Week 17: I’m A Survivor!

Week 17: Lessons From Trials!

This week’s blog hits close to home. The topic is about things we’ve survived and how they have shaped who we are.

It’s just fact that life will be full of trials. There’s no avoiding it, not if you’re putting yourself out there every day, giving it your best. So it’s only wise to take the lessons from each trial and apply them to what comes next.

Here are a few of mine:

  1. Divorce- My parents split when I was nine. It was the best thing that could’ve happened for our family. A dysfunctional marriage is hard on children and sets a horrible example of what marriage should look like. As a child, I didn’t understand a lot of what happened and led up to their split. As an adult, I’ve learned what is and is not acceptable from a husband and to stand up for myself as a woman.
  2. Financial devastation- There was a point many years ago at which my husband and I were on the brink of bankruptcy. The crashing housing industry nearly took us down with it. We nearly lost everything including our home. My husband and I had to come together, make a plan, and work our butts off to get through it. We couldn’t give up. It wasn’t even an option. Those couple years taught us both to be content in feast or famine, to be thankful for every opportunity that came out way, and that no matter what, we have to cling to each other when the storms come.
  3. Death- When my stepfather passed suddenly, my mom was in no shape to handle the process and paperwork it takes to pronounce someone legally deceased. It was up to me to keep my head together and do what it takes to move forward. I learned that I work well under intense pressure and can be level headed under that strain. Even my mom said I was even stronger than she thought, a huge compliment!
  4. Sick babies- The same year we lost my stepfather, my nephew was born. At nine days old, he was admitted to the ICU because of a hernia in his diaphragm which caused his internal organs to be in all the wrong places. They didn’t expect him to live. Initial testing found that he was born without one lung. That wasn’t acceptable for me, so I prayed. The next tests came back that the lung was there, it was just crushed under his other organs. Doctors said he would live, but always have breathing issues, asthma, etc. Nope, that still didn’t set well with my family, so we sent out to the call and had people, mainly my readers, all over the world praying for my nephew. I was receiving messages for people in South Africa who were praying for healing. Two weeks and one surgery after my nephew was admitted to the ICU, he was home with two perfectly healthy, functioning lungs. He’s never had to go back to the hospital and that kid has better lungs than anyone I know. You can hear him for miles! Miracles of Biblical proportion happen all the time- we just have to open our eyes and minds to see them.
  5. Cancer- When my mom broke her hip last year and we found out that the whole thing was caused by a massive tumor in the bone- it knocked the wind out of me.This was my mama, the strongest woman I know, there was no way she could have cancer! For a tumor to be that big and to be in the bone, it had to have originated somewhere else and spread. Doctors told us to prepare for the worst. We prayed- and prayed- and prayed some more. After they removed the tumor, which was benign, they searched for the source and found nothing. NOTHING. She’s been cancer free for a year now. If ever you doubt the power of prayer and the healing power of God- just give me a shout, I’ll set you straight.
  6. Betrayal- This one is just as hard as death except you might just have to face your Judas later. There’s no point in going into details, but some of the people I’ve loved most have done some of the most horrible things to me. This is something I’m facing right now. It’s a painful process to cull someone out of your life, to carve our their toxic influence from your heart and your life. But, I’ve learned who my true friends are. I’ve learned that blood is not always thicker than water, and family is who and what you make it. Cherish the loyal souls, they are few and far between. Unconditionally love those who love you unselfishly. They are a gift.

How about you? What have you survived and how has it changed you?

XO-Jo