A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to take the turn.
Novelist James Baldwin once said,
Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.
Sometimes it takes a bad experience for us to face the changes that are needed in our lives. I know that was true for me when we were evicted from our apartment some years back with two toddlers and nowhere to go.
My husband and I were in a bad financial situation and we were really trusting God for a way out, but as it were at that particular period it seemed as if God went on a break on us. He tried to apply for a loan at the church where he was playing as a drummer, but of course, there was politics here and there(That’s another topic for another day).
Excuses here and there until it was too late, and on a sunny afternoon we found ourselves with the two boys without a roof. when that happened I knew I needed to make drastic changes especially with respect to financial wisdom and freedom.
In an unusual way, we were sorted out, but not the way I wanted, but like we say among my Naija people, “at all, at all na im bad” meaning half bread is better than nothing. Someone living in a 3 bedroom apartment, now having to manage small rooms not even up to the size of my kitchen..but then when life happens it is what it is.
It was as if we both reached a teachable moment, our teacher was the ‘pain’ of losing our apartment to squat somewhere else. The law of pain gives us the opportunity to turn our lives around- especially in the area of finance. It took us two years to get out of the rut of squeezing ourselves into one room while some of our belongings were squashed in another place.
We were taught how to make good changes after learning from bad experiences. when bad experiences happened, they create strong feelings in us, such that we either face the feelings and try to change them or we try to escape completely. it’s like the old fight or flight instinct. You remember the story of Mr.Job in the bible. He was in an extremely bad situation, that even his wife counseled him to run away from his predicament by cursing God and then die. To the wife, it was as if death was the only option for Job to get out of the situation.
Job didn’t do that because he knew that somehow there must be a way out, and he resolved to have the fighter instincts while he trusted God for a change. We also need to train ourselves to fight for positive changes when we have bad experiences. One of the ways to do that is
- Embrace the value of bad experiences- I often say that no experience is ever wasted, no matter how good or how bad it may appear to be. when there is no struggle, there will be no progress, facing difficulties is inevitable but learning from them is optional. We learn from our bad experiences when we understand that the difficulties presents opportunities to us…painfully!
- Take Responsibility for your Life- We must always avoid the label,”victim” when we fall into predicament beyond us, and resolve to move forward no matter what happens. Job made a remarkable statement, that showed us that at some point he went past playing the ‘victim’ and decided to just trust God and move forward.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in Him… Job 13:15.
It’s not enough to wallow in self-pity or continue to ask, “Why me?” I wasted a lot of my trying seasons asking that question. I now know that it is nearly impossible to grow in any significant way if and when we don’t take responsibilities for ourselves and our lives.
- Total Trust in God- Despite the fact that I felt like God wasn’t listening to my plea, or that He just decided to be mute( You know when situations become like hell, you think God must have forgotten you). But it’s in those crisis moment that He proves himself in our situation. Telling Us in His own way, “I GOT YOU!”. So it’s when we are in doubt, that we need to trust him more.
Because Life is a journey there will be detours, bumps, and bends, it is not the end of the journey, it just means a change!
Detour are Change
Bump is Change
Bend is Change!
In the words of William Penn, the English Philosopher, and the founder of the Pennsylvania Province,
No pain, no palm; no thorns,no throne; no gall,no glory; no cross,no crown.
Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. James 1; 2-3.