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Difficulties: blessings in disguise

We all go through hard times. Whether it’s financial worries, relational issues, work problems or just trying to lose that last 10 pounds, whatever it is that’s personally difficult for you is, well, difficult. For me, one of my most trying times was moving to the Philippines – with a 2-year-old and a baby – with my husband while he was playing professional basketball. At the time, they had daily five-hour brownouts in the Philippines, meaning they’d cut off all electricity – during the hottest part of the day, mind you. It was typically 90+ degrees outside.

My husband would be gone during the brownout hours, with our driver, so I was stuck in our Japanese-style apartment. We had no carpet or rugs, and geckos and huge cockroaches were frequent visitors. It was not safe to take two little ones outside by myself. I had no cell phone and a phone call to the US cost an arm and a leg. I often found myself wearing just my underwear, because it was so hot, with a baby that wanted to be held and a toddler that wanted me to sit on the floor and play. I hated the relentless heat; this former Minnesotan does not like to be hot! My husband would tell me, I think you need to learn to adjust and enjoy being with the kids. That just made me mad at him, on top of everything else frustrating me.

I realized it was either sink or swim: my situation was not going to change. I was the one who needed to change. I learned to laugh about sitting in my underwear and to love having the time to play with kids. I began to count my blessings: I didn’t have to cook (we went out to eat or ordered in), I had a driver, I had a maid.

God had given me time to just stop and enjoy my little ones and my husband. I was a single mom with my first baby and had to work the first 10 months of her life, and at that point I got married and became pregnant right away. I never knew before how to be a stay-at-home mom, and my current situation allowed me to embrace it. It was a big turning point for me as a mom. This difficult time made me better!

Tough situations have taught me to be creative with what I have. I’ve learned to persevere and focus on what really matters in life. I’ve discovered that going through hard times can be one of the biggest blessings in life. I tell my children to come out of the corner fighting!

“We are not of those that shrink back and are destroyed but of those that believe and are saved.” – Hebrews 10:39

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