The Choice is Yours
These past few weeks have been a challenge to say the least. There have been good days and there have been days where I thought my head would explode. In previous blog posts (Get Up Again, Flow Without Stopping, Breathe) I mentioned the struggles and the good that came from them. The good was the choice though. We all have difficult situations that we have to get through, live through. When we make the conscious choice to not allow the situations to run our lives we chose then to learn from them and move forward. Even now there are numerous fires that are destroying forests, homes, lives. From the ashes of these fires people are rising up, and moving forward. They may be taking one step forward to take two steps backwards but they are pushing themselves to rise above.
A friend of mine has a home in an area that was one of the first places to be evacuated. Her home was safe but the smoke was making it extremely difficult to stay and she was unsure if the rest of the community was going to make it through the fire so she opted to leave. As she was loading up her animals and taking the belongings that she could fit, she was making phone calls. Where would she go, who had room for her. Not surprising people stepped up and made room for her to be comfortable and safe. She was given the ok to head back to her home a couple of days later, and what she found was that her community and home had been spared. Others on the other side of the highway from her were not so lucky but though they lost their homes, everyday angels had made the choice to come help and get them and their animals to safety. These stories will be popping up over the next few days and weeks as more and more people see what devastations the fires have caused. There will be those who will be lost in their own hopelessness because they have literally lost everything, and then there will be those who have lost everything but like the phoenix they will rise from the ashes and thrive.
So what then does it mean to thrive? To rise up? The more and more I thought about this, the more I realized that to thrive and rise up is something that you learn to do over time and with wisdom and experiences under your belt. If you were to ask average teenager what it meant to rise above and thrive they would probably look at you with a blank stare. The other day I was dropping off some items at a local business when I saw a gal I used to work with. She and I started talking about what she was doing now a days and what I have been doing. About 10 years ago her and I worked at a vet hospital. She had been starting out as an assistant trying to learn the ropes and I was one of the technicians trying to help her. Sadly she started out “blind” per say, she wasn’t really trained properly and when she would mess up it was quickly brought to her attention but then she was left to figure out for herself how to fix it. When I was on the same shift as her I would try and help but eventually she left the company because of feeling inadequate and because she felt like she did not have much support. When she left she moved on to another vet hospital but soon found that things were not good there. During our talk I could tell she wanted better for herself. She wanted to make a change. She just was unsure on how to go about it. I had suggested that she get her resume out and updated since there are other vets in town who were looking for hard workers willing to learn. The gal definitely did not have it easy when it came to learn the ropes in the vet field but she learned them and she gained knowledge that will help her get another position, if she chooses to get herself out of a bad situation. When I left that same vet hospital she left, I didn’t feel I had a backbone left. I was beaten down and very discouraged. Hope was found when I left the field for a couple of years only working at a hospital a couple of days a month. That is what it took to heal and grow and thrive for me, but I wouldn’t have chosen that path if it hadn’t been chosen for me. God had my best interest in mind when I was let go. From that brokenness to where I am today, I have my backbone back and I am thriving because I chose to finally let go and let God lead me. I pray that the gal will too. It may take not being in the vet field for a little bit, but maybe that is what is needed.
There are so many things in this world that can break us, and keep us from trying. To allow them to hold us down is a choice that some make. In Matthew 11:28-30 it says:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you ad learn from Me, for I am gently and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light
We are born to live, to thrive to be all God called us to be. When we hide behind fear and disappointment we are not given God his due diligence. He is powerful enough to lift us up and help us to Get Back Up Again. When we try and do it on our own we will fail, but when we lean on Christ we will thrive. The road may still be rocky and hard but that’s when we are carried if we just chose to trust that Christ is in control. Until next time:
Thriving isn’t about making life comfortable, fun and happy; it’s about finding purpose and making our own unique contribution.”
― Malcolm Stern, Slay Your Dragons With Compassion