Devoted Blog

Resilience

September 16, 2020

Blogger: Maria Jenkins

Resilience…the ability to recognize that life comes with challenges and you will face them and live to see better days.

Not all of your days will be great days. Some days will come with deep sorrow that shake you to the core and some will fill you with great joy like balm of Gilead.  As my grandfather used to say “what doesn’t kill you will grow you”. It is not the number of your days, but how you CHOOSE to live them. Will you choose bitterness and regret – always looking back, or will you take each day as a moment to learn and grow? There’s no manual, no magic keys that will guarantee your happiness. There is our Holy Book – The Bible, that will guide you through the darkness and give you the keys by which to live your life. Happiness is a CHOICE!

I have lived almost 62 years and have seen great sorrow and marvelous joy. My faith is rooted in Jesus, but not even that will promise you a perfect life. My father died when I was a teenager and I experienced abuse and neglect, as well as living during the era of segregation. It’s God’s grace that has sustained me through the many twists and turns of life.

I married young and learned how to raise kids on the fly while living overseas. Life was hectic, but good. My mother was the lioness of our family and she, and my youngest brother, died within 4 months of each other. Two years later Hurricane Floyd struck and we lost all our earthly possessions – everything except our lives. Once again God was faithful and restored everything we had lost within a year. I am a witness to the goodness, mercy and faithfulness of God!

More recently my health has taken a bad turn and I have had a brain hemorrhage that led to a stroke and three aneurysms due to hypertension complications. I should have died but God surrounded me with praying friends and good doctors. Over the next number of years I underwent two brain surgeries that ended my passion – my teaching career. It may seem that my life has been a series of unfortunate events, but I have also experienced great joys. I have three beautiful, healthy children who have grown into independent adults and I now have two precious grandchildren. I have a strong marriage to a man who adores me. When our home was destroyed by flood waters, God replaced it with an even better one.

I was raised by two strong, resilient women whose faith was rooted in God. They left a remarkable legacy for me to follow and now I am the matriarch of my family. I carry God’s Word in my heart and I know He covers and carries me. One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

A resilient spirit seeks to stay focused on Christ and what is good, lovely and true. Though our troubles may distract us, every new day comes with the chance to rise up and start anew. AMEN