Creating Character Through Trials
When life doesn’t go as planned how you handle your situation will determine how you grow from it and how it will change you in the end.
Some life circumstances come in the form of positive experiences such as new friendships or relationships, a new marriage, children, and job opportunities and experiences. When these happen in our lives they give us warm and comfortable feelings that are wonderful experiences to go through no matter how stressful they are.
However, not all life experiences have positive outcomes. There are many situations that produces stressful circumstances some of them being a death of a loved one or a close friend, a divorce, loss of employment, health issues, and potentially the loss of your home leading to homelessness. How you handle these crisis’ will determine what life lessons you will learn in the end.
Unfortunately, when we think of trials and times of stress we don’t often associate them with positive circumstances despite the fact they can harbor their own stress level. No, we usually associate them with difficult circumstances. These difficulties are ones that most often times create the ripples in the water and how we respond to those ripples will be how we grow and develop ourselves in the end.
I wish I could say I am writing from a position of successfulness here, but I can not. I am often times reminded how poorly I am reacting to many of our difficult life circumstances, but I am writing about this with the hopes that maybe my mistakes can prevent you from making the same ones.
By nature I tend to worry about things that are out of my control. I see everywhere and hear from everyone how worrying about something today does not change how the situation may turn out tomorrow, but it is hard for me to fully conquer this obstacle.
I am a person who wants to have resolution to a conflict or a crisis and until that is achieved I am worried and stressed out. I am one who if something arises I want to have plans, back up plans and back up plans to my back up plans ready so I have something to fall back on with the hopes the situation can be resolved quickly. I am not a person who likes surprises, especially when they come in the form of a negative situation.
Over the past couple of years I have struggled in this area as most of my life is out of my control. I wrote the other day about living in the shadows of other people. I wrote about that because I live in the shadows of my husband and daughter. I stay home (so I don’t provide an income for my family), but I have raised our precious daughter, homeschooled her from the very beginning and I am preparing her to live a successful adult life. She is career oriented thus college driven, but we have been delayed by several medical issues that have come up unexpectedly. This has been a struggle as it has taken her over 2 1/2 years to get successful medical treatment for what she has been through. To walk this journey has been extremely difficult because you should be able to trust doctors to identify the appropriate diagnosis, but her situation has been complicated and several doctors have turned us away due to admitting they didn’t know how to medically treat her. Unfortunately, her pain and symptoms got worse because no one could identify her problem. It wasn’t until this past July 2016 that we hit the road of medical hopelessness before we came across a wonderful doctor who wasn’t afraid to listen to her symptoms, hear what we were saying, and provided comfort to help with her pain and constant infections until she could get medical treatment. After several months of seeking specialists who might take on her difficult medical situation he remained rock steady for her and us. As a result she found hope again and with some recommendations to new doctors we are now on a road to recovery and direction.
This was a very difficult journey to travel and I wish I could say I traveled it gracefully and patiently, always carrying optimism and a smile, but I can’t. I am often times reminded how I should have done this better, but to be honest, I don’t know how I would have done it better. It has been hard to be a doctor to my daughter while she was in pain and sick beyond what I knew how to treat. It has been frustrating to watch this happen and not know what to do for her. It has been heart wrenching to watch teenagers go on with their lives while my daughter is laying down sick and in pain every day, day in and day out month after month and year after year. As a mom, I struggled through this trial remaining hopeful and optimistic in a group of doctors who didn’t care to take the time to figure out how to help my daughter. That was until the above mentioned, amazing doctor came in our lives. He provided the hope, knowledge, encouragement, and guidance in how to help my daughter. When she would experience a medical difficulty he would prepare me in how to help her until we could get to her next appointment and learned quickly that I believe in knowledge is power and he would even provide me with back up plans to my back up plans. I can now say he has been a blessing to our family and brought light to our very dark world. We are still working on getting her pain under control, but have finally found a set of specialists who have listened to her vowing to not give up on her and are willing to provide treatment no matter how unconventional it might be due to her age if it meant she would regain her quality of life.
I am proud to announce that since a surgical procedure she had in January as well as treatment she has had twice now from a different specialist she is getting much needed daily pain relief and her constant infections seem to be coming under control. She is back to doing her school work again, she is now learning to drive (which she couldn’t do for all the medicine and pain medicine she had been on the past over 2 years), and she is working every day with less struggle to get through her shift. She is regaining her life.
The ripples this situation has caused in our life have been abundant, but we are coming through it. I am still processing what I have learned and how it has impacted me. I have gone from hopelessness to hopeful, from distrusting to trusting those who earn it. I have tried to maintain a sense of faithfulness, but at times have struggled. Lastly, I have struggled with replacing frustration and anger with love and compassion, but I am constantly working on all of these daily.
I wish I could report this difficult situation has been complete and all the lessons I was to learn have been learned, but I am still walking down this difficult journey. I know now this will come to an end at some point, but right now I am thankful for the doctors she finally has and the progress she is finally making. More love and compassion is being experienced allowing for some of the ripples in our water to be softened thankfully.
So what does your story look like? What journey are you traveling that is leaving you feeling hopeless and out of control? Think about where you started your journey. What did you feel then and how do you feel now? What lessons have you learned along the way? Now would be a good time to reevaluate your entire journey so you can see not only where you are but where you have been. Taking the time to do this it should help you find a sense of encouragement by seeing you come along way. When you look at your own ripples in the water you will see yours are calming down as well. Hopefully your water will soon be as still as glass and the lessons you have learned will be as valuable as your situation was.
Hang in there sweet friend. Remember, no matter how long you travel this difficult road, it does end. All the forks will merge into one steady road and at the end there will be a sign saying dead end. You can’t go any farther, thus you journey will stop here. Once you get there, celebrate your accomplishment. You will have made it.