Friday, February 14, 2014

Let It Make You Stronger

I watch my share of reality TV shows when I can, but they've got to be good to hold my interest. This season I've enjoyed watching the American Idol auditions; primarily because of their choice of judges. They give constructive criticism, but in a respectful way. This week they chose their top 30. 30 performers were relieved and elated and excited, while the rest were let down gently. One performer was clearly distraught and overwhelmed and heart broken, but as he came out to join his family Ryan Seacrest said, "Let it make you stronger." 5 simple words = 1 powerful message.

We all experience highs and lows, good times and bad. Many of us have felt grief or misfortune or illness. There are many things in our lives that we have absolutely no control over, yet the one thing we can control has the power to change  a lot. Our attitude and how we choose to deal with life ultimately shows our strengths and our character. We have the ability, even when feeling defeated, to take something positive from a situation. This year I am an 8 year cancer survivor. My treatment took a year of my life that I can never get back, but it was also a year that taught me to dig deep and not give up. I discovered I had more fight in me than I ever dreamed, I rethought a lot of my priorities, my goals, and my dreams. I took a lot of positives away from the experience.
Last weekend I gave my first public talk for the American Cancer Society as a 'Voice of Hope'. 8 years ago I never would have seen myself as a public speaker, not to mention having the passion that I do to share my story. If just one person heard something special that day and became proactive with their own health - then everything was worth it.
What's something you've overcome or experienced that made you stronger?


  1. I think we all have an experience in our lives that makes us who we are. Like you said, it's what we do with that experience. Mine was 20+ years in an abusive relationship. I too chose to persevere (just took me a long time to find the strength to do it). I have been out of that relationship for more than 10 years now. Do I wish it never happened? The abuse yes, the children I have - no way. I have shared my story in a recovery program at church and have volunteered at a domestic violence shelter (the same people who helped me). I have learned to persevre and trust that God will get me through each day. I have also learned that God can turn the pain and trials in our lives into good (by helping others).

    1. I admire the strength you have, Cindy. It took a lot to pull back from that relationship and you're a better person now for doing that. And you're right ... your kids AND grandkids are a positive element and living proof of your strength.