A number of years ago, I was speaking with a woman who had gone through a nasty divorce. She described how the 12 year battle had devastated every aspect of her life. Financially she was in ruins, her family was pulled apart, her job had suffered, she had lost the house, and her anxiety had spiked, making sleep, concentration, and joy seemingly impossible.
“I wish I never married him. I wish I never even met him!” She told me. “I wish it never happened.”
“But then how would you have had your daughter?” I asked.
There are a number of things in my life that I wish never happened. There are a number of choices I made that I wish I had made differently.
But now that I’ve put a few years between me and them, now that I’ve taken a few steps forward, I can look back on them and see that the struggle wasn’t the end. Each and every time I’ve gone through struggle or made poor choices, something better has come of it.
I’ve learned something.
I’ve met someone new.
I’ve experienced the depth of forgiveness.
I’ve gotten stronger.
I’ve been humbled.
Or it’s provided me a necessary stepping stone on my journey somewhere else.
Now I’m not saying that we go looking for trouble or that we purposefully make poor choices. Life hands us enough challenges and we go wandering into enough trouble without having to go hunt for some.
Struggle will arise. That’s a promise.
But the book doesn’t close there. It’s not the last act. The curtains will not close on the struggle. The hardship doesn’t get the final say. The promise continues. The promise is that even if you’re going through hell, it’s not the end. The best will always come from it.
This has a name. It is called faith.
Here’s a phrase that I use to keep my faith strong.
It doesn’t always turn out good, but it always, always turns out for the best.
Here’s what this means. With limited vision, we judge the situation to be not good, or even bad. It’s uncomfortable, unpleasant, and challenging. But in the end - whenever that end is - it always turns out. It doesn’t just turn out good; no, it turns out better than it ever possibly could have without the challenging situation!
What are the things in your past that you wish never happened? What are the choices you wish you never made?
What good things in your life are only possible because you went through those struggles and mistakes?
What are you struggling with right now?
How might that struggle be different if you held onto the faith that this struggle doesn’t get the final say, that something more beautiful than you could imagine will come out of it?
Here’s to Conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts
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Practical Strategies to Deal with Daily Stressors
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