Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Wind-Back Wednesday ~ When The Going Gets Tough

 Everyone faces tough times - how do you handle yours?

CHANGES, CHANGES EVERYWHERE

For someone who is not good at coping with change, I seem to have had a lot of ups and downs in my life. My friend said the other day that my life looks a bit like a hamster wheel at times - running, running to keep everything on track.

When 
I look back I realise I had the expectation that life would be a lot more straightforward than what it actually has been. You know the drill - get a job, get married, have kids, pay off the mortgage, enjoy the "cruisy" 50's, and then look to a comfortable retirement. 

Instead of this mythical dream, our family seems to have an agenda of its own. We have had multitudes of job changes, issues with depression, children who have left home, returned for various reasons and left again, friends who have proven to be less than expected, parents who are ageing and needing more time invested in them, and many other fluctuations in the course of 30+ years of marriage.

WHO DO YOU HOLD ON TO?

Through it all, one thing I can say is that God is good, and He has sustained us through a lot of life's turmoil. I'm not sure how others cope when things go badly, but I am so glad that I have my faith in a God who is always there to listen to my woes and give me a sense of comfort and a reminder of the bigger picture. 

So many people expect to be saved from their situation, but I've found it a waste of time waiting around for the rescue brigade. We've made it through plenty of tough times before and will continue to do so. Resilience and a "can do" attitude make all the difference - after all "God helps those who help themselves". Sitting back and weeping and praying doesn't cut the mustard when you're going through a tough time, sometimes they help, but ultimately it's a case of choosing your attitude, pulling up your socks (or your big girl panties) and getting on with it.

THOSE WHO CRUISE THROUGH

I do question why some people seem to have things so easy, why they have such stability in their lives, why they seem to be rescued whenever disaster looms, and why they cruise through life spouting platitudes with no concept of what it is like to have the rug pulled out from under you time and time again. These people are becoming less a part of my life as I get older - I feel the need to share my life with people who have survived good times and bad, people who understand my journey and can offer support or advice that is from the heart and from having been there too. Basically people who walk their talk.

CHARACTER BUILDING

There's a lot that is good in your life, don't take it for granted. Don't get so focused on the struggles that you miss the gift of today. ~Joel Osteen

My husband tells me that tough  times build character, and as much as I would like to avoid those troughs of life, I've found that they do make me stronger and more sure of what is important in life and what is froth and bubble. A little froth can be a good thing, but too much is just hot air and useless. So, I am thankful for the tough times and the good times, thankful that my marriage has ridden the storms of life, my children are strong and independent and my faith is based on a trust in God who has been my anchor through it all.

I have also found that things tend to work out in the end - maybe not quite how I planned, but not too badly when all is said and done. Over the years I have spent too much time worrying about the outcome and not enough time just trusting that it will be okay. So my aim now is to focus more on the light and bright moments and less on the doldrums - it will make me a better person to be around and if I can't change the journey, it will help me find moments of joy along the way.
Everyone faces tough times - how do you handle yours?

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Windback Wednesday ~ www.crestingthehill.com.au

42 comments:

  1. Our lives are so very similar....and it was a pure pleasure to read your well written post this evening...(head-cold symptoms and all!)
    My motto through trials and tribulations.....with my anchor also in Christ.....I ask myself each time life gets a little pressing...."Am I going to sink today...or choose to swim?"....and of course my decision is always the latter!!!
    Thanks for sharing what you did today.
    It's so refreshing to know...some other girl out there goes through the very exact same situations as myself!
    Take care and wishing you a super great day tomorrow!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Amy and for sharing a little bit of your story too. Isn't it wonderful when you make a connection? I hope you pop back regularly because I think we could become firm friends xx

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  2. About a decade ago someone remarked to me – – while I was in the throes of a worry fit :-) – – worrying is praying for what you do not want. That statement changed my life.

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    1. It's so true isn't it Carla - so much time wasted thinking about and planning for events that probably will never happen. And if they do, they usually turn out differently to what we expected anyway! It took me 50 years to learn the lesson you learned a decade ago - better late than never!

