Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Struggles Suck

Talk about struggles...I struggled not to eat this entire plate
of delicious little treats at my friend's birthday tea.
I’ve been thinking a lot about struggles lately.  Mostly, that they’re not fun.

I’ve had my fair share, and subsequent moments of despair.  That’s when I call my friend Amy.

Me: My life sucks!
Amy: No it doesn’t.  I understand you’re going through a rough time.  And I know you don’t want to hear this, but it’s all happening for a reason.  God has a plan.
Amy: Oh honey, I know.  But it’s gonna be ok.  You know it will be.
Me: Ugh.  FINE.

(I know, I’m so mature).

I came up with a Checklist of My Favorites.
  •  Pastors Kid
  • College in cold, foreign places
  • Depression
  • Overachiever
  •  Eating Disorder
  • Being Hypersensitive
  • Hating my Body
  • Hating Myself
  • Divorce
  • Dating
  • Moving to NYC- twice
  • Losing My Job
  • Starting my own company 

Check! Check! Check!

My point is not to brag (cause I’m sure you’re super jealous).  We all have our own lists.

But what I could not, would not see at the time, was that they were gifts.

Come again?

I now see them not as struggles, but as messy little gifts. 

God was giving me gifts of strength, courage, resilience.  Gifts that have taught me compassion, empathy, understanding, patience, love.

I know my checklist will grow.  I mean, I’m only thirty- (ha choo!)  Excuse me.

And I would be a big, fat liar if I said I was looking forward to a longer list.  But the truth is, I now see that only through these struggles have I grown, learned, become a better version of myself.

In my devotional* today, I was reminded that our character is built through crisis.

We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 
Romans 5:3-5

This is new for me, this whole seeing my struggles as gifts.  Because trust me, if you had told me when I was going through my divorce that it was a gift, I would have told you exactly where to shove it.

I guess I’m growing. 

*My small group is currently studying Rick Warren’s Transformed.

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