This post is dedicated to my marvelous older sister, Marissa who is struggling with a bacterial infection resulting from her weakened immune system due to Crohn’s disease medication. Since she is fighting this infection, she cannot take her Crohn’s medication because it weakens her immune system and wouldn’t allow her to fight off the infection. To prevent the symptoms of Crohn’s without medication, she is on a strict diet where she can only have 200 calories of food per day. She also has to consume 4 Ensure nutritional shakes every day. As you can tell, those shakes would get pretty old after awhile. Unfortunately, her treatment will last for about 3 months. Love you, sister.
Maybe you’ve begun to understand that your path will not be straight and narrow. You’ve come to terms with the idea and have accepted the fact that it’s happening. How do you navigate this so-called curvy and indirect path? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you.
Before you can get anywhere, you have you put complete trust in the Lord that He will provide. This is easy to say when we have good days but so much harder to carryout on our bad days. It takes tremendous courage to be able to surrender control of your plans. Even when you’re at your weakest point weak and you’re more vulnerable than you’ve been in your entire life, you have to trust. Sometimes when I’m really struggling, I remind myself of God’s love for me. He sees me as a child and protects me like a father. I am his weak and vulnerable baby lamb and He picks me up when my human limitations fail and carries me away from danger. It doesn’t matter if I make mistake after mistake he will always greet me with open arms, I need never be ashamed to approach God. He knows me better than I know myself. His love forms a force field around me. Even when the effects of this fallen creation try to take me down, God says that He will lift us up after every trial. God doesn’t see earthly struggles as any challenge to His mighty power. God has the same love for you! When you are reminded of God’s tremendous love for you, it will bring you renewed strength.
We tend to get ideas in our minds about the general path of our life and the events that happen along the way. We have a map. Inevitably road blocks will arise. This is okay. This might not make you feel better but everyone is struggling. Everyone. Everyone you see each day even if it be but a second of interaction where you quickly make eye contact and then return to your daily life, has a story. Their story is perceived by them as vividly and intense as your story is to you. Imagine that. They have road blocks too even if it doesn’t seem like it on the outside. Dwelling on the fact that our problems are worse than other people’s problems is a poisonous thought. It might seem to be true but even if it is, this thought will not make it any easier but rather it will remove any joy from your life.
Navigating these road blocks can be hard because sometimes they really suck. Something I’ve recently learned though is that sometimes you have to take your eyes away from the end point. You might not have a plan for your entire life but you do have to take action now. You have to do something right now that will at least get you closer to even a small goal that you have. You have to have a strategy. Set a goal and determine a strategy to get there. For example, I currently don’t have a major. Instead of going into panic mode about how I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life, I have to figure out a strategy to move closer to figuring out my career goals. I worked with my adviser to create a schedule for this semester that will allow me to experience different topics. I have met with advisers in other majors, trying to determine if I might be a good fit. I still haven’t decided but I am getting closer. Your goal might be to consume 4 nutrition shakes a day. In order to achieve this goal, you have to take it day by day. Set up a specific time schedule and reward system so that you can stay on track.
Your struggles will never define you. This isn’t to say that you can do it alone though. You need people, You need friends and family that can encourage you and make you laugh along the way. Let them be there for you. Let them help you. Sometimes people get the idea that accepting help from others is admitting weakness. This isn’t true. We are all weak at some points in our life and we all need help.