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  3. My mom and I had a challenging relationship, and I had a hard time accepting some of her decisions over the years (like lying about my father's identity). But when I spoke at her funeral, I said (with all sincerity) that I am the person I am today because all that came before--the good and the bad. I feel that way about any trial or tribulation--it may be hellish to endure at the time, but I believe we come out the other side stronger, wiser, clearer, and perhaps with more empathy for others facing their own challenges. Great post, Leanne.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your relationship with your Mum, but you are so right Roxanne - we'd be pretty shallow individuals without the tough times. I think that's why I gravitate towards people who have been through difficulties because they 'get it' and they have an empathy and depth that those who cruise through sometimes lack.

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  4. My faith gets me through. And the reminder that my record for making it through the tough times is 100%!

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    1. We always pull through in the end don't we Diane? I guess that's where resilience kicks in - and a dollop of faith always helps :)

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  5. We are so alike Leanne - I suppose you get sick of seeing me write this. My life has definitely not turned out the way I expected as a young girl with dreams. However, I do believe the hard times make us stronger and if you have faith as you have then it helps to cope. Life I suppose would be pretty boring if it was perfect without the ups and downs. Although, when I'm going through a 'down' I might be thinking differently and wishing for the perfect life! LOL:)

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    1. Yes Sue - we could definitely have been sisters in a previous life! It's strange that we all assume our lives will be a smooth and easy journey, but for most of us that's not the case at all. Still, we've ended up doing pretty well for ourselves and I think that's what I remind myself of when I'm in one of those rough patches.

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  6. "Seem" is the key word. I learned long ago never to judge someone by the chapter I happened to walk in on. Good post!
    carol

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    1. Yes, you're right Carol - we never know what is happening under the surface do we? Some people are better than others at keeping up a shiny surface while they're battling underneath.

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  7. So true. Having confidence in God who knows every detail and loves us makes all the difference. You can talk to me - I've had plenty of dips in the roller coaster of life and am still standing! It sure helps to know you're not alone. Great post, Leanne

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    1. That darn roller coaster - you can't have the highs without the lows can you Cathy? I'd love for it all to be a smooth, cruisy downhill slope but I guess I'd miss out on all that character building along the way!!

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  8. Hm. I've had the rug pulled many times, but I never expected things to be smooth. In fact, whenever they have been I've been nervous, knowing it can't last. Now I just enjoy things every day, and plan to be happy, and I'm relieved when the rug stays put.

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    1. I think that's the secret Tam - it's not having those expectations that some of us seem to have in abundance (that would be me). I'm learning to let them go and to enjoy what life brings along now - if you enjoy the day then you get a lot more pleasure out of life overall.

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  9. I'm sorry to hear of your challenges, but I do agree with those comments above noting those who SEEM to have it all together may not necessarily. Maybe they're in an easy season but things come around for each of us, to some degree or another. I'm with you 100 percent on the faith in God. I truly and sincerely do not know how I'd have survived my (continual) hot mess of a life without the Lord... and hope and prayer.

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    1. I thought for a moment you were going to tell me that you were one of those lucky people who never have a crisis to deal with Lisa - I was very relieved to see the "hot mess" bit at the end - and it's amazing how a little bit of faith in a big God gets us through those tough bits.

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  10. I can totally relate to this...after having one of the worst years ever last year with a plethora of carnage that filled my life with doom and worry, you do wonder how people sail through without a worry in the world. It's true though that it does build character...and I'm a much stronger person as a result of dealing with hardship. Sometimes reflecting on life puts things into perspective and I got through by keeping my faith and being thankful some days for just being alive.

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    1. 2016 seems like a bit of an awful year for a lot of people. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed for 2017 and I'm working at enjoying each day as it comes along. My biggest hurdle is not looking at those people who seem to have it all and envying them. You just don't know what's around the corner - so I'll do what you're planning on - just being thankful for life and the good times when they roll around.

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  11. Oh I SO get this. I was with you on the fairytale. I'm fairly sure I did everything I was supposed to do. Then in my 30s I turned to internet dating and speed dating etc to find 'the one' and it still didn't happen. But I really wanted a family, so did the sperm donor, fertility clinic thing to try to get pregnant but by then I was in my early 40s and my chances were slim.

