December 26, 2015

4 More Examples of Strength Through Trials


When do we grow the most?...Peaceful times?...Happy occasions?...When everyone gives us what we want or need? I really don’t think so. Strength isn’t necessary during idyllic times. For that reason, familiarity and relaxation will not lead to power. Victory is found through stretching ourselves like a rubber band.

I wrote an article the other day about how we gain strength in challenging times. Written below are further instances of how individuals consistently grow mentally stronger during their darkest hours:


Lindsey Stirling

This youthful lady is the highest-earning female on YouTube. I discuss her, and others who fought the odds and won, in my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds. Her road has been anything but easy and blissful. Here are some highlights of an article about her in Glamour magazine as well as some facts that I already knew:
  • 7.2 million Subscribers /Two Albums/A world tour
  • Couldn’t afford dance lessons as a kid
  • Unique dancing-while-playing-violin style
  • Battled rejection and depression

The real catalyst to this amazing woman’s career was America’s Got Talent.  This is noteworthy because she was disregarded on that show. In 2010, she made it to the quarterfinals.  Talent judge, Piers Morgan, said her music sounded like “rats being strangled”. Sharon Osbourne, a kinder judge, suggested traditionalism: a back-up band. Lindsey says that the criticism motivated her to work even harder.

Note to the abrasive Piers Morgan: Hello?! Didn’t you know that rats are musical? Seriously, who’s successful now? You lost your talk show. Bonus moral of the story: “So the last shall be first and the first shall be last.” (Matthew 20:16)

Another Note: One person is not the arbiter for the taste of a whole group, country, or the world. Nobody is that important. (That’s unrelated to the post, but I had to throw it in.)

The Bible

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego

Chapter Three of the book of Daniel is about these three Hebrew youths. They refused to worship the gods of the land, or the golden idol commissioned by King Nebuchadnezzar.  As a result, the monarch ordered his strongest men to bind them and throw them into a furnace. The fire wasn’t just hot; it was seven times hotter than normal. In fact, it was so hot that the men who threw the young men into the furnace were burned to death.

What is the rest of the story? The bonds were loosened miraculously. The young men walked around completely unharmed. They were also talking to a fourth man who was “like the Son of God.” Nebuchadnezzar called them to come forth out of the fire. He decreed that no man should speak against the god of these youths, since no other deity could perform such miracles. In addition, he gave them promotions.

Moses

This prophet was raised in luxury as an Egyptian prince. Yet, he had to be tried and tested as a simple desert dweller for 40 years before he was capable of taking on the huge role of leading the Israelites out of Egypt.

Me

I have gone through many “wildernesses” or “refiner’s fires”; waayyyy too many to list here. The challenges have smoothed my rough edges. Often, I am so humble anyone can wipe a floor with me, which is a huge change from my previous personality. Strangely enough, in this humility, I have discovered a new power: connecting with others who have more knowledge and fortitude than I do.

Conclusion

Trials can be uncomfortable, disorienting, painful, traumatic, and a whole list of negative adjectives. The good news is that an entire list of positive attributes can result from them: meekness; human or divine guidance and strengthening; and, groundbreaking discoveries and careers.

How have your challenges catapulted you forward?