I am sitting on my porch, expansive mountain range in view. The light filters on a few of the mountaintops, with shadows on others. Clouds darken, then break as sunbeams grace the treetops. The rain washes over one mountain peak, blue sky tops another, all ever-changing. Each movement brings a new emotion, a unique perspective to the extraordinary nature of God's creation. Yet, the feelings that accompany the changing landscape pale in comparison to the lasting effects created by the peaks and valleys of life.
I have walked this earth for some time now, and there is something I have learned about this journey we all take between our first breath and the day God calls us home. Life challenges conquered and our story written isn't done in years, months, or even weeks. Life is mastered in one day—one day at a time.
There are Many Pages in Our Story
As I open the pages of my own life story, the emotional swings accompanying each chapter are not a distant memory. Though faded as the pages of an old novel stuffed away in the attic, they unexpectedly become real again. Brushing the dust from each day past, I realize much time has lapsed, healing has occurred. But forgotten? Not at all.
A debilitating muscular disease was my diagnosis., Limitations explained to this girl of only 13. No cure available, monitoring my only course. Years of battling ensued, until God intervened.
My father's depression led to his suicide, my pain, guilt, and anger. Then God's grace, mercy, and strength.
Moving across the country with a husband of 4 months, a promise of a job that quickly disappeared, and no money to fall back on. An unlikely beginning to careers neither one of us could have foreseen.
The birth of our first child began with joy, terror, love, and uncertainty. Eighteen months later, this same little girl with a constant 104-degree temp hospitalized for weeks. Multiple tests, discussions, and specialists later, the fever broke with no explanation and unrestrained relief.
These are only glimpses into a few chapters of my life. But they don't tell what would be written on every page. It was by waking to each day understanding that day indeed had trouble of its own. That day was what I would need to tackle. That was all that was required.
When we face a new challenge, we have a litany of internal questions. Am I prepared for the road ahead? How could this happen? Can I get where I need to be? What do I have to do to get there? Am I strong enough to endure? Will this ever end?
These questions won’t be answered the first day or second or any specific day after in a challenge you’re facing. Answers will only be found over time. But handling the turmoil as you seek these answers is your goal.
Wisdom I Gained One Day at a Time
One day at a time I gained the wisdom required to handle whatever life would throw my way. Here is that wisdom that I believe can easily be adapted to whatever each of us faces:
Each morning remind yourself that you have a God who wants to be and is involved in every moment of the day ahead. Begin with a simple good morning greeting, then ask if He would help you remember He is there throughout the day.
Resolve that you are only going to deal with today. You may have decisions to make that affect the future, but only make those required that day. Put the others off until another time. And then don't think about them.
Each day accomplish what you can. When my health struggles took over, I knew my limits. When my father took his life, I worked to understand depression as I never had. When our business looked impossible, we sought to conquer what was possible. When my daughter was in the hospital, I asked every question available of the medical professionals. It may be the everyday tasks needed to survive and eventually find the answers to your challenge. Forward movement of any kind is enough for each day.
Also, allow yourself the grace to check out entirely if you need to, without guilt or condemnation. Ask others to cover you for the day and remove yourself from the pressure. You may not be comfortable asking for help, but there are times when you need it. Know this, asking is not a sign of weakness but strength. Recognizing that we all need support, companionship, peers who have walked our journey, or professionals to answer our questions is wise and essential.
Remember that good enough is good enough. Whether it feels like a discouraging day or a day of encouragement, give it your best realizing that truly is enough.
Each day thank God for getting you through. Remember, He is not expecting perfection or for you to always rise above. He simply wants to partner with you in the process. And if you allow Him, He always will.
We must understand that whatever we experience, whatever challenges we encounter, are conquered in "today." The God of grace does not expect us to hold to the past or ask us to wait for tomorrow. We are to live and love today.
That is what writes our story, how our life is measured. It's all we have and all we need to have. Then when we pull that book out, dusting off the pages and reliving the chapters, the emotions will still be part of the reflection. But what will endure even more is the strength we gained, the faith we built, and the healing we received… by simply living life one day at a time.
Darlene Brock spent 20 years in the music business managing bands and producing award-winning music videos also serving as COO of ForeFront Records. She joined her husband Dan to co-found The Grit and Grace Project, aimed at supporting strong women . . . and those who want to be. As an author and businesswoman, she has been featured on a variety of media outlets including FOX and CNN as well as ABC, CBS, NBC affiliates. She gains the most positive energy when she is able to merge her personal and professional passions by helping women as they seek to find their inner strength.
Check out her book: Raising Great Girls and download a free chapter today!
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