In Others’ Words: Adversity

Whenever I think of Walt Disney, I think of Peter Pan and Tinker Bell and Cinderella and Snow White and happily-ever-afters and theme parks where you meet life-size characters and soar through the air on the Dumbo ride . . . you know, fun stuff!

And then I read today’s quote and I thought, “Really? Walt Disney got kicked in the teeth?”

Reality is, everybody gets kicked in the teeth — if not literally, then figuratively … even Walt Disney, the man who created the Magic Kingdom.

Have I had adversity? Yes.

Troubles? Yes.

Obstacles? Yes.

Ever been kicked in the teeth? Figuratively, yes — and I was once literally punched in the face by another kid — but that’s another blog post.

Can I, like Walt Disney, say that all of those things — adversity, trouble, obstacles — have been the best thing that have ever happened to me?

Sometimes.

Have they made me stronger?

Yes.

And they have definitely made me who I am today … and drawn me closer to God — and I am thankful for that.

“Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials …” (James 1:2 NAS)

In Your Words: How has an obstacle or trouble — a kick in the teeth — strengthened you?

***

Congratulations to Angie Arndt, who won the Name a Star Contest! Please email me, Angie, and I’ll get you set up!

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19 Comments

  1. March 13, 2013, 6:21 am   /  Reply

    I look at the way God was weaving resiliency into me even as a young child and I’m blown away with gratitude. Everything I’ve had to endure has given me that much more fight–that much more LOVE for the Lord and His grace!

    • March 13, 2013, 3:12 pm   /  Reply

      You are a strong, strong woman, Wendy — I’ve known that from the first!

  2. March 13, 2013, 7:42 am   /  Reply

    Things have seldom come easily in my life. I think growth, character defining has come through hardships and “being kicked in the teeth.” One example I’m thinking of happened over a few years’ period. I was picked on a lot in elementary school. In eighth grade, I came across some of the same girls who had done the picking in elementary. When they treated me with junior high “mean girl” actions, I finally realized I didn’t need to hang out with them, or to continue to accept their cruelty. That was a big step forward for this gal.

    • March 13, 2013, 3:12 pm   /  Reply

      Love this, Jeanne.

  3. March 13, 2013, 8:07 am   /  Reply

    How could someone EVER punch you?! 🙂

    I can definitely look back on some obstacles–one in particular–and see how it strengthened me. What I’d love to be able to do some day is remember that truth right in the middle of an obstacle. Often it’s not until I look back…

    • March 13, 2013, 3:11 pm   /  Reply

      It was a long time ago, Melissa.
      All healed.
      And yes, to remember the worth of obstacles when we’re facing them, scaling them …

  4. March 13, 2013, 8:53 am   /  Reply

    I JUST changed my name to Angie Arndt.
    How convenient is that?
    Although, I knew a girl in school named Anita Arndt. Does that make me the winner?

    Okay, FINE.

    If I listed all that was wrong with my body, I’d get really depressed. But I don’t. Because it’s not going to change anything.

    But nerve damage from the base of my spine to my toes and wicked arthritis in almost every joint does nothing but make me thankful for the days I can move freely. I know God allowed these physical trials to come my way. I’m fine with that. I don’t like it, but I accept it.

    And ya know, it sure beats hanging on a cross.

    • March 13, 2013, 3:10 pm   /  Reply

      You have a way with words, my friend.
      And a strong faith.
      Two reasons I like hanging with you.

  5. March 13, 2013, 11:01 am   /  Reply

    Congratulations to Angie. I’d love to know what she’s going to name her star, if she’s willing to share.

    Adversity can bring out the best in a person. When put through the fire, we are often forced to do things we never dreamed we had the strength, courage, or ability to do. Some of my greatest growth has come as a direct result of enduring the darkest times in my life and rising to the challenges they presented.

    I remember this truth when I’m writing. It’s why we writers make things so tough on our characters. When things are looking mighty grim, I remind my characters that it’s for their best and assure them good things are coming. Yeah, I talk to them. After all, they talk to me. 🙂

    • March 13, 2013, 3:10 pm   /  Reply

      Ah, Keli, I understand talking to imaginary characters — and how they talk to us. Last night I had dinner with another writer and we talked about our imaginary characters as much (if not more) than we talked about our real lives.

    • March 13, 2013, 7:21 pm   /  Reply

      Thank you so much, Keli! I’m naming it, “Emmanuel – God with Us.” I just couldn’t think of a better name for a star. 🙂

      • March 13, 2013, 7:26 pm   /  Reply

        And by the way, I’m so thrilled! Thank you so much, Beth!

  6. March 13, 2013, 2:03 pm   /  Reply

    Thanks for the nice post, Beth. Hope this day is filled with pain free smiles.

    • March 13, 2013, 3:08 pm   /  Reply

      This day has been filled with smiles, Mary.
      🙂

  7. March 13, 2013, 4:55 pm   /  Reply

    At the time, I thought some of my trials would cripple me, but honestly they turned out to be nuggets of gold wrapped in burlap. Once we got through the rough stuff, the gems shimmered and offered much wealth. Teachable moments. Teachable seasons. As God does so well.

  8. March 13, 2013, 6:34 pm   /  Reply

    I just saw the coolest quote from CHASING JUPITER (which I haven’t read yet)–something about the pinpricks of adversity being necessary for the light to shine through the holes of our lives…

    But yes, I totally HEAR you today, Beth. There have been times I’ve felt beat to a pulp in this process of trying to get published–actually, that’s the majority of the time. It’s a struggle and a fight to accomplish your dreams. But that’s life–struggling and fighting against the evil in your life, clinging to the truth. There are days when I literally think, “NOW I know one perk of being a strong-willed child–I just keep plowing ahead in the face of all this craziness!”

    Great quote and post today!

  9. March 13, 2013, 7:37 pm   /  Reply

    I learned long ago that adversity will make me either better or bitter…the choice is mine. Think I’ll go for better. Great post. Hate that you got punched once.

  10. March 13, 2013, 10:04 pm   /  Reply

    The past few years have produced tidal wave after tidal wave which threatened to sink me. Situations that my writer’s brain never would have dreamed up in a zillion years. Things that left this “fixer” fixless, and with the realization I needed to completely give it over to God. Whatever He felt was necessary for me to deal with, I would–my own epiphany moment, if you will. Peace descended on me. It was the biggest lesson I needed to learn (among many). Resilience comes from faith. And boy, did God ever bless me with care, answers and a whole ‘nother level of empathy for my fellow human beings.

    Oh, and more literally … when I was about eight or nine, a pesky neighborhood boy threw a pigeon-sized rock at me–from a half a block away–hit me right in the mouth. My lip swelled up about five times its normal size. Loosened a tooth. I don’t think he really thought it would hit me. I guess from that I learned, you want to be careful what you throw rocks at, you just might hit it. 😉

    Interesting to read everyone’s comments. Thanks, Beth.

    • March 15, 2013, 8:06 am   /  Reply

      Thanks for joining the conversation, Anne.
      And yes, I love what you say about resilience coming from faith.

      Sorry about that run in with that rock.

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