Life is hard!
Have you ever felt that life was just too hard? Why couldn’t it just be easy? Let me tell you, life is hard! Because I was addicted to alcohol life became not just hard but unbearable. I had no transportation. I had no home. Debt to repay and then I temporarily lost custody to see and talk to my youngest child. Over and over I thought, why does all this have to be so hard. I since have learned that we were built for hard. I have come to find my strength through my struggles.
June 14th was my little girl’s birthday. Over the last 27 months I have struggled with not being able to have any contact with her more than any other challenge in my life. Yesterday however, things were different. I still felt the pain of missing her. But the pain that came from my own self guilt and shame had diminished. The frustration from any bitterness or resentment towards her mother had disappeared. I will try and share with you how I gained strength through my struggles.
I had to change my mindset
Last Sunday, as I was sitting at GUTS Church it hit me. I had the faith that God would see me through the storms of my life. I was certain of that. But what I needed was a change in my perspective. I needed a mind shift. Even though my faith was warrior strong I had not let go of all the guilt, shame, bitterness, and resentment that imprisoned me still. I stopped focusing on how hard things were. I started focusing on overcoming my issues completely. Not only did I need faith I had to change my mindset.
Sunday’s message brought me clarity. Everything we are going through is preparing us for what is ahead. It was not the issue that was my problem, It was my mindset. How could I have missed that one. It was a key piece of my recovery from alcoholism. Always focusing on the way we think about things instead of the issues themselves. So how was I going to change my mindset?
God is not to blame for our struggles
I recognize that God is not to blame for our struggles. They are usually an indirect or direct consequence of choices we make over time. Some times they can be just by sheer chance. Life happens. But our struggles are not from God. Through life’s struggles God can use them to help us find our strength. That is our choice. God waits with a full arsenal of weaponry for us to use if we choose Him. I made the choice to have faith that God is preparing me to fight. Life is a fight and to be the light that I am called to be I must be ready and prepared for the fight.
I had the faith. Now it was time to change the way I looked at my struggles. I stopped focusing on how hard it was. I began to focus on what great things God was going to do through this struggle. We can overcome our struggles through God’s grace and love. He promises us that. We must take our struggles and bind them together with God’s promise. We let God begin to handle the outcome. All we do is battle to win. Our faith in the outcome plus the way we look at it assures us victory.
I have been without a home. I have been without a car. I have wondered how and what I was going to eat. I have temporarily lost the ability to see my baby girl. I can relate to what you may be going through today. Through all of my struggles God has molded and shaped me for a purpose. Not only does it require faith but I also must have a winning mindset. He has given me experiences that I can share with others how I made it through. I can be the light I was created to be to those who are in the same darkness I was in. I know I only get stronger with each struggle that I face.
Eye of the Tiger
I had the pleasure to hear Robert Barriger speak. He talked about the “eye of the tiger”. How those tested in battle become warriors. They can see the battle unfold in slow motion. They know every move to make to take the victory. He said that through our struggles God is developing in us that very same thing the “eye of the tiger”. I want the “eye of the tiger”. I want to be that warrior on purpose. God did not make us for easy, he created us for hard. To give me strength through my struggles.
If you are going through a storm, stay in the fight. Have faith that you can overcome. The storm you are in is just bringing you to a greater rainbow. That is God’s promise to us. Change your mindset. Nothing is to hard, we were built for this. Its through our struggles God shows us His strength which becomes our strength. So when you see a storm coming do not think how hard it is going to be to get through it. Instead stare down that storm with the “eye of the tiger” and yell, “BRING IT ON”!