“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced? Were their times where you felt like you wouldn’t overcome? What did you do to silence the doubt? How did that experience change you for the better?
Sometimes challenges will cause you to question your experiences. You start to ask questions like, “Why did this happen?” ” What did I do wrong?” ” Why did I make that decision?” But could it be, that it needed to happen in order to get you to grow? What if God has something so much greater in store for you but, He had to make you uncomfortable so that your perspective would shift and your heart would change. There is always purpose in the challenges you face. It takes a lot of strength, courage, moments of reflection and willingness to grow in order to understand what the challenge is trying to teach you.
One of the biggest challenges I’m currently facing is overcoming the Corona Virus. This is day number seventeen since testing positive and it has really been a wild ride for me, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. My experience with COVID-19 started a little over two weeks ago. My symptoms were weakness, chills, fever and a headache. The headache was the first thing I noticed when I woke up and it persisted throughout the day. I got tested around 5pm that evening and testing alone was an experience. I registered online, sat in my truck and waited for the doctors to come and stick a long test swab through my nose. Very uncomfortable! My eyes watered, but thankfully it was only about 20 seconds of pain. After, I waited about twenty minutes and he read my my results. “You’ve tested positive.” Those words made my heart start to pound so fast and hearing about all of the bad experiences on the news raced across my mind. All I felt in that moment was sadness and regret. I felt like I should have been more careful, but I actually was being very careful I never really went anywhere and COVID-19 still found me. You just never really know how it will happen, no matter how careful you are. Those were the raw emotions I felt in that moment, but after talking with my husband and taking time to just sit back and reflect hope filled my heart. I started to cling to my faith in God because, I’ve seen God heal people with my own eyes and I know what His word says.
The first couple of days were miserable. Body aches, chills, up and down fever, nausea but thankfully I didn’t lose my appetite. Sometimes you have to look for the positive in a negative situation. I took so many baths within the first two days and soaked in Epson salt, it was very relaxing and therapeutic. I took six baths to just soak in the first two days because of the constant aches. My family sent my a very sweet gift basket filled with , crossword puzzles, candy, candles and things that help to relax your body. That simple act of kindness brought a smile to my face. Throughout the week my symptoms were up and down and by the seventh day I developed a cough but not longer had a fever or chills but would sometimes filled nauseated. Mentally and emotionally the first week was hard because I missed being around my husband and kids. I’m a stay at home mom and virtual teacher so i’m always with my kids so this whole isolation and being alone is a different kind of experience for me.
There were moments where I felt sad, confused, hopeless and even moments I thought I was about to die. Once I begin to notice the change in my mental and emotional state I knew I needed to change what I was doing during this time of isolation. My perspective begin to shift and I knew that I could look at this time as an opportunity to either sit back and sulk or I could use this as an opportunity to grow stronger and come out of this quarantine ready to change the game and level up on the ideas that God has placed in my heart. I went back about three days ago and tested positive for a second time and now it’s just a waiting game, but I’m choosing to see it as a greater opportunity to grow and become a better version of myself.
I challenged myself to grow in three areas:
- Spiritual Growth
Isolation will cause you to really lean in and seek the heart of God. Every morning I’ve been taking time to pray, listen, read and worship. This has helped me to stay encouraged and given my a fresh perspective on what God wants to do in my life. Worship has been refreshing and taking time to just listen and allow God to speak to my heart has really changed the way I’m thinking about this time. I really see it as a blessing in disguise. When I’m with my kids my prayer time is during my time fixing them breakfast, I would turn on my worship songs and pray as I move. These last two weeks have been silent, I feel like I’ve been hearing God so clearly and His presence has been extremely refreshing.
2. Mental Growth
This isolation has given me time to reflect. Reflection has been a game changer for me because it allows me to process what I am going through in a healthy way. I’ve been journaling my thoughts and writing down different area where I need to change and how I can get better. I also started reading a book called, “Pitch Anything,” it’s a really great book on presenting, persuading and learning how to win the deal. Ive learned the importance of not allowing my mind to be idle. I’ve challenged myself to grow my mind during this time by reading, listening to positive and empowering messages and always taking time to watch movies as a way of relaxing. I’ve been resting a lot during this time also which is helping me in this recovery process. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve grown stronger mentally, by also focusing on my goals and taking time to plan and work on some of the ideas that I’ve been thinking about.
3. Emotional Growth
This isolation has taught me the important of relationships. I’ve grown so much closer to my friends and family during this time. This has helped me to stay emotionally strong. I talked to my friends and family everyday and am able to discuss how I really feel and have the support and encouragement in knowing that I am not alone. I have also been able to write down the emotions I feel and reflect on them so that I can be honest with myself about my experience. I feel so much more in tune with myself and I am learning healthy ways to continue to move forward in my life so that when I get back to my routine I will be able to keep this same energy.
These are things that have helped me to overcome the challenges I am currently facing. I’ve learned to look at the challenges as an opportunity to grow. My goal is to not just go through life but to grow through life because I understand that everything I go through serves a purpose and there is something greater on the other side of this. My faith and hope is stronger than ever in this season. I hope this encouraged you. No matter what you face, God will give you the grace to overcome. You are not alone. Thanks for reading!
What are some challenges you’ve been facing? What do you feel like your experience is teaching you? I would love to hear your story of how you are overcoming.