My first taste of adversity-can you relate?
It has been an interesting journey, these thirty-nine years of my life. I struggled a lot in school. As I seemed to get bored easily in class, I began to cultivate my desire to create. Creativity seemed to be my only outlet. If I finished my assignments a little earlier than others, I found out I had a lot of time on my hands. Any teacher who could not keep my attention quickly became non-Stephen fans, and I returned the favor. It was no wonder we later found out that I likely had Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
They flirted for years on whether or not to put me on a course of Ritalin or any number of medications. It was my first taste of adversity. I was not even looking for it on the horizon, but it was clearly placed in my path. I was fortunate that the parental figures I had in life were not able to afford the Ritalin. This reality allowed me to experience adversities and find my way of coping with them.
Lightning speed as a blessing
My brain has always been able to think and process information in what my friends would call “lighting speed”. For example, as I write these words I am simultaneously thinking of the next book, marketing plan, the love of my wife, and a trip to Ireland.
The world of the ADHD brain is one of complexity; it takes in information from all five senses at the same time and processes them in such a way that weaves together the beautiful mysteries of life. However, these experiences can also create anxiety, depression and fear.
Adversity comes to us all, and, in time, we will all walk through both large and small versions of it. However, it is through this adversity and their obstacles that I was able to understand God’s truth. He teaches us all to connect the dots to his truths through the experiences of our adversities; we have a chance each time to grow. The growth from one obstacle leads us to a new one, only to grow again.
What happens when you don’t fit in the box?
Throughout childhood, we are often asked to fit neatly into the box with others. However, each one of us is created in a different and unique way. Adversity, by its nature, causes us to stretch, grow and redefine ourselves. The redefinition is in and of itself the growing of future decisions, actions and beliefs.
God is not just the author of the world but the author of adversities, focusing on what we need to grow and mature. The more adversity we face, the more experiences we gain to help others. It is the tool that pushes us to explore our feelings, beliefs, and ultimately helps to create our God-given definition of self. It’s not who we are to others that matters; it’s who we are in him. We will be perfect at our purpose! Here are three ways to find your identity and value in this world:
3 Steps to living through adversity
1. Build a Legacy: Work on cultivating a legacy that will help others. You can be a catalyst for glorifying the Father through every adversity. Use each encounter with adversity to encourage others and blaze the trail others fear.
2. Find your Passion: List the things you would do for free every day if you could. Inside we can find our passions that have been hidden for only us to find, as a gift from God to you.
3. Trust in God’s Creation: Know that God foreknew you, that He planned you and created you. You are beautifully and wonderfully made in His likeness and for a predestined purpose.
When we experience adversity, we can tip our shoulder down and face it head-on. Take a step toward the discomfort, you will use the experience gained if you will go boldly forward through the adversity. Have confidence, and fully engage in the moment and the process!