The Struggle Is Often Worth It

My daughter posted this, written by Leslie Dwight, on Facebook today and I thought it was worth sharing and writing about here.

What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?

What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for

A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw – that it finally forces us to grow.

A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.

A year we finally accept the need for change.

Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.

A year we finally band together, instead of

pushing each other further apart.

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather the most important year of them all.

It does seem like we’ve had a crazy, scary, confusing year already and it’s only been four months so far! I have seen some funny meme’s posted on social media about canceling the year 2020. But think about what that says. And think about the biggest changes in life. They have happened in chaos and confusion often. The end of slavery, the right for women to vote, even the founding of America – so many things that are a meaningful part of the fabric of our lives happened in times of raw, stressful pain. They were difficult times, exhausting and hurtful and I’m sure it felt like it would never get better. But it did.

I’m thinking about life itself. The struggles of relationships. Loving is so wonderful, but it is also very hard at times. We want what we want. And relationship, whether it be marriage or a family system, or even friendship, is a struggle. It requires stretching and growing, giving and receiving. It isn’t easy to stay in relationship long term because we can get tired of the effort it takes. We change and we grow and we fall back and we stretch and we grow some more. Or we don’t. Sometimes we just can’t take it and we give up. But a healthy, equal relationship is worth the effort in the end.

Think of the caterpillar that crawls around, clinging to a vine. Limited in how far it can go and what it can do. And then it enters into the cocoon and is there, in that dark place, where it struggles and works hard to make its way out of that small place it’s in. And finally, it breaks free and finds it is changed into a beautiful new creation with wings to fly. The sky is the limit now! The struggle was real but it was worth it.

And think about a seed of a rose, small and dead, lying beneath the cold bitter earth. It must be such a struggle for a tiny seed to be nurtured and to bring forth life and, with the help of the sun and with water and the nourishment of the soil, it begins to grow, to break free from the grave to live in beauty and grace.

In this time of struggle, it might be good for us to consider that perhaps this will be the best year ever! This could be a year that we finally open up to allow God to change us all for the good. In Romans 8:28, the Apostle Paul says: We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. Perhaps we should be reflecting and asking: “Lord, what are you doing with us right now? And how can I participate in this new thing?” I invite you to pray that prayer along with me.

There is a beautiful song that comes to mind as I write this. It was sung by Bette Midler, titled “The Rose.” Listen to it here, sung by my sister, Cindy. Such beautiful, poignant words.

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