For many of us with children, September is a marker for the beginning of a new year. I’ve chosen to take this opportunity to celebrate and start anew by making a resolution for this September’s ‘New Year” by adjusting my thinking and gaining a new perspective. Let me explain.
Have you heard about joy? Or peace? Or hope? Sure you have. We are all on the quest for happiness. One of the objectives when it comes to successfully achieving happiness is identifying and correcting our mindset or adjusting our perspective.
Having joy, peace, hope and an overall sense of happiness does not mean an absence of difficulty, challenge, and even disappointment. We all will experience a struggle. We all walk through a wilderness at times. This is simply a fact of life. But when we face difficult situations, it is really important to keep our minds protected and shield ourselves from deceptive thoughts like, “I can’t handle this. There is no way I can manage. This is the worst possible circumstance. I’ll never be able to set things straight after this. I’m completely by myself on this one.”
As I look back at some of my own wilderness experiences I can remember myself praying, “Please make things easier for me. Why are things so difficult and hard?”
In the midst of facing something challenging, the obstacle itself can grow so large in my view that it is the only thing I can see. It can easily consume my thoughts and block any other perspective. I forget all the benefits that come with facing challenges. All the lessons I learn, the relationships that can be built, the knowledge I can gain, the resilience and personal stamina that can be fostered, and the faith that can grow.
Our Shield Bearer clients remind me of what strength really is. They have courageously taken the steps to do something and have taken action to face and confront their wilderness. It’s like the adage, “If you keep doing the same things, don’t expect different results.” Another one is, “If you don’t change a flat tire, you won’t go anywhere.” Life does get difficult at times, but we can navigate those times by guarding the thoughts we allow into our minds and the attitude we choose to have.
We all have been hearing and seeing headlines that can sound daunting and many of us have experienced difficult circumstances for well over a year. Let’s replace any thoughts like, “I can’t do this; it is just too much; it is too hard” with “I can do what I need to do, I can reach out for help when I need it, I can make positive changes to my daily life, while this might be a difficult season of my life, it is only a season.”
I am excited about what God has planned for Shield Bearer, for our clients, for our staff, for our community, and for my own family. I’m excited about what challenges lie ahead because I know there are lessons to learn and when you climb a mountain, there’s a spectacular view waiting for you at the summit.