Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress—such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems, or workplace and financial stressors. As much as resilience involves “bouncing back” from these difficult experiences, it can also involve profound personal growth.
Life is full of twists and turns, a journey through white waters with intermissions of drop pools. If peace is like a river, then resiliency is our raft. Bouncing from rock to rock we keep paddling. We each navigate this winding adventure armed with past hurts, joyful memories, and unresolved baggage in our packs. Occasionally we flip right out of our raft and find ourselves flailing, searching for a vessel to save us and carry us through. So many options, vices litter our path, but resiliency is the vessel that will truly help us find our way to hope and healing.
FOUR WAYS TO STAY RESILIENT:
1. Have faith in God. Trust that God is at work and is on your side even when you don’t feel or see it. Jesus was sound asleep, perfectly at rest, during a storm on the lake. When they woke him, he calmed the winds and the waves. He had it all under control even when it appeared he didn’t care. (See Luke 8:22)
2. Be persistent not lazy. The woman with the issue of blood crawled on her hands and knees to touch Jesus and she was healed. She made a desperate choice that day to reach out for what she needed. She could have stayed home, she could have given up, but she didn’t. She was persistent and her life was forever changed. (See Luke 8:43)
3. Let life be a lesson. Never stop learning, always look for the wisdom in the wind and waves. Whether you are reeling from a tragedy or missteps along the way, let them teach you. Every turn brings an opportunity to learn. Look at Peter’s life, he struggled along his journey, but he didn’t give up and it made him wiser in the long run. He let his failures make him a better man.
4. Cultivate a thankful heart. Psychologists say that one of the core attributes of happy wholehearted people is gratitude. I believe this is true whether or not you have a connection with God, but it is even deeper when you do. God surrounds us with His love and beauty, how could we not be immensely grateful for all He has done? A thankful heart is one of the most powerful life-changing tools we have. Our circumstances may never change, but WE will change, and we will be more fulfilled and at peace by choosing gratitude than we would if everything around us was going our way and we continued to complain and live in an attitude of lack.
It truly doesn’t matter what is going on in the world outside, this is an inside job.
Are you tired of just treading water? It’s exhausting, I’ve been there, I understand. Let’s jump into the raft of resilience and start paddling. We got this.