Life is unpredictable. One minute you are sipping an ice-cold drink, relaxing on a comfy blanket at the beach. And the next minute a huge wave comes out of nowhere and blasts you - you're sopping wet, your drink is ruined, your sunglasses are lost in the sea and you have sand crabs in your swimming trunks.
To put it bluntly, life can be the absolute worst.
Making it through hard times seems to be easy for some people but completely unbearable for others. How does that first group of people naturally grasp tough times by the handlebars? How do they continue to be faithful to God without question? Are they born with the ability? Are their trials not as devastating? What is their secret?
What we tend to forget during our journey on the earth is that no one ever finds true joy without first experiencing pain.
The most positive, loving, compassionate and courageous people became that way after facing the darkest moments of their lives. Those who have faced defeat, struggle and heartbreak have experienced the most damaging adversity life can throw; but, through that adversity, they gained the endurance and wisdom and faith to help them face all other obstacles that come their way. In their times of weakness, they found true strength.
How can you find the strength to overcome your trials? These "workouts" will surely motivate you.
The first thing you can do to punch the enemy in the face is to get out of bed in the morning and move on.
Easier said than done - moving on takes time. But, no one ever found happiness while continuing to dwell on the past. The harsh thing about the past is that it cannot be changed. Dwelling on what could have been opens wounds that are trying to heal.
Gradually begin to accept the past and take small steps back into your everyday life. If moving on is something you think you cannot possibly do, ask God for help. Ask your loved ones for help. Ask a doctor and/or therapist for help. Although scars may never fade, wounds can.
One way to make it through your own trials is to help others with theirs. With trials comes experience, with experience comes faith and with faith comes strength.
The husband of a friend of mine was unexpectedly laid off from his job a few months ago. When one of their friends heard about their tight situation, she gave my friend and her family a one-hundred-dollar gift card to buy groceries and explained how she and her husband had once gone through a time of unemployment as well. She reminded my friend that things will turn out one day.
During times of despair, serving others brings light into their lives and your own. There is no greater gift we can give than our sincere compassion and love to others.
In the middle of obstacles and harsh realities, it is easy to forget the blessings and gifts you have already been given and to neglect to thank God for them. Instead of recognizing the many beautiful things he grants you, you continue to ask for more blessings.
But, when you take the time to thank God for everything he has given you, for every wonderful thing in your life, your ability to persevere enhances.
Remember your home, your loved ones, your accomplishments and everything else that continues to shed light in your life. God is with you and is always prepared to shower you with the blessings and comfort you need most.
Nothing gives you more motivation than pushing toward a goal. Set goals to better yourself each day. Strengthen your relationship with God, exercise more, study your Bible or think only positive thoughts for one entire day.
Meeting small goals leads to meeting large goals. And by accomplishing goals, you will feel energized to push adversity back twice as hard as before.
Hold on to hope
When it comes to conquering adversity, there is nothing more necessary than holding on to hope and faith in good things to come.
Each day, there are twice as many positive things for every negative thing that comes your way. You just have to take the time to recognize them. Recognizing those positive blessings will keep darkness from overpowering you.
Adversity lasts only a small moment, even though it may feel like forever. True happiness waits for you around the corner. By enduring your trials well, you will grow spiritually and your relationship with God will become unshakable. Keep holding on.
Find your personal "workout routine" that will give you enough spiritual muscle to punch the enemy's lights out. Do not let adversity win. Fight and do not give up. Do not doubt yourself or question your ability to continue forward. You have more courage, faith and strength than you realize.
Chakell Wardleigh has a Bachelor of Arts in English. She spends her days silently (mostly) correcting others' grammar. She adores all things nerd, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Shakespeare, and anything else that whisks her away from reality. She currently works as an editor for the FamilyShare team. You can usually find her with her nose in a book, laughing too loudly, or belting out songs from Hamilton.