You can’t know your own strength if it’s never challenged…

Strength-SymbolHave you ever told someone, “You are so strong!” or “Be strong!”?

Sometimes we look at what others have conquered in the midst of change, tragedy, and trying times and we think, wow, look at how strong they’ve been through this all! And in seeing that we often think ourselves weak because we may have never been put in those exact situations, so we don’t know how we’d really react. Truth is, we don’t know what we’re capable of until we’re in the midst of it. And strength is not something that only some people have, we all have it. But more often than not, our strengths are all tested in different ways.

I’ve been guilty of looking at other people and thinking they were so strong and that I could never handle that level of strain on my life. But when I really sit back and look at some of the things I have overcome, I am actually impressed. I am impressed with how far those things have gotten me and what they taught me.
For instance, my mom passing away when I was still a kid. That was hard! And to this day it still is.
Another instance was the first time I got pregnant. I had wanted to have a baby for so long and it was finally happening. Then at 12 weeks I started bleeding and come to find out the baby had lost it’s life at 9 weeks, so I miscarried. I can’t tell you how rough that was! Even at 12 weeks along I was super attached, thinking of baby names and buying baby stuff already. It was a tough thing to go through!
And then going into labor 9 weeks early with my second child, wow…that was scary! It was like a horror movie with all the blood I lost in our tiny apartment, and then rushing to get me to the hospital…nearly in tears BEGGING God to let this baby be alive because I could not handle losing him!
This year I had a bit of a scare thinking I might have breast cancer. There was a small chance but the re-occurring pain under my arm had been around for months and I just could not seem to get rid of it. That mammogram was one of the scariest moments, not knowing and then having to wait a few weeks for the results. Pretty scary! (not to mention, painful…those damn machines!)
Then, to completely change topic, there’s my workouts. I started at the beginning of this year with some light workouts. I am now into the Insanity workouts and damn, those are tough! It’s hard getting through even one of those workouts but I do it 4-6 times a week and I push myself to get through it.

Apart from things like that, there’s also life changes…some which leave you with a pretty empty wallet. Some days having to choose food over past due bills and wondering where the hell you’re going to get the money to pay all these people. Feeling like you are way in over your head. It’s just money but it’s a huge weight on the shoulders when you don’t have any. But you learn to deal and you continue on with day to day life and you make it work.

You see, strength isn’t a 7 out of ten people kind of thing. Everyone has strength but we are all challenged in different ways. And often while we’re in the middle of something really challenging we’re so focused on being stressed about it all to even notice how strong we are becoming.

Strength is actually the easy part, the hard part is how we handle the challenges. Because hiding behind the dark clouds somewhere is always a ray of sunshine. Whether we find it or not is up to us. 🙂


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