Your Struggle Chapter
I love reading books on entrepreneurship and great leaders. It's always fascinating to find out that those you admire went through countless ups and downs to get to a place of success and stability. Stories have a way of making us step back and realize that there is always more to the narrative than meets the eye.
For the last six months to a year, my husband and I have been in a season where a lot of not-so-good things have happened, one after the other, in our work. Don't get me wrong, there have also been plenty of things to be thankful for and good moments, but we've had our fare share of "seriously, what else can happen?!" statements. The old adage "when it rains, it pours," is definitely rooted in truth, and bad news on repeat can take its toll on your ability to be resilient. And yet, resilience is only sharpened by persevering through the hard stuff.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about our story and what this chapter would sound like if I were to put it down on paper. Granted I don't know the future, but if I had to guess, the season we've had in the last year would probably fall into the struggle chapter. It would be pitted between some high highs, but the message would probably be one that would make readers stop and have a moment. When things look bleak in real life, it's discouraging. However, in a story, you know that means something good is just around the corner.
Success is only inspiring when it follows a season of struggle.
Struggle is horrible when you're in it. It feels all encompassing and and suffocating and like things will never look up. However, the stories of struggle are what fuel us to be better when we read them in other people's lives. What if we took that same perspective and applied it to our own circumstances?
Your struggle is part of your story. It's the grit that makes you dig deep and exposes your flaws and shortcomings. I've spent a lot of time in difficult seasons complaining and whining about how difficult they are, instead of deciding to come out stronger on the other side. I don't want to be the kind of person, or wife, or entrepreneur that gets burned by the fire instead of refined by it.
If you feel like you're in the middle of a "struggle chapter" in your own life, do two things. First, think about your past trials and the lessons you learned. Chances are, you have the potential for more growth during this season. Second, decide to get inspired by your own failure - weird, I know. But do it. If you were reading a story about your own journey right now, decide how you want to finish this season, even if the finish line doesn't seem in sight right now. If you're still breathing, this isn't the end of the story. Something good is coming; work towards it, instead of wallowing in the current hardship.