When my husband was deployed to Afghanistan and I was left at home with four young sons, it was a huge turning point for me. I was apprehensive about what the year ahead would bring, and fearful of whether I was up to the task. But, for heaven’s sake – he was in a war zone! Surely I could successfully run a household on my own for twelve months…? And I did, and I learned something about my own strength and resilience that I never would have otherwise.
When he returned, after being immersed in the reality and culture of war for a year of his life, he was different. (There is no way that experience doesn’t change a person, no matter how well-trained and prepared, no matter how “professional” a soldier.) When he tried to return to his civilian career, he found himself feeling as though he didn’t belong in his usual professional environment. As though no one understood him, and nothing he was doing made any sense or had any purpose. It was clear to him that he had changed – that everything had changed – and his life needed to change accordingly.
Each of us either has or will sometime during the course of our lives, experienced life-altering events beyond our control. The change – in both our lives and our selves – that these events carry with them can often inspire fear and uncertainty (even when the event is a positive one, like a marriage or the birth of a child). We are thrown off balance, we may feel insecure. We are pushed to the edge of our comfort zone, but that need not be discouraging. In fact, it is this very situation which inspires us to courage! When we face these circumstances, we find that well of strength within us which we perhaps didn’t realize was there. Living through these occurrences – sometimes fighting through them – inspires growth like nothing else can.
A sudden change in life circumstances can be a catalyst to positive transformation. A significant occurrence can awaken within you knowledge of your own resilience, and lead you toward becoming the you of your greatest potential.