It is like a storm, that all of sudden takes us by surprise. The rain keeps pouring, and we reach for an umbrella to dry ourselves from the rain. Sometimes life can feel like this, the rain keeps coming – it is a torrential downpour. However, it is how we deal with the storms that make all the difference. The rains can bring new growth, can cultivate new beginnings, and bloom new life. Rain…Fresh…Renewed…New life.
I have felt that this past year and a half has been encompassed with challenge after challenge. But I have realized that the challenges teach us adversity. The challenges give us strength and build our character and give us the capacity to deal with more. But for some, it is hard not to give into the fear. Perhaps this is how you feel right now.
Fear can be one of the biggest tumbling blocks. Fear can take over the body and the soul. Have you ever felt like it seems that every time you turned around there was another problem to deal with?
“I can’t take this, what next?”
“My life is never going to get better.”
“Every time I turn around it is something else.”
“How much can a person take?”
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5: 6-10 NIV)
The self-doubt and fear is easy to give into. Once individuals begin to think like this, it is hard to get out of this line of thinking. Fear becomes a vortex of emptiness. It can be like holding a glass of water. If you were to hold the glass filled with water, at first it would feel light and easy… But as time goes on the glass begins to feel heavy, your wrist hurts, and your fingers feel weak. This is the burden of fear. The more you continue to be fearful or worry the pain gets harder to handle. There is a constant enemy that wants us to believe the fearful thoughts are true. I felt fearful the other day.
This past year has been such a roller coaster. With my injury, coming so close to death, my mom and dad get injured during the year it was a journey all on its own. Time had passed and our bodies were starting to feel good again. Finally I felt like things had reached a state of calm again. Then we find out that my mother has two major medical issues. I was overwhelmed, but I took heart in the Divine and realized that we would get through this too. The journey of last year brought me much perspective on how to deal with the hard times and to rely on Something bigger than myself. I have changed my perspective and so can you.
What if we thought all of these problems that pile up in our lives were merely opportunities for learning or new growth? What if the storm brought us new life, a new perspective and renewal? I truly believe this, it is how we look at things that makes all of the difference. Ask for Grace. Give yourself some grace, and look at the situation through a loving lens.
Win or Lose, I Will Survive
The best way to find myself is to be lost. It’s at those times
when I’m vulnerable, weak, and scared that I learn the most.
In my quest for answers, my search for the right path, I
discover who I really am: a courageous soul, a brave warrior,
a fighter. And with the help of family, friends, and faith, I
finally conquer and find my way. I emerge stronger and have
a deeper sense of what make me special and unique. I know
every obstacle is really an opportunity, and that win or lose,
I will survive.
By Joanne Hirase-Stacey
Yes, every obstacle is an opportunity… An opportunity to ask for His Grace. The sun will shine after the rain, and the green grass will grow and the flowers will bloom.
 Serenity prayers, june cotner