One of the biggest struggles that I have is not complaining, whining, and resisting my new life situation. It's hard because this isn't something that I can just forget about; it's in my face everyday. When I roll over in the morning, when I walk by the family photos in our home, when a child calls with a problem that dad would handle better, or when I'm handed the microphone to say something "light" at my son's wedding reception. It hits me in surprising moments too, catching me unaware. It's only natural to sigh... "If Scott were here, then..." But it's hard to leave it at that.
I used to get angry and frustrated a lot. I used to cry and rant about what a stupid plan this was for my life, but honestly that got me nowwhere... It only caused me to spiral downward into an all-out-fit of despair and hopelessness. For the most part, I have given that tactic up. (For the most part) It's way to emotionally draining and totally unproductive, but I still resist on a lesser level.
Sometimes I wish that I wasn't here, that I didn't have to still do this alone. It's hard not to look at other families and feel pangs of jealousy. But those thoughts also take me nowhere but down. The kicker is that I know that every time I allow myself to complain about my life, I am doing the equivalent of shooting myself in the foot.
It lessens my faith.
It cripples my ability to act.
It pulls me from the spirit.
It destroys hope and replaces it with despair.
It is so easy to loose sight of what this trial can teach me and to focus on the pain involved in that lesson. I can choose to let grief cloud my vision. I can let discouragement blind me to my own potential. I can focus on my weakness and become paralyzed... or I can ask to see what God sees in me.
I believe that each one of us has a plan to fulfill in this life. I believe that God allows us to go through difficulties so we can prove ourselves... prove who we are and what we are capable of, not just to God, but to ourselves. Those challenges can strengthen us... They can strengthen our confidence in the power He can give us to overcome these challenges.
Overcoming is hard work... It's tiring and sometimes I just feel like I want to quit. Sometimes I don't feel like I am strong enough, but when I think of the end game... When I go back to my understanding of the purpose of the plan, then I fall to my knees and desperately plead for extra help to see more clearly and to have the strength I need to keep pressing forward.
It's there... I have felt it. Somedays I loose it... But on my knees I find it again. He is there to strengthen and help us through all of the difficulties, and He knows that is the best way for us to really develop a relationship with Him... and He knows that relationship is critical if we are to achieve our potential.
When I loose sight, I go back to the basics. I go back to prayer and scripture study. I go back to trusting God.
No, I don't have a clear vision of the future. None of us do. That is also part of the plan and part of growing our faith, but I can have confidence that He sees it. For now that can be enough. I can choose to trust and put my faith in Him. I can choose to improve that relationship by trying to be like Him. As I do that, I feel that power reenter and the previous struggles become easier to bear.
Questions to Ponder:
- What potential does God see in you?
- What can your struggles teach you?