    I do realise I have a lot of other positives in my life though... but wish I was more resilient. I don't bounce well from stuff as quickly as usual and lately I've been struggling a lot. (I blame menopause!) #teamlovinlife

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    1. Resilience is the key isn't it Deb? Being able to bounce back and keep on bouncing - even when life sucks. I lost mine for a while when things went really pear shaped, but I'm slowly building it back up again - it's taken years to feel positive and to trust again. So we'll both focus on the positives and hopefully the sun will keep shining :)

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  12. Yes life does throw us a lot of curve balls, but mostly my life has been fairly cruisy. I am a strong person and can cope with most curve balls given time and patience. I can't imagine a life on an even keel - it could be a bit boring! #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Maybe you're one of those people I have a sneaky envy of Kathy :) I'd like most of my life to have been fairly cruisy - and I guess it depends on whose life you compare your own to. Now I just enjoy what I have and build on the lessons learned - and I have also cut those expectations back a bit!

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  13. Tough times never last, they say, tough people do! Life sure can be interesting at times and I too have had my share of ups and downs. A positive attitude and strength of character has helped me along the way. Just believing it will work out in the end is half the battle :) #TeamLovinLife

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    1. So true Lyndall - it's that positive attitude that makes all the difference isn't it? You see people go through the same thing and it's their attitudes and their grace and appreciation for the good stuff that gets them through while others struggle with negativity and disappointment.

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  14. Yeah, things always work out in the end.
    #TeamLovinLife

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    1. Short, sweet and so very true Leanne :)

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  15. He never said it would be easy, just that it would be worth it. Everything good has an opposite unfortunately but give us all a chance to learn and grow. Thanks for linking up with Blogging Grandmothers.

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    1. That's very true Candace, we can't expect that life will be all sunshine and rainbows - we need the tough times to teach us lessons and to stretch us.

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  16. I guess one good thing of growing up in an abusive home is that life ever since has been so much better than I expected! I feel very blessed to have such a wonderful hubster and for all the good things now in my life. PS I share your faith in God, though have been through some interesting times in my faith of late which I blogged about here: http://www.middleagedmama.com.au/crisis-of-faith/

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    1. I guess when you've been through some really crap experiences Janet, life can only get better. I read your post you linked and left a reply because I completely understand those times when we question our faith - but God is big and he always sees us through.

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  17. Even when the going gets tough, most times it's not as tough as I had worried it would be! I'm trying to break the worry habit in 2017.

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    1. That darn worry habit! I work on mine constantly Jean - I think I'm slowly improving but when I kick it I'll be really happy.

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  18. I guess my life has been pretty cruisey for the most part but there are things that haven't turned out as expected and there have been challenges. Right now I'm helping my sister through a very challenging transition in her life and I have been surprised by the strength I've displayed in order to help her when she is at her weakest! #TeamLovinLife

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    1. I think it's the little glitches that add up together to make us stronger and to give us those life experiences we can use to help others - just like you're doing at the moment Min. All my best wishes to your sister x

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  19. Another inspirational post from you, love it! We all have struggles, even those people that seem like they have it all together...we just have to hang on and pray to get thru it. Thank you Leanne for sharing at #BloggingGrandmothers #LinkUp #BlogParty. I shared on social media.

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    1. I think it's important to acknowledge the struggles and to not envy those who don't seem to have problems. Everyone has their own story and their own journey don't they Dee?

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  20. The law of attraction says - the more you worry the more negativity you attract, Yes thinking of the same sorrow makes you even more sad! Thanks for joining the Bloggers Pit Stop

    Pit Stop Crew

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    1. That is so true Menaka - the more grateful we are with our lives, the more we notice things to be grateful for.

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  21. The only thing that is a definite is that God will see you through. That is where I lean when my life is spiraling out of control or when it is stable and going well. He is my rock. This was a great article. Thank you for sharing with Blogging Grandmothers. I have shared on my social media.

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    1. You are so right about God being our rock ReRe - I love that we can depend on a higher power and to not feel the need to control every moment or figure out every little thing. Ultimately God is in control and there are reasons for what we go through - and no guarantees of a perfect life.

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