January 9th, 2015 was shaping up to be one of the worst days of my life to date. Already dealing with life-changing issues with my business, I received devastating news, like a one-two sucker punch to the gut. That morning I received a text from my Mom – my Grandfather was found on the floor of his home, unresponsive and covered in blood. Later that same day, more news – my Dad had been diagnosed with his second bout of bladder cancer.
My head was spinning and my heart was hurting. Both of these men were of great importance to me, and both were fighting for their lives. The struggles I was already facing became amplified and I had no idea how I was going to get through the days to come. I reached out to my small group leader, shared the situation at hand and asked him for guidance. I vividly remember him telling me that I could not do it on my own. It was too big for me to handle all that was on my plate. However, it was not too big for God. It was at this point that I made a choice.
We are all going to face trials in life. Every single one of us. The only question is: What are we going to face, and when is it going to happen? Not one of us can control the things that will happen to us. But we all have the ability to control how we respond when adversity strikes. For me, I chose to follow the guidance of a spiritual mentor and let God take control of my life. While 2015 was the worst year I have ever experienced in the natural realm, it was the best year I had ever had spiritually. Through my experiences, I hope to share with you how to overcome your obstacles and discover your purpose at the same time.
Here are some steps that I think can help anyone survive and thrive in life’s most difficult circumstances.
While this may seem cliché or like a waste of time, depending on your beliefs, I can assure you prayer works. We are all created by a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants to talk with us and to us. Talk to him like you would a friend and see how things start to change.
Ask him what he is trying to show you in a situation instead of wondering why bad things are happening. Your perspective on the situation can dramatically change the outcome.
Keep praying. Start your morning with prayer, talk to him through the day, and pray at night. The more you pray, the better you are going to become at talking to God and the closer you are going to get to him.
SHARE YOUR STRUGGLE
I have a handful of guys, as well as my wife, that I feel I can share anything with. They listen, advise, and don’t judge me. Constructive criticism is important and you have to have accountability in your life. You need someone to speak life into your situation and let you know that you are not alone.
A small group is a great way to meet these types of people that can help you through anything. If you aren’t in a small group, get in a small group. Regardless of your religious affiliation, you need to have a group of peers who know you on every level.
GET A DAILY DOSE OF MOTIVATION
Motivational videos, podcasts, online sermons, church services, and self-help books, etc. can help you stay encouraged on a daily basis. I use all of the above and I am constantly seeking positive input to continue to stay upbeat.
BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Make sure the things that go in your eyes and ears are helping you get better, not worse. The music and entertainment you listen to and watch have a dramatic effect on your world view. Watching the news all day long and can’t figure out why your down? Turn it off and see how you feel. Listening to Rage Against the Machine and feeling angry? Try something positive and see what that does for your psyche.
Be careful with your friendships and those you allow to influence you. Your friends are a direct reflection of who you are as a person and they will influence your behavior for good or bad, Have negative friends and you are going to feel worse about yourself and your situation. If you have people who encourage you and motivate you, your situation will probably get better sooner than not.
These are things that I found vital to success and they have helped to transform me into the person I am today. 2015 started off with everything going wrong and I continued to face more challenges throughout that year, however, the peace I experienced throughout the year was only available through my spiritual growth. Praise God that my Dad is Cancer free and my Grandfather is still with us, albeit paralyzed from the stroke he suffered. That year and all of the trials along with the time since, has allowed me to walk in my purpose in life. You see, God has a purpose for each one of us, and then He creates us. None of us are put on this Earth by accident, therefore, the sooner we can figure out why we are here, the better our lives will become. It is my prayer that that everyone reading this will be able to experience the growth I have achieved, you would discover why you are here, and begin to live life to the fullest. Please know that whatever you are facing has a reason and it can all be worked to the good. Never give up and please reach out to someone if you need help.