As a New Year's resolution, I've taken to reading Joel Osteen's book Every Day a Friday as one of the first things I do in the morning. In the past, I was used to waking up and checking my emails, rushing off to the gym, heading to work early, or reading the news online, but this year I wanted to start off on a different path and begin my day with setting my focus on Christ and inspirational guidance. It's been really nice actually and I've found that when I begin my day like this, it sets the stage for a very peaceful and happy morning (that and dark chocolate in my Fayeh yogurt).
There was one quote from this week that really stuck with me:
We acquire the strength we have overcome. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
In this reading, Joel reminds us to see how the Holy Spirit is made perfect in our weakness, and also that God can take any disadvantage and turn it into an advantage for our good. We all have challenges to overcome, but you cannot let what happened to you stop you from reaching your potential. You have to choose to stay in faith, knowing God has you where He wants you and make the most of what God gives you. Choose to see adversity as a strength. Here is a little example of how I see it: These past 2+ years, I have been through hoops of doctor's appts, surgeries, casts, IV infusions - traveling all over the country seeking the best medical help for my ankle. I am now blessed to be in a leg device that has truly made a difference for me and changed my life. I get asked a lot, "How long do you have to wear that?" Well, you know it could very well be forever. When people hear the word "forever" they want to offer condolences and say," I am so sorry to hear that." You know what though? I'm not sorry. Yes, it's unfortunate a soccer injury led to this, but I'm not sorry for myself or my situation. I choose to see what has happened to me and what I have been through in these past two (almost three) years as a building of who I am. I am a STRONGER person for what I have been through, I am STRONGER in my faith and STRONGER in my personal fortitude, because in looking back I can see how God led me through all of this and made me come out stronger than I was before. In strength lies the faith to believe for better days. In our faith we choose to believe what we cannot see.
I'll close with one last thing. I've realized that one of the greatest things I have taken away from this leg injury is the people God connected me with during this time, namely Ryan Blanck (my prothetist who designed my leg device the IDEO). Ryan is truly one of the most selfless and caring human beings I have ever met. I prayed often for the Lord to lead me to someone who could help me get me back to a pain free & active lifestyle and God brought me a miracle in Ryan. Without his support and willingness to help me (and the amazing IDEO device he designed), I wouldn't be where I am today. I am forever thankful to him and his staff at the Hanger Clinic in Tacoma, Washington.
We may never know why certain things happen in life, but truly if you look closely, you can see strength in what you have overcome. There is beauty in adversity and in trials we realize how much of who we are is Christ alone.