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Something in the Struggle

Why does a woman who desires children more than anything struggle to get pregnant, while another conceives from a one-night-stand? Why does the most giving man, who is loved by everyone he meets get prostate cancer, and the most evil, abusive, and lecherous individuals live free and clear?

oranges

My theory? It must be something in the struggle. It’s just my theory, but I wonder if I would’ve reached, or even seen, my full potential had I not experienced the “rough patches” of life. I am not saying that I am an angel in any way, or that I have achieved all that I was created to achieve, but most people who truly know me will say that I am a “good” person, who wants to see others achieve their best. Maybe you are that kind of person—one who always thinks of others but still seems to get the “short end of the stick” from time to time. My new belief is that maybe there is something—a lesson, a blessing :), some depth of character, or even strength in a way or on a level that you never knew existed that provides a reason for why we “go through.”

I remember one of my mentors, Rev. Leroy Mitchell, preached this life-changing sermon many years ago. He spoke of how sometimes, “God presses on us to get the good stuff out.” He went on to use the examples of how you must press grapes to get wine and squeeze oranges to get orange juice. He explained that the pressure is necessary.

Maybe the struggle brings more out of you than you ever knew was there. Maybe the struggle helps you define what is and is not important to you. Maybe the struggle helps you weed out who your good friends are and who is just hanging around taking up space. Maybe the struggle helps you decided what your goals are and how important it is to you to achieve them. Or maybe the struggle simply helps you to see that you are “going against the flow” of life, and provides redirection.

As I stand in faith with a friend who desires so desperately to have a child, I remain unshaken in my belief that our Creator does not find joy in making our lives difficult. The pain and disappointments she has experienced on this journey seem so pointless to me, when “God” could simply “hear her cry” and answer her prayer. And maybe you too are currently feeling squeezed by life, or have experienced situations that seem to have “cut” you to your core. I know how that feels, even without living your specific situation. Ultimately, pain is pain, regardless of the details. But one thing I also know is that when I look over my own life, I see how much richer I am for what I’ve been through and I think to myself, “it must be something in the struggle.”

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UPDATE 05/06/15 

Last Mother’s Day (2014) the friend in this story was frustrated and wondering if she would ever be able to conceive. Late last night, less than a week from Mother’s Day 2015, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. You never know how close you may be to your breakthrough. Don’t give up on your dreams. Miracles happen every day. Continue to see it coming true. It is possible.

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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You Can Do It!

You Can Do It!

I stood staring off into the distance, smiling like a fool, as I waited for the washing machine to fill. I was in a daze, reminiscing about this amazing little boy I met, whose determination has forever changed my life. 

Imagine for a second, the most adorable little boy, standing at a child-size sink, stretching with all his might to reach the cold water handle. He barely meets you at your waist—although he is four years old—and is now standing on his tip toes determined to turn the water off by himself.

This may not sound as remarkable in print as it was in person, but Hector has a medical condition that has stunted his growth and his fingers cannot bend. Can you imagine the determination of this little boy that he never asked for help, although it took him at least a minute and a half to do what takes most of us less than 2 seconds? I was standing within a foot of him the whole time and he never once looked back at me in hopes that I’d intervene. He remained focused on his goal, never quit stretching his whole body to get that extra eighth of an inch he needed to do it by himself. I fought the urge to help him because I knew that if I showed that I did not have confidence in him, he would lose confidence in himself. I stood by and waited for him to ask for help. He never did. When it seemed he could not possibly reach it, he repositioned himself and somehow managed to stretch that extra eighth of an inch, and his fingers touched that handle! When the last drip of water fell from the faucet and his feet were back on the floor, I didn’t know whether to cheer or cry. I was so proud of him, so inspired by him, and so glad that I did not help him.

I learned two valuable lessons in that moment. The first is that we can accomplish amazing things—things that seem so far outside our reach—if we don’t stop believing. The second, is that in times when we are struggling with a challenge, wondering why God won’t intervene, He is often standing close by proudly mouthing the words, “You can do it.”

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in Epiphanies, Inspirational, Motivational

 

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Always Expect More

Last night, as we were heading to bed, my little one said to me, “I’ve got fifteen dollars.” I smiled, knowing that the pennies, nickles, and dimes in her coffee can probably did not equal fifteen dollars, then replied, “No. You’re gonna get three million dollars.”

So let’s fast forward to today—a few minutes ago, actually. I was sitting at my computer typing a blog that once again sounded great in my mind (but was just awful onscreen), while listening to the encouraging stories of teenaged entrepreneurs on the tv show Biz Kids. My daughter was sitting on the floor behind me going through one of my purses. She was fully entertained because I had smaller handbags inside the big purse she was investigating. After a while, she discovered some change in one of the pockets and began saying, “Fifteen dollars, fifty-six….” I thought it was adorable. I smiled at her and continued typing away at the computer. Then, she began to bring me various items she discovered and place them on the table before me. “Here, Momma”—she placed an old Mary Kay make-up sample in front of me—”fifteen dollars.” Then she ran back to find something else. She came again, shoved an old receipt at me, “fifteen dollars,” then ran away. Finally, she came back and handed me an envelope, “fifteen dollars,” she said, and ran off, again. I flipped it over, wondering if this time she really had discovered some money. I quickly opened it to see what was inside. To my surprise, it contained three million dollars!

Million Dollar Bill

Let me explain. A few years ago, I was watching The Secret—a video about utilizing the Law of Attraction to create a better life—and doing various things to apply its principles. In an attempt to keep reminding myself that resources could come to me unexpectedly, I copied and printed several fake million dollar bills, put them in envelopes, and mailed them to myself. The envelope my daughter found was one of these, and it ironically contained three million dollars, the exact amount I told her last night that she would receive!

Now, I don’t know how deeply you feel me on this—and, no, the money is not real—but, to me the message is clear that there is some kind of power in our words, especially when we believe. When I told her last night that she would receive that money, I meant it. I expect great things to come from her in her future so I believe that one day millions will be minor money to her. I didn’t, however, expect it to “happen” so soon! 🙂 Of course, when this happened I had to tell somebody who I knew would “feel me “on how powerful (and weird) this all was. So I instantly called my dear friend, and fellow blogger, Danielle Navonne. As I was telling her this amazing story, I noticed that there was something written on the inside of the envelope, and I will leave you with this powerful thought,

"Always expect more."

"Always expect more."

 

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