Growing in difficult times

Raffiiki "It's in the past!" Simba "But it still hurts!" Raffiki "Learn from it?"

I LOVE this line from the movie The Lion King. It reminds me of how important it is to learn from our pain and from our past. Sometimes we just see pain as hurt and sorrow.  We might ask "Why is all this happening to me?" But sometimes, if we dig a little deeper, these are excellent opportunities for stretching ourselves and growing beyond what normal day to day life allows.

Exactly 3 years ago, my family and I were going thru one of the most difficult, stressful times in our lives. Over a span of 9 months we lost a baby to miscarriage, had a move into a house fall thru that left us moving 5 times (what a long story!), we lost my husband's mother to cancer, and those were just the major events. It seemed little things just kept happening to us, too. It was such a struggle. However, I remember telling my husband that despite all this pain, I had never felt myself grow so significantly in my life. It brought so many things into perspective for me.

I learned that a house didn't matter, it was my family that  mattered. I could literally live in a box and be ok if I had them. (I didn't say I would enjoy it but I would live!) You're never the same after losing a parent: cherish them when they are here. The main thing I learned is just because you trust in God, you may not always get what you think is best for you and what you want. But He will carry you thru it no matter what.

It's amazing- 3 years later- I am growing all the time but I still don't believe I have grown as much since then as I did in that 9 months total. Thank God for pain. It really does initiate growth- if we choose to see the opportunity.

I plan to blog in the future on trusting God even when it's not what we want and creating meaning from pain. Check back in a few days. Thanks for reading.

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing <strong style="font-weight: bold;">marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling</strong>.  We also specialize in<strong style="font-weight: bold;"> family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling</strong>. Imagine Hope serves the <strong style="font-weight: bold;">Indianapolis </strong>area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.