There's an old saying. It goes like this,"The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It's about what you're made of not the circumstances." And this is how I've chosen to think of my relationship with my old friend, Struggle and her sister Difficulty. When it comes to these two, the best way of thinking is something along the lines of Thelma A.Myer's quote,"Blessed are the flexible I always say. they shall never be bent out of shape." She has definitely got that one down correctly. Being flexible in any situation or circumstances Struggle and Difficulty throw your way is sound advice if I can say so myself. I mean I understand very well the difficulties life offers us. I don't have to explain this to many folks. My life has been full of those little, "Let me stir the pot for you sweetie" moments. From being diagnosed at age 8 with type 1 diabetes, to pre-term labor, a stroke, breast cancer, a child with a TBI and another on the spectrum and everything else under the sun, I have learned to simply go through whatever comes my way. Trying too hard to avoid the darkness, the pain or the hardships many times only leads to more of them. Believe me I know, Struggle has relentlessly decided to turn the flames up any time she's had the chance. My life has been a constant tug of war between me and the Chaos sisters, Struggle and Difficulty. It's really about how you play the game though. Do you give up or press on?
I've learned personally many times over, even when I'm not happy about it,"God is not going to deliver me from every difficulty. He is not going to keep me from every challenge. If He did, I would never grow. The scripture says, "Our faith is tried in the fire of affliction." When I'm in a tough time, that's the opportunity to show God what I'm made of." Life, it's hard there is no arguing that but it's also beautiful and worth every struggle we face. The truth is even if we can't understand that in the short- term the fire within us won't die out in the long-term unless we allow it to. We can be strong, and yet soft, weak in the moment and yet fierce and mighty in battle without ever being defeated in spite of our failures. Seriously, as so well said by Mama Indigo,"The best thing you could do is MASTER the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire. YOU ARE THE FIRE." How many times, when our old friend, Struggle shows up do we remind ourselves, we are the fire? I know for myself, I'm made of more than one tiny spark and that fire, the one burning inside of me, through me , the one that is me has been stoked and tended to by my Father's hands. Struggle, well she's just a well-meaning old friend who occasionally fuels the fire. The thing about our old friend is she likes a good fight, an occasional scuffle or conflict. She may even put her foot out just as we're crossing the finish line causing us to trip. The reality is without her I know for myself, I wouldn't understand the light within me is brighter than any darkness she could ever muster up. I guess I see things the way Winston Churchill did, you gotta keep going, pushing through, going through it, not around it. The truth about Struggle and her sister Difficulty is they are both key components in our growth. We can resent them, resist them, become hard and callous or we can simply go through it just as this life lesson is titled.
Life isn't easy, we can all agree on that for sure and I think that's a constant resounding theme for most of us actually. It doesn't really matter who you are, where you're from or even what you're struggling with for that matter. Each time we face Difficulty and Struggle, we become deeper, stronger people. What I've learned in my relationship with the Chaos sisters is this,"Rock bottom has built more heroes than privilege." We are equal when it comes to grief. It takes time to go through the woods, it takes time to work through hurt and suffering and it takes time to heal from a broken heart and injured spirit. Eventually though, most of us make it out of the woods. From 'A Woman of Faith' and out of 1 Samuel 22:30 I stand myself on these words,"May my heart be kind, my mind fierce and my spirit brave." And this is where I leave you today, at the end of Life Lesson #138 ~ Go Through It... one side and out the other. We keep going and we come out changed for the most part, better, a little tattered and bruised but richer and passionate nonetheless
After all, "The best way out is always through."