Sunday, August 12, 2012

Strength Comes in Layers

Many years ago when I was just getting involved in a church as a young mother and wife, with a particular spiritual gift I was just learning, I was hurt deeply by some folks in the process of the learning, people I looked to for mentoring and guidance.  I have looked back over the years a few times regarding this and wondered why those things hurt me so bad then when now I think I would just brush it off.

This morning driving back from getting coffee, alone in my car, I thought about things I have been through in my life and what I'm going through now, how I should react to current issues I am facing and how I have reacted in the past, and a phrase went through my mind -  strength comes in layers. I thought about the challenges of my life and the common theme that has run through my life since childhood in regards to how I choose to behave or react to adversity, and I wondered why I am doing a bit better today - (at 55 you would think so!) - and I thought about the toughness of layers, the experiences of time - the composite of that to make a strength borne of layers of experience.

It is unavoidable to experience adversity in your life and the longer you live, along with the joys of living, you will run into challenges, heartbreak and disillusionment. My particular method in a very simplified explanation, was escape, in sundry ways and means, from those challenges.

I googled "strength in layers" to help me with inspiration to write this - came across flooring diagrams and geological information - can't really say it helped my thought process but the concept was either the passage of time or the construction of something for strength, which was confirmation to me of a theme. I also came across some self-help mumbo jumbo about being the strongest of the strong - I doubt seriously that to seek this type strength I'm talking about is possible - I think it just comes by living. And in my case, by ultimately trusting God with my life, in my failures and in my adversity. Because today I feel stronger, I am grateful - and I did not layer it myself. 

Psalm 84
   5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. 
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.