5 ways to not only go but GROW through trials…
This is a hard one to truly grasp. When going through trials, the hardest thing you could do is “be still”. You want to do everything you can to fix it. But sometimes we learn (and grow) the most by simply being still and waiting on God.
This world we live in is based on how busy, how successful, how popular, how intelligent, how ____ (fill in the blank) you are. It’s based off a go-go-go mentality and if you are sitting and waiting then you’re practically failing. But what if your go-go-go mentality is what got you here in this trial of your life? Your health is deteriorating because you work 7 days a week. You go out and drink/party every night just in order to keep up social appearances but now you are going to rehab because of it. You have insomnia because your mind never stops. Your family doesn’t talk to you now because you never had time for them in the first place.
These situations are normal in society these days. But they don’t have to be.
Learning how to be still has drawn me closer to God. It has made me a better friend and family member. It has calmed my nerves. It has possibly even helped some of my hearing.
God might be teaching you valuable things in this time of your life… but the only way you will be able to know is if you’re STILL.
Another tough one. The last thing you want to do in this trial is be thankful. The frustration, anger, sadness, and more can easily overwhelm us. Why would God put me through this? What did I do wrong? I can’t handle this. And then the all too dramatic thought that may cross my mind from time-to-time… My life is ruined.
It can truly feel like there’s no hope sometimes. But looking at the things that are good in your life serves a much better purpose.
I’ve noticed going through health problems that I am ironically so much more thankful for my HEALTH. Imagine that… I’m thankful that I have the ability to move. I’m thankful I can see the beauty of this world on the days my eyes don’t bother me. I’m thankful for the hearing I DO have so that I can make out sentences now and sometimes hear music (as distorted as it is). I’m thankful for my friends & family. I’m thankful to be thankful.
And that is how you start to switch a negative mindset to a positive one. As simple as it may seem, this could actually set off a healing process like no other.
Work on holistic health.
Trials, especially concerning health, can be an eye-opener. I have often complained saying, “I’m a 22 year-old personal trainer, studying and working on nutrition, working out 5-6 days a week, sleeping 7-8 hours a day, etc… why would this happen to me.”
We went to doctor after doctor being told to wait it out or that there’s not much they can do. I didn’t know before this that doctors usually just rule out life-threatening emergencies and send you on your way.
Somebody mentioned a naturopath near me that might help me find the root cause. During the time I was completely deaf, my parents and I made an appointment and went to see her. I let her do her different tests and acted like I was engaged in the conversation between her and my parents until about an hour in when I just resorted to checking Instagram and Facebook. She sent me on my way with about 20 different pills to take and a cream to rub on my elbow and knee creases… I was doubtful to say the least. On top of all that she mentioned I should go strict paleo and only eat veggies and meat to bring down inflammation in certain organs she found were inflamed.
After about a week of this… I regained some hearing in my left ear and returned for my next appointment where she was able to better explain to me what was going on.
After a bunch of talk about inflamed organs and how some emotional stimuli could be preventing me from healing and how my diet could have had too many additives and not enough whole food sources… I came to the conclusion I was not as healthy as I thought I was. And nobody ever really is.
I mean think about it… do we really know what’s going on with our bodies? We do our best to keep an eye out on any health concerns and we have our annual check ups and we exercise and eat well when we can. Our bodies and minds could be in complete turmoil without us ever knowing! I just read a sad story about a 25 year-old mom and personal trainer who died because of an undiagnosed disease where her body could not process protein. She was on a low carb diet, eating 1-2 protein shakes a day as well as a bunch of lean meats to meet macronutrients requirements. She had no idea the stuff she thought was making her look good and healthy was actually killing her.
So while you’re going through this trial of any sort… keep in mind how important your overall health is and how it can affect every aspect of your life.
Diet, exercise, stress, sleep, social life, and more can have a profound impact on your life.
Draw nearer to others.
It’s ok to need help. Coming from a very independent person, you can trust me on this one. You’re going to need people in your life. A temptation while going through trials is to push others away… to draw back and stay comfortable in your own space… to pretend like you don’t need others. This could stem from a fear of being rejected yourself.
A recurring thought I have while not being able to hear and being constantly a bit dizzy is that I won’t fit in with my friends or family anymore. That they might not want to be around me as much because I can’t hear them or communicate well or be as active as I was. The things that defined might not be me anymore. The way they saw me before has changed. And that takes getting used to by not only yourself but others.
Grant them grace. They may need time to adjust but don’t take it personally. Change brings about discomfort but it could lead (and often does) to an even better relationship than before.
Some friends or family could draw back because they’re not equipped themselves to handle your situation. This isn’t about you…but more so about them. You will find your true friends, confidants, and supporters stick by you through these times. The ones who consistently contact you to see how you’re doing. The ones that fervently pray for and with you. That give you hope and comfort through their words. I would not have the same amount of positivity, hope, or faith I do now without my support system.
If you haven’t noticed by now, I am a follower of Christ. Most of my blog posts will have something to do with my faith because it is a huge part of my life. But this wasn’t always the case.
When going through trials, you draw closer to God than ever before. Before this I hadn’t realized how little I thought of my faith, God, His Kingdom, or anything of that matter throughout my day. I would train clients hour after hour convincing myself this was my kingdom duty. That I was bringing others to Christ by showing them a healthy & happy lifestyle. By adding value to their life in some way.
It wasn’t until now I see how wrong I was for thinking this way. This trial I’m going through could be God’s way of putting me in a “time-out”. Of pulling me aside and telling me to get it together. That I am wasting His precious time. That He has gifted me with talents and abilities that I am not glorifying Him for.
Throughout all of this, I have had ample time to pray. It has been a sweet, restorative time where I can sit and be with the Lord hour upon hour. My prayers are urgent, passionate and emotional. But what about when I’m not going through trials? What about when all is fine and dandy?
Trials can be the tool God uses to open your eyes and tell you it’s all about Him. Just when you think you have your life figured out and you’re in control… haha no child.
I have been humbled through this experience and I pray now that I will seek after Him just as much, if not more so, when the times are good.
Although I have numbered these tips 1-5 it in no way is indicative of the most or least important ones. Each one is important in different ways. My hope is that you’ll relate or learn from maybe just one of these and take it with you as you go through trials. Everyone has their own struggle or time in life where things don’t look as hopeful as before. But these times are temporary. Your diagnosis or struggle could very well be permanent, but your suffering or worry doesn’t have to be.