An Ode to Struggle


I was in the hot room… sauna with a friend of mine.  A daily ritual of taking a class at the gym, then heading to the sauna to chat with the girls.  One on one, or a small group… topics ranging from light and comical to heavy and serious, which are ususally ended with a dose of clarity and resolution.  I had always avoided this ritual of sharing a piece of me after class but lately.. for awhile now, it has become a platform in so many ways.  I am able to connect with others… the goal to transform my body then leads to a calling to connect.  The gym has become my ministry.  The women that have come along my path range from educators, businesswomen, mothers, wives… This is our time to release everything… the day… our woes…or frustrations…our whatever.  To laugh…to encourage, to soothe.

Recently, I had a conversation in which a gym friend of mine was ready to make a move outside of Texas to the same place I have my sights on.  She admitted to me that she admired my strength, my positivity in making the jump, after witnessing my “stand firm” approach in earlier conversation with someone that only discouraged my move… who, too happened to be a friend of mine.  Yet, the stand firm approach had all to do with my faith and His leading.  This was not the plan I set for me… this was the plan He set out for me… I have been confirmed over and over about it so how could I not stand firm and not allow the naysayers get the best of me.  It has already been done.  Then, the sauna conversation lead to the topic of struggle.  This friend relayed to me that she wanted to make the move but did not want to struggle…hmmmm…

The struggle is real…. and may be good for you.  I will admit I am technically in the struggle right now but I accept and love it…NOW! In the struggle I finding out who I am.  In the struggle I am weeding out those things that don’t belong and don’t promote growth.  In the struggle I am realizing hidden talents and skills… in the struggle I am loving myself more than I did when I had money.  When all was well, not really struggling… I used my time caught up in empty pursuits: shopping, being in the scene… I was not my authentic self.  The nothingness I am experiencing is helping me to remember that something that deep inside me…His plan.

The struggle takes me out of myself and helps me to see others more clearly… the struggle pulls me to help in other ways other than monetarily… the struggle brings me to a real place.

For a long time I hated the struggle… lack of funds, lack of a secure position in a career… I did not understand why things were so “in-between”…”I’m in transition,” is what I usually say when people ask… because I truly am.  The struggle is a transitional period… a process.  In this transition, a transformation is taking place. Perspectives are being changed and destinies are being realized.  Count it all joy (James 1:2)… I get it now.  I remember at the beginning of the struggle… the first year I moved back home, a close friend told me, “Don’t think of it as a struggle but think of it more as preparation.”  At the time I was so caught up in whatever I was caught up in…. I just wanted (and still want) the simple things: my own home, a career, and a family.  Yet, in the struggle I am gaining the knowledge and wisdom to uphold my destined career, to be a good mother/ wife and to manage my very own home.  The struggle is training me…..humbling me…and even bringing me joy.
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.  If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.

James 1:2-5





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