Adversity is part of life. It comes in many forms and in its own time. Adversity affects each of us differently, however, the one commonality it creates within us is an opportunity for growth.
After surviving the trauma of a natural disaster, the death of a loved one, or a life-altering illness, we cannot help but be changed. The courage and the will it takes to navigate these trials alter us in ways we cannot foretell. In every difficult circumstance we face, though, we have a choice to make: how we’ll respond. Our choices are limited and we may choose differently in the beginning than we do after, but the choice is still ours.
On the one hand, we can become angry and bitter, fighting the tide as it drags us down. We can choose to walk away, to escape, whether we physically remove ourselves from the situation or turn to more destructive means. Or we can accept that the circumstance, whatever it may be, is beyond our control, and facing it with faith and hope is our only pathway to peace.
How much we grow depends on our ability to adapt each time we’re faced with adversity in our lives. When our initial reaction inevitably leads to more anger, more pain, or takes us down pathways we wish in hindsight we’d not traversed, we earn wisdom that is immeasurable. We learn what works and what does not. We learn to make better choices. We learn not to mind what happens because we come to understand that we are not in control. That doesn’t mean we don’t care, it just means that we no longer resist what is.
Without resistance, we open ourselves to spiritual growth as well. This is the most powerful gift we gain. Through surrender, we grow in faith, becoming reliant on our Creator, opening our hearts to His plan for our lives, and leaning fully on His strength and His unconditional love for us. Through faith, we no longer give in to fear. Without fear, we exist in present peace no matter what’s happening to or around us.