The Ability to Stand
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, resilience is defined as:
“an ability to recover or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”
The word resilience brings me anxiety, because what it means is that hardships are guaranteed.
I doubt there are people out there jumping for joy at the thought of hardships. This concept is a topic of interest for researchers as they attempt to answer why people can experience the same thing, yet the responses to the experiences are different. There is even question whether resilience is a real thing.
To me, it is a thing. There is something that gives people the ability to stand as everything around them changes.
I live in Portland OR, one of the whitest cities in the USA. I am usually the only person of color, African American, or African American woman in the spaces I am in. When I first moved here, it seemed fine. I mean, I found it strange, but I accepted that reality.
As time went on, and I interacted with more people in different capacities, I began to feel this tension that I could not explain, but it frustrated me. I was experiencing interactions that got to the core of me.
I felt defeated and exhausted daily.
I had to put in a lot of effort to be heard, understood, seen and accepted. I felt emotional and psychological pain daily. I realized I was fighting daily to be seen as a human being.
There is a purpose for every pain we experience.
Romans 5:3-5 says, “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
These verses define resilience.
Some of the work I do now has to do with this very thing I struggled with. The purpose of the pressure and pain was to pull out the things in my heart that prevented me from stepping out in confidence knowing that I am a daughter of the God who created the universe…
What a thought: I am royalty.
That does not mean that the painful experiences go away. They are still there and sometimes even more painful; but I can stand in those situations because I know I am not alone. The Holy Spirit who lives in me sustains me. I am planted in Christ so a storm can come from all angles with different intensities, and I can stand despite the unwanted feelings and discomfort.
Hardships are guaranteed.
We are not immune to the pain. But God gives us the strength to stand while everything around us seems to fall apart, and in that, a transformation takes place. Those painful experiences become opportunities for growth.
Hey! My name is Dr. Marcella Chiromo. Professionally, I am an international psychologist. I work in the field of mental health, program design, and evaluation in different settings. I am a believer in Jesus Christ and have many stories to share about how His love has transformed my life. We are all on a journey and should embrace every part of our lives, because there is a purpose in it all.