I am having one of those Mandisa, pump your fist in the air, this is not going to bring you down, kind of moments. I know that I am not the only one going through something hard so I figured this was worth processing out loud and sharing for anyone else who needs a shot of "you got this girlfriend."
So here you go:
I am tired of just surviving this battle. My mindset in this journey has been to just get through this hospitalization and then get back to my life. Simply put, I have been merely surviving. I am tired of just surviving and I believe that God wants more for us in the midst of our trials.
He doesn't allow us to walk through the unthinkable just to wear us down. No! He wants us to come out victorious, stronger because of it, with greater perspective, and closer to Him. That kind of swag (loot, booty, whatever you want to call it) from battle requires thriving in the midst of our trial, not just surviving it.
I have a few observations on thriving I want share with you as you too choose to more than survive:
1. We have 3 options during a trial. We can give up, we can survive, or we can thrive.
I am going to focus on surviving and thriving as giving up is not even an option for me.
2. The transition from wanting to give up to thriving is a process.
There is a time in any trial when we all just survive and that is completely normal and okay. This is where the Bible speaks to God holding you and carrying you. It's real and it's okay to be in survival mode. There comes a time, though, when there might be more and that is where thriving begins.
3. Thriving is easy to see as an end goal but it is more than that. Thriving can happen in the moment.
I started thinking last night of ways we can thrive this week and I decided one way was to change my mindset from living x-ray to x-ray and instead to seize each day we are here. I want to make every day an adventure to live for her. You will probably see piñata party pictures some time soon, maybe a visit from a princess or Santa, and anything else crazy I can come up with to help Maggie thrive through this and not just endure it. If you have any ideas for how we can thrive through this, please share.
4. Surviving lets your circumstances define what your are capable of. Thriving let's your dreams and God define your capabilities.
If you have looked at the news or your Facebook feed at all this week, you have probably stumbled upon the story about a the New York Times Reporter, Serge Kovaleski, who challenged the claims of presidential candidate, Donald Trump. Let's move away from the main story and talk just about Serge for a moment. This is Serge.
Serge has Arthrogryposis, the same diagnosis as my daughter Ruthie. When I first saw this picture, my immediate thought was "Holy cow this man is a WRITER!" As I sit here and type on my computer, I can't imagine all that Serge has had to overcome to be able to do what he is passionate about. I have no doubt that someone along the way probably encouraged him to pursue a career that did not require the use of his hands. That choice would have been just surviving arthrogryposis. Serge has thrived in the midst of his battle and might just unseat one of the most popular presidential candidates of our lifetime all while raising awareness for his diagnosis. Go Serge. Way to thrive.
5. Thriving is a picture of redemption.
In surviving we experience God as comforter and that is a good thing. However, in thriving, we get to experience Him as redeemer and that rocks.
Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
6. In Surviving you are defined by your experience. In Thriving you are defined by your response.
When the chapter of this journey ends, I don't want to last line to be, "and they survived." I want it to be a story of overcoming, a story of personal growth, a story of good ministry, and a story of thriving.
I don't know about you, but if my hard time is going to define me, I want to be defined by my response of thriving. I want to be better for it. I hope this encourages you to seek the same.