Some Thoughts on Struggles

Life is always going to have its struggles.  There are times when others around you can see you struggling and times when nobody knows what you are going through due to various reasons (distractions, the mask of strength, etc).

Sometimes those struggles are internal, a battle between thoughts that threatens to consume us.  We struggle with identifying who we are as individuals.  We struggle with figuring out what we truly believe.  With relationships, with our actions, and with finding the words to speak.

Other times the struggle comes from outside of our selves.  From situations that the world throws at us.

These past couple weeks have been filled with struggles.

Just last week my cousin, who just graduated from high school, suffered a heart attack, spent several days in a coma, had a stroke, went through surgery, and has begun her own struggle of recovery with remarkable spunk, surrounded by an outpouring of love and prayers, family and friends.  Her struggle has thrown all of us cousins into a whirlwind of our own.

How can I be strong for them, for her, when I am nestled away in the mountains of Montana with barely any communication with the outside world?  How can I be strong for my team when my thoughts are elsewhere?  These are the struggles that all of us have been going through, so far away from home, so far away from family.

One of the struggles that I’ve been battling with all year has been trying to figure out where I stand when it comes to drinking and alcohol.  I personally don’t drink.  It’s a decision that I made years ago and I stand firm beside because it is a part of who I am.  I don’t mind if others choose to or not, that is their choice, but I have been struggling to find the words when it comes to how their drinking affects me.

I don’t mind it when people are drinking socially, but I don’t want to be around people who are drinking to get drunk.  It’s not an environment that I want to find myself in.  I believe that being in that situation (one where others are drinking to get drunk) compromises a part of who I am.  It makes me uncomfortable being around it.

The culture that surrounds us is a culture of drinking.  It’s a struggle that we all deal with, whether or not we drink and/or get drunk.  I avoid it as much as I can, but there are times when we are required to be places where others are drinking, when the plan is get everyone drunk, even when people don’t want to.

The struggles aren’t deciding which choice to make, it’s the struggle to find the words to defend your actions.

Combine all the struggles that we face and we discover the weight of the world that threatens to consume us.  To stand takes strength, an invisible force that we can sense, but we can never truly see and measure.

This strength comes from within, comes from God.  It comes from the brothers and sisters that stand beside us when we cannot stand alone.  It is the courage that comes from experience and the stillness that comes from finding ones place in the palm of God’s hand.

The struggles will always be there.  We will face them each and every day, for they will constantly evolve and develop, change and surge forth anew. What defines us is how we face them or turn away.

Just some thoughts…


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