GIVE: Growing By the Spirit — During the Difficult Times—Grow!

GIVE! … By the Spirit™ with Dr. Pennie Murray

During the Difficult Times—Grow!

© 2010 Pennie Murray

April 6, 2010

Last week I attended a conference that had the theme, “Road to Success.” One of the speakers commented that when we see glimpses of what we call success, we are not usually aware of the great struggles, pains, anguish, positive influences, and the tremendous efforts that are put forth. Neither are we aware of the obstacles that must be overcome.

I’ve always said that adversity introduces a man or woman to him or herself. In my life-time I have had my share of adversity. Heck; sometimes I’ve had someone else’s share too! Through the years I’ve learned that in my moments of adversity, God wasn’t picking on me—but forcing me to find my voice, my internal resourcefulness, and the courage to live within the energy of my possibilities. In essence, I’ve learned that difficulties don’t come to destroy, but to build up and engage. I know all too well, in times of adversity, inspirational words are great and wonderful—but when it seems the bottom is falling out, they can be annoying. So, I want to share with you what I’ve learned to do to encourage myself during hard times. As a matter of fact, I now do this whether I’m having troubles or not—it helps me to stay on my growth path.

First, I had to embrace a “growth” mindset, which helps me understand that hardships or difficulties come to teach or prepare us, and I owe it to myself to learn and get ready for growth. Now, instead of saying “why me or what did I do to deserve this?” I immediately ask, “What is it that I need to learn; what character trait do I need to strengthen?” I also began to realize my greatest moments of depression and distress were rooted in either focusing on the guilt or regrets of the past; or worrying about what might happen in the future—that hadn’t happen yet.

To overcome my internal terrorist during difficult times, I wrote two facts on my bathroom mirror in a place that I can see from any angle. The first was, “God Has Provided for Me Today” underlining the main tenet, God Has Today! This fact allows me to practice a kind of “right now gratitude.” Whether I’m brushing my teeth, in the shower, or indulging in a relaxing bubble bath, the truth that God Has Today… reminds me that grace has already been provided for that day. I now have this fact on my refrigerator and my desk.

The second fact on my mirror is, “I’m Wiser, I’m Stronger, I’m Better.” This is my daily reminder that I am not “the victim of my biography.” So, instead of bringing my past injuries to my future, I bring the lessons I’ve learned. By giving myself permission to accept this fact, I don’t have to become pessimistic or embittered about love, life or success because I’ve learned better. Therefore, I’m stronger because I outlasted the circumstance or situation, and I’m wiser from the lesson(s) learned. My added knowledge gives me the confidence that I can trust the decisions I make for myself. In other words, we’ve all heard the statement, “If I only knew then what I know now”. I use to say that all the time until my God consciousness told me, “Stop saying that! The only reason you know what you know now is because of what you went through.”

The road to success has its own bizarre form of fertilizing weed killer containing the ingredients of struggles, resistance, anguish, positive influences and encouragement. And like the fertilizing weed killer we use on our lawns, life’s fertilizer eliminates what is not wanted without harming what is wanted and ultimately promotes stronger, greater growth.

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2 Responses

  1. You can’t imagine how timely that message is Melvin!! Well said and a great reminder…

  2. I’m reminded of length of time; the amount of pressure; the intense heat; and at times the volcanic eruption needed to propel it to the earth’s surface: are all necessary to form a Natural Diamond. Once formed it is virtually industructable, and has many beautiful and constructive uses.

    I’m also reminded of expolsives; the harsh chemicals; and the intense heat necessary to produce 99.9% pure gold. But once complete, it resist oxidation and corrosion; and is also fit for many beautiful and constructive uses.

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