Friday, August 19, 2011

I Am Pro Choice

Nope. This isn't a pro life/pro choice blog post. Sorry to disappoint those who clicked on my link hoping for  a good read and perhaps debate on this social/moral issue. I do enjoy talking politics, but not for now.  I've had a lot on my mind lately about choices, and how we are in control of them, the one's we make.  

I came across an awesome quote the other day via facebook...... "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." - Unknown.   I liked it so much, I posted it and shared it too.  As much as I love this quote, I kind of disagree with it, to some degree.  And I've gone back and forth in my mind whether or not what I'm reasoning in my head is right, or at least, right to me.

After McKenna (my first born baby) died at nearly 4 months of age, I would often be told, "Oh you are sooo strong Shelley, I don't know how you could ever deal with that, I just couldn't do it."  My response to them almost always was, "I didn't HAVE a choice, I had to be strong."  I used to believe that, I really did. But the past couple of years, I've felt differently, and realized that we ALL have a choice in how we deal with life's problems.

A friend of mine told me, shortly after McKenna died, that her friend who had lost a child, ended up committing suicide because she could not handle the loss.  I have known parents who have lost more than one child, or who have or are raising child(ren) with disabilities, and doing it steadfastly, who just push along and continue to conquer the trials that come their way.  Sometimes, though, it's those "strong one's" that we often see who also, deep down, feel the weakest.  I can attest to that.  Just because someone "looks" strong, doesn't mean they aren't dealing with the same fears as everybody else.

I believe we do have a choice when bad things happen to us, how we will deal with them. I believe we can either look for the positive and reach deep within ourselves and pull out all the lessons we've learned over the years, put them to practice and test our strength.  Or, we can look at only the negative, give up, and not utilize that tiny particle of faith that we have. That we NEED.  Faith and strength go hand in hand in my book.  It takes faith to be strong, and we need strength to hold on to whatever amount of faith we have to get us through the tough times.

It doesn't take long to look around us and see sorrow around every corner. Whether it be a job loss, a financial burden of some sort, the loss of a friend or family member, the insecurity of what the future holds for us, a child who has strayed, or just the insecurities we have within ourselves, about ourselves. There is much turmoil in the world, that is for sure, but there is much good too.  And I think it is that realization that helps me to get through the tough times in my life that I've encountered.  For all the bad, there is so much more good.  Sometimes it takes a lot more digging to find it, but it's there.  And it is when I'm in the heart of a trial, that I have to sincerely ask myself, ask God, to give me strength to deal with what lies ahead.  I learned a long time ago to not ask God to take my trial away, but rather to help me understand what I must learn while enduring the trial. That is where strength comes from.  And you have to seek it.

If you ask me, strength  IS a choice.  We may never know how strong we are unless we put it to use.  Don't let it lie dormant.  So give it a try.... you may surprise yourself.

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