Although it may seem strange, I sometimes find myself looking back over the times in my life when things seemed really bad and surprisingly it is with a thankful heart that I recall many of these milestones. I have certainly had my fair share of events that seemed to temporarily change the course of my life and leave me feeling disillusioned and some what helpless.
Occasions such as Mother’s Day remind of those days when I was able to share my sorrows and celebrations with my mom. Losing her at the age of 30 was not easy. I remember being so sad that she would never know my children and that my children would never be blessed with her presence in their lives. However, as tough as losing her was, I look back on her passing with mixed emotions. I think of her often and speak of her regularly. My kids have grown to know and respect her through me. They often speak of their Grandma Ruth as if they’ve grown-up with her by their side. They make comments about what she was like or how she did things or the kind of person that she was, and I am often amazed at their ability to capture the essence of the incredible woman she was. Despite the fact that she has been gone for over 15 years now, in so many ways she lives on.
Over the years, I have found that the biggest obstacles and toughest situations are often the catalyst that takes you to a whole new level in life. It is in the face of adversity that we gain an inner strength that perhaps we didn’t even know we possessed. I’m a very reflective person, and for almost every difficult situation, I am able to look back and see how each of those events helped me to grow and change, and ultimately have shaped me into the person I am today. I have found that when hopelessness seems to settle in and you feel like things can’t get any worse, it is with your next steps that there is often a break through. For me, it’s usually when I feel that I’m at my breaking point, that I dig really deep and completely rely on my faith to get me through. The most amazing part of this is that for every storm I whether in life, my faith and confidence grow. You come out the other side a stronger and often better person.
When my mom died, I missed her tremendously and was very sad, but embedded in her passing were circumstances that were more than coincidence and the way the days and details of her passing all mingled together so perfectly was nothing short of a miracle. I know it seems strange, but I have often said that losing my mom was one of the most difficult things I have ever been through and yet one of the most miraculous. For me, I have found that my strength can always be traced back to my faith. I know for certain there is a God with a much greater plan than I can ever imagine. I find it so intriguing that losing my mom young was in many ways the event that absolutely solidified my faith. Every detail seemed to perfectly orchestrated in such away, that I am unable to look back without being absolutely certain there was a higher power at work. I’m so thankful for my faith, for without it I’m nothing.
So what is the life lesson?
Don’t let the obstacles in life bring you down. You may feel brow beaten with what life throws at you, but I encourage you to push on and during the process reflect on the situation, its impact on you and your response to it. Through your reflection you too may be able to find the good in what seems like a horrible situation. It is so much easier to move on when you can find something to be thankful for. Just try it ~ think about what you learned about yourself, others or life in general. What would you do different? How will you prevent the same problem from happening again?
Did you know that one of the greatest predictors of success isn’t your IQ, but rather your AQ. Your AQ (Adversity Quotient) is your ability to rise-up in the face of adversity, to process the situation and learn and grow from the experience. Those that are most successful will often say that they have just failed more often. So when faced with a difficult situation, try your best to stand strong, face it head on and know that if you persevere, it may be the catalyst that takes you to a whole new level in life.
Have a great day and hang in there!