Thursday, October 16, 2008

Trial & Reaction

This topic has been on my mind for a little while now, and since the dreaded GMAT is behind me, it’s time for me to stop neglecting my blog.

I learned some time ago that it’s not right to wish for a trial or some form of adversity to simply disappear. Honestly, that’s one of the primary reasons we’re here after all, right? One of the most effective ways we learn is through hardship – the learning process is seemingly accelerated and in the end, if we endure well, we become better and stronger. Hence why the adage “that which does not kill me only makes me stronger” (or some derivation thereof) has a lot of truth wrapped up in it.

Then what is the right path to take? How do we get through adversity in general? Simply stated, we need to turn to the Lord for help. He will not allow any trial to befall us that He doesn’t know we already have the capacity to overcome (1 Cor. 10:13). Instead of expending energy on trying to make the situation go away, the better way is to direct our efforts to find strength from the Creator of us all.

The realization I had that prompted this blog entry is that this principle applies to dating (something I try to do on occasion; you know, being 27 and single and all). In the face of “dating adversity,” I’ve found that I often try to become numb. By desensitizing myself, I am no longer required to deal with any resentful or hurtful feelings. In essence, this is the same thing as wishing that a trial would simply disappear. However, by virtue of the numbing process, I also unintentionally close myself off to the Spirit and distance myself from the Lord. Even though I may not intend to lose the guidance of the Spirit, the end result is exactly that and I eventually find myself more alone than I ought to be – and during a time when the Lord wants to help me the most. Clearly, numbness is not the best way to deal with adversity in dating, just as avoidance is not the best way to deal with adversity in general.

I’ve found that even if I do manage to close myself off in the short term, I usually end up simply dragging out the moving on process and spreading it out over a longer period of time – a kind of procrastination to having to cope. On the other hand, I’ve also found that when I keep myself from going numb, my perspective is heightened. I cope with the situation even better than when I close myself off and hide in my own emotional bomb shelter. Naturally, the best approach I can take is to ask the Lord to help me get through the hard time and learn whatever I need to learn from the given situation.

No, all of this is definitely not easy. And yes, it requires an increase of faith each time a trial comes around. But I’m encouraged in that I’ve improved in this over time and I hope that someday I will see this clearly while I’m experiencing any kind of adversity.