Thursday, August 11, 2016

Struggle Well

She walked in to the store and I, donned in my iconic Pier 1 blue apron, enthusiastically greeted her and genuinely wanted to help her in any way I could.  Within the first few seconds I discovered she has just moved to the Indianapolis area three weeks ago and was getting acclimated to the area and, as it should be, finding the nearest Pier 1 was of utmost priority (that is, after locating their kid's schools)!

While helping her find the clock she wanted I discovered that she lives in Greenwood (where we live) and our energy and vibes seemed to be identical.  She could be my friend”, I thought to myself.  This….this was a divine appointment.  I sensed it.  I knew it.

After leaving her alone for a while to search for other items to make her new home special (and so I could help other customers) we meet up again at the cash register.  It was there that I discover her husband is in the ministry!!  What in the world?  Mine is too!!!  We ooohhh and aaahhh and I give her my name and phone number for her to contact me and I could show her the local proverbial ropes, as it were.  We could be friends!!

Then it came out.  Right there at the counter she shares with me that she has a trust issue.  Their former church did not handle a family crisis they were going through well.  It was then I knew we were not done.  I got her name and phone number, gave her a great big hug, told her we were not done and she left.  She then was continually on my mind and heart. 

I expected her to text the next day or so.  After all, I was a catch of a friend!  I was fun!  I was a ministry wife!  I was a great listener.  I knew the fun places to go in the area.  I wasn’t a member of their new church.  Why didn’t she text?  (I now sound like a crazy girl waiting for a guy to call me for a date!!  What in the world??)

I’d call her but I kept forgetting to get her phone number out of my Pier 1 blue apron!!  I finally remember.  I text.  We set up a time and place.

We met yesterday morning at Panera Bread over cinnamon crunch bagels and Dr. Pepper (yes, she is a kindred spirit) and she began to share her story.  Terrifying, horrible, gut wrenching.

They were hurt (I am relating).  Abandoned (I am feeling her pain).  They went from living in a beautiful custom built 5,000 square foot house (not relating) making approximately $6,000 per month (totally not relating) to having nothing.  They went from serving a church with thousands of people they love and did life with to not being able to communicate with any of them.  Painful.  Terrible.  Heart breaking.

There is much more to her story….and many of us can totally relate to her struggles in ministry.  The disappointment.  Fears.  Hurts.  All of it.

Here is the question though.  WHEN we struggle (whether it’s ministry or personal or financial or marital or health or _______________)…not IF but WHEN…do we struggle well?  We hear the term “Live Well” but what about “Struggle Well”?

If you are struggling right now, I challenge you to “struggle well”.  Do it with your heart and mind and eyes focused on the One who loves you.  Struggle with hope.  Struggle with love. Struggle not dwelling on what is lost….but dwelling on what remains!!

Here is what she taught me.  If you are walking in the fog….F-O-G….walk in the Favor Of God!!!  Struggle well!!


Boggs' Family for Him said...

What an amazing post! Touched my heart. Struggle Well.
All too often when I am struggling, I just want to cope, just to make it thru this time.
Struggle Well.
Thank you!

Boggs' Family for Him said...

Struggle Well.
That is profound to my heart. While I am "mid-struggle" I just want to cope, just to make it thru. How am I impacting the kingdom with this attitude? Negatively or not at all - that is how.
Struggle Well....Thank you.

Dana said...

Yes!! Thank you so much for your comments Bogg's Family!! So thankful it has impacted you as much as it has me!! I so long to struggle well!! Praying for you now!!

Tara said...

Great post Dana! This hits home for me too . .. There's a chorus out now that I can't remember the name of, but it ends with the best phrase "Keep your eyes on the crown as you carry your cross" or something like it . . . Struggle Well . . As Christians we can. Thank you!