships. I have also been able to look back at many of the failed relationships and see where I need growth, work on those things, and be empowered/equipped to have better next time.
When it’s all said and done, WE HAVE ALL FACED A STRUGGLE OR TWO; And If we keep on living, we will face more: I’m not being a negative Nancy but offering you one of the sobering realities of life. The famed poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it best, “…thy fate is the common fate of all, into every life some rain must fall” (“The Rainy Day”). So next time you are facing a struggle, remember that it can either be your breaking point or FOR YOUR MAKING: THE CHOICE IS YOUR’S.
Check out Dr. Carolyn Hall’s website www.bosschicksempowerment.com