Stories & Reflections
At one time or another we all go through tough times. Life is not always fair nor is it easy. As long as you live you will face challenges, setbacks, and trying times. But, you will make it though the tough times if you maintain your faith, focus, and follow-through.
It is always important to remember that nothing lasts forever. Life is full of ebbs and flows, ups and downs, good and bad. When you are going through tough times you must remind yourself this too shall pass. At the time, it doesn’t seem like it because you feel overwhelmed, hopeless and helpless. But, I can assure you even bad times end. You may be in a storm right now, but the sun is going to shine again. During tough times, you have to maintain this perspective.
This is something we tend to forget when we are going through tough times. This isn’t the first time you faced what seemed to be insurmountable challenges, but somehow you survived and thrived again. If you could do it once, who says you can’t again?
The fact you are still alive signifies that you are stronger than you admit. In fact, it’s somewhat paradoxical, but you are actually stronger today because of the tough times you made it through in the past. I know as believer that I have the power of Christ on the inside of me. As Paul said, I can do ALL things through Christ which strengthens me. When you are weak, God’s strength is made perfect in you.
Sometimes when we are going through tough times we think we are the only one’s facing what we are facing. No one, regardless of their gender, race or social status is immune to tough times. The fact is, some of the people you associate with are facing tougher times than you are at the moment. Just today I was thinking about how tough things are for me at the moment, only to have it interrupted by a phone call that made me reconsider how I was feeling, as I was told about something a friend of mine is going through that made my tough times seem pale in comparison. The fact is, you are not alone in what you are going through.
One of the things my wife has taught me is to reframe the tough times and trauma I have faced in my life. To view each of them as a classroom and to learn the lessons I could from them to strengthen me in the future. I can say this, it works. It has totally changed my perspective about tough times. Who knows, the lessons you learn during the tough time may serve as inspiration to someone else going through tough times. I believe God turns messes into messages and tests into testimonies.
One of the things we tend to do when we are going through tough times is to isolate ourselves. When times are tough and we are depressed the first thing we want to do is crawl in bed and pull the covers over our head in attempt to escape what is going on. But, that doesn’t work in the long run. One of the things I have discovered when I am going through tough times is, if I reach out for help from a friend or confidant, they are more than happy to listen to what’s going on, encourage me to not give up, and to offer advice if I want it. I am so grateful for the friends I’ve had that have stood by me and supported me when I ask for their help. Don’t be too proud of afraid to ask others for help when you need it.
Tough times can be so difficult that we lose sight of how blessed we are, and become blinded to what we still have in life. It is important when going through tough times to understand that we still have a lot to be grateful for. When we practice giving thanks for all we have, instead of complaining about what we lack, we give ourselves the chance to see all of life as an opportunity and a blessing. During one prolonged tough season in my life I started a gratitude journal. I would take a few minutes before I went to bed at night and again first thing in the morning to journal everything I was grateful for. As I listed out everything I was blessed with, and what I still had even though things were tough at the time, it helped me to change my focus and renewed hope and faith for a better future. And guess what, as my attitude changed so did what was going on around me.
As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ I have learned firsthand that God is always with me. As the scripture teaches, “God is an ever present help in the time of trouble.”