“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
At any time in your life you know people who are going through difficult times. Few of them get up one morning and say, “I think I want something difficult to be part of my life, and I want it to stay around until I become strong, courageous and confident.” I worked with two young women one summer who prayed that God would send them deep troubles so they could grow. I’m here to tell you that that ain’t me, honey. My philosophy is to “never trouble trouble until trouble troubles me…”
I doubt any of you reading this have lived a painless life. If you’ve made it through intact, you know that it always changes you. Some people become surly through difficulties. It’s hard to grow in grace when you are being surly. I know. I’ve been surly and difficult – and miserable. It’s hard marching through a tunnel without being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel – and sometimes you don’t see it until you literally turn around that last corner.
The thing is, even when you feel like you are toting a boulder on your back, and you can’t take another step, if you look for it, help will come. It may be someone who helps carry the boulder for a short way. That can encourage you for the next ten miles. Another time, after you’ve dumped a load of surly or ugly on someone they turn around and forgive you before you even ask forgiveness. It may be a kind word from a stranger that lights your candle one day, or another day a song. It might be a caring friend or family member who can make you smile and laugh.
So, to those of you who have encouraged me in one way or another, those who have given me a hand up when I deserved a boot, I thank you, and I thank God for you.