I was listening to a motivational message yesterday that said that sometimes the things that we go through in life is not to somehow punish us but rather so that we can be a lesson for someone else later on. God uses the battles that we fight through as a tool to expose our strengths. He uses our difficulties and defeats more than he uses our successes. I often wonder how God is using the struggles that I’ve been through because sometimes it’s hard to see how any of my experiences can be of any help to someone else.
However, if we really think about it, when we listen to the stories of successful people and jot down all of the lessons that we got from their journey, we are in fact learning from their defeats. I mean no one succeeds at anything the first time out the gate. Those people who we admire and are motivated by most likely failed far more times than they will ever actually admit. Their struggles and overall experiences are what we are learning from.
I grew up in a primarily fatherless, abusive household, physically, emotionally, and mentally abusive. Affection was not something that was normal, and the words ‘I love you’ were rarely said and being bullied on top of abused by your own mother is a special level of abuse that I wouldn’t wish on anyone. As a teenager, after trying to commit suicide with pills multiple times, at 16 I finally ran away to live with a complete and total stranger because I knew if I didn’t that one day I would most certainly succeed in one of those suicide attempts.
In recent years I have become very hyperaware of the fact that I survived a lot of what I’ve gone through for a significant reason and that is to help get others through some of those same struggles, and even some of those same failures. I find myself telling my daughter now about lessons I learned through doing things the wrong way so that she hopefully will not repeat those mistakes. And yes, I know that is what we as parents are supposed to be doing but that reality is lost on some parents these days.
I say all of this to say that I know that I can somehow help someone else who may possibly be being abused at home, or being bullied relentlessly, or someone who just feels that they shouldn’t be here on this earth anymore. I have come across young teenagers who have been struggling with the types of things that I already lived through and who were feeling helpless and as if they had no purpose and I’d like to think that something I said to them helped them get through at least that one moment (at least that’s what they told me later) and I don’t know if I would have been able to be of any comfort to them had I not already gone through those same types of feelings and experiences.
Sometimes we feel that life is unfair and that things happen to us just out of the blue and for no actual good reason. I know that feeling. I used to wonder what I could have possibly done wrong to have such crappy things happen to me. But I get it now. I get that we have to take those crappy experiences and turn them around to be of good use to someone else.
We can’t change the experiences we’ve already had (unless you know of a time machine lol) but we can make sure that we allow them to serve a greater purpose. Don’t try to hide your struggles and defeats. The battles you have faced are for someone else’s benefit. Use those experiences to make sure someone else comes through on the other side of their struggles. You may have the answers that someone else is looking for.
Until next time… #BeEncouraged #BePurposeful #BeofService
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