I think that just with the sheer number of people in our home, we are, on a fairly consistent basis, dealing with one form of a trial or another. Being the adults in the home, Mark and I have our own trials. Then the kids through the years have continued to have theirs. As a parent I find that I watch their trials and find it a comfort that I have enough experience in life to assist our children through many tough times. But fairly often, what I know or have experienced isn't enough. Each child is a unique person with specific needs and characteristics. So they all need to work through things in their own ways.
It's in these times that I find myself more focused and on my knees praying for guidance, support and growth for our family. I have found that I reach success by working with the Lord to find solutions. The solutions come in many forms-no lightning bolts or angels. I try to guess but usually I just have to exercise patience.
One thing that we seem to learn is that bad times come and go and our attitude in dealing with each other during the down times is really key to making it through without too much depression, sadness and emotional scar tissue.
Another thing that I, personally, have learned is that most great things in life, including key learning experiences, take time. That's very painful at times. During the learning experiences we are usually trying to adjust our characters, habits and mindsets. We can call this the "smoothing of a stone". And isn't being a beautiful smooth stone a great goal in this life. Have you looked back at yourself ever? I just watched my wedding video from over 20 years ago and cringed at a couple moments of immaturity. Sure I was overall in a great place at that great moment but 20 years brings a lot of life experiences that for me have helped to make me a better person who would have done a couple things differently, if given the choice. That's a pretty normal thing with everyone in their work, home, etc.
Success in the end of a trial can be defined by whether one has learned a key life lesson, or one has been able to continue to move forward in life being productive without caving under the pressure. I don't know. There are a lot of measures.
I was inspired in this line of though by an speech (of which I only have a portion of so I can't quote the original speaker) that my Dad sent out to us at one point.
Here is the quote that I liked:
"Success seems to be largely matter of hanging on after others have let go." William Feather
The speaker added this though:
"I am so glad I hung on! I even think we need those times where we have nothing left in us. They help us build a trust and dependency on the Lord."
Words to live by. During some very challenging times for so many with tough economies, natural disasters and decaying societies, it seems a very good idea to stay close to the Lord and "hang on" for success not only for ourselves but for our loved ones and friends alike.