Have you experienced suffering or disappointment? Great!
If you’re like me, and most other people, you live your life with way too much fear. Fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of rejection. I could take the rest of this post to list out all of the things we live in fear of, but you get the point.
When I first began considering the idea of leaving my company that I had worked at and led for 33 years, I was terrified. I graduated from college on Saturday and started working at the company on Monday. Before that, I worked there after school in high school and on breaks when I came home from college. It was truly the only thing I had ever known.
Then something strange started to happen. The more I considered the possibility of leaving my comfort zone and doing something else, I started to get nervously excited. Mind you, I had no idea what I was going to do and even when I left, I really didn’t know. Today, I continue to write and speak and am hoping in faith that God is leading me where He wants me to go.
Of course, I did eventually make the decision to leave in September of 2019. It continues to be a journey of personal assessment and evaluation but I am happier and more fulfilled than I have ever been in my life.
All of this to say and encourage you to embrace fear, embrace disappointment, and yes, even to embrace suffering. King David wrote in Psalm 30, verse 5: “Weeping may stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” You see, friend, I have come to believe that your response to adversity determines the value you receive from it.
If every time you face rejection, judgment, or failure you simply do whatever you can to avoid facing it ever again, then from my experience you are missing out on a lot of things but most importantly, personal growth. Sure, it hurts to fail, no one should face undue judgment, and rejection often is taken personally. My question for you when (not if) those situations come is are you running and hiding from them, or embracing and learning?
There is not a set formula here. We are all different, we all have different life experiences and expectations so the way we view both success and failure differs. What is true of all of us, I contend, is that if we do not continue to seek to grow personally we do not stay where we are. Rather, we fall backward because every living creature is either living or dying, growing or receding.
I don’t know what challenges you are facing and life is full of unexpected events that alter our plans and directions. I want to encourage you, however, to come alive, to experience life fully. It’s joys, its sorrows, its triumphs, and its defeats. It’s not always easy and most of the time it hurts, but oh the lessons you will learn. Mostly about yourself. Don’t miss it!