Today I find myself thankful for the storms of life I have journeyed through. Yes, I said storms. It’s those rainy, cloudy and gloomy times that allow for great potential of patience, fortitude and faith to blossom. The hardest part of these storms is that there is no RADAR in which we can know how long they will last. We can be driven into a dark tunnel.
Every minute we are in the tunnel we have choices: to move forward and find the other end or to just sit down, never finding the joy and peace that lurk on the other side. Sometimes groping our way through the dark is uncomfortable and awkward. While we feel our way through, the rough edges leave us with a new roughness on the outside, but also leaves us different as we emerge. In the storm and the dark tunnel we find we are tougher than we thought, on the other side we learn how wonderful being changed can be.
Emerging on the brighter other side, we either move forward dragging the puddles of the storm with us, or we move forward standing tall having survived, but not without a few painless scars that only show when we choose for them too.
Today I am thankful for several storms I have overcome. They are long behind me, but today I was able to reach into the tunnel to shine a light for a friend in need of knowing the storm is only on one end of the tunnel. Today, I am grateful for being comfortable enough with the journey I have made, to be very real with my friend. I will gladly shine the light on her path until she emerges.
You’ve heard me share about how exhausting high-drama people can be. UUUGGGHHH. But recently, I’ve wondered more about whiny people – complainers. Why are these people so discontent? Why is nothing ever good enough? The next question in my mind is, it they had the opportunity to design their day’s activities, weather and interactions to their liking, would they really like it? Or would they not even know how to survive such a day?
At some point in everyone’s life something bad happens. The country music industry is proof of that. How many songs are all about heart-ache and double crossing meanness? Maybe you were shorted an opportunity as a child, as a young adult someone lies or breaks your heart, or as a professional someone discredits you to the point of losing your job. Take a look at these three scenarios — what’s the commonality? What could you control? Finding yourself as a victim offers the opportunity for choices.
You have the choice to stay down in the situation and wallow, or you can take charge of your responsibility in the situation, how did it get as bad as it did? What could you have done differently? Answers to these questions allow the freedom to grow as a person, move forward and not remain stuck.
Even if it takes years to grow up and out of the situation, at some point in order to be free of the chains of victimization, you have to own the situation, learn from it and grow into a wiser person.
Hanging on to unfair situations in the past only burdens the future. This process of overcoming injustices can be amazing and freeing. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is work on bettering yourself and breaking free when others around you don’t live by the same life-long values.
Consider yourself challenged to do some soul-searching and decide today what stronghold or area of your life needs addressing. Can you see yourself as successfully walking away from being a victim and being free from whatever restricts you from being the best you were created to be? Is it an area that at the end of your days you will be thankful you addressed?
Fear gets a bad rap. Fear shouldn’t be a primary emotion or state of being; but it does have value. There is respectable fear of those in authority; or the awareness that comes from the fear of walking down a dark street at night. What about the fear that motivates?
In 2010 when I was unemployed, the fear of letting a depressing situation overtake me got me out of bed every morning and kept me from going back to bed when I was home alone. When my jeans get a little tight, the fear of “out-growing” them motivates me to eat a little healthier so as to not gain unwanted weight.
The Bible says that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Godly wisdom birthed from fear leads to knowledge and life according to several passages. Something so unwanted as the emotion of fear can lead to a greater understanding of ourselves and our great and powerful God.
Fear has a dark side. Fear can be paralyzing. In those frozen moments it takes character, fortitude and faith to look beyond the fear to what happens when it is overcome.