Life Doesn't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

Life Doesn't Get Easier, We Just Get Stronger

It's my choice to decide how to react, what to perceive and how intensely I care about certain things more than others.


"Life didn't change. God changed me."

One reader said this quote in the Tim Keller book, "Walking with God through Pain and Suffering." I thought it powerful at the time, but I've been thinking more about them: the sentiment has become more true since I read it. Often, we cannot change our circumstances, but we change the way we react in the face of them. In the case of a Christian, God changes how we weather, think, and react to circumstances, especially hard and excruciating ones.

I have been taught and have written before about how gratitude is the best way to compensate for resentment. I, too, am grateful for every mistake I've made in ways that I have wronged others, and am grateful for every way I have been wronged. But sometimes I slip, and when I do, it helps to realize that those slips are merely growth pains in a path and plan for spiritual formation. It helps to remind myself of the sentiment, also, that "life doesn't get easier, but you just get stronger."

Resentment in our lives comes from things not going as we originally planned them. Maybe losing control isn't such a bad thing, because we'll never have life go completely as planned. We can only react to what happens, and every challenge isn't a hurdle, but a re-directing into another place we didn't know before.

The actual quote, put more eloquently, is from Steve Maraboli, popular radio talk show host and author of "Life, the Truth, and Being Free," is that "life doesn't get easier or more forgiving, we get stronger and more resilient."

It is true that things don't get easier, but we just become better equipped to deal with them. With more familiarity to the same difficult challenges, we fear those challenges less, learn from our mistakes, and ready up for the next storm.

I remember the first time I ran in 25 degree weather as a freshman in high school with my cross country teammates in New York. I wore a T-shirt, basketball shorts, and no gloves, running 11 miles through the snow with my friends. I knew immediately that I made a terrible mistake: by the end of the run, my entire body was read, my hands were so dry they were bloody, and my coach went up to me and said, "what the hell are you doing?"

Things did not get better in the next couple of days. In fact, it got even colder. I made sure to wear a sweatshirt and sweatpants, and since then, I've been well-prepared running in the cold, rain, snow, or whatever condition there is. One time, my friend and I ran in the middle of Hurricane Sandy, heard the loud snap of a tree, decided it was a terrible idea and sprinted back home.

In the words of Brianna Wiest of Thought Catalog, "every experience we have is inherently neutral. That's hard to grasp when things seem so changed. But things simply are, no better, no worse." A common saying is psychology is that a situation is never good or bad. It just is, and we personally evaluate and decide to assess valence to that situation. Most things aren't as simple as good or bad; they're both.

Time does not heal all wounds. I believe that is a misconception: time is a resource with which we heal our own wounds, through which God gives us the strength. Life often moves very slowly, and in my experience, life doesn't change as fast as we like, or at least I like. But it is in experiencing pain that we know what joy is, because emotions are all relative to each of us.

Wiest puts it best, and continues in saying that "we start to realize that we are only as grateful as we were once without. We are only as accepting as we were once exclusive. We are only as happy as we were once suffering. The change that happens is a change in perception."

She goes on to urge us to just let things be and not extrapolate meaning and assumption from our circumstances. "We'd find that the majority of our angst and frustration comes from allowing ourselves to the whim of other uncertain means. We'd realize that things only matter as much as we decide they do."

I've asked myself a question recently, in that my life hasn't changed that much, and I still endure the same level and manner of suffering: so what? So what if people judge and speculate about you? So what if many of your friends betrayed you? So what if life isn't the same? So what if it's gone in another direction and I've had to adapt?

It's my choice to decide how to react, what to perceive and how intensely I care about certain things more than others. I still haven't made the decision as to what matters to me and what doesn't, but God has given me the insight to realize that I am the one in control of my own life, no one else. "Our lives are genuinely the result of however we perceive them," Wiest ends. "For better, for worse, for now, for always."

Popular Right Now

A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.

Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."


Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

Related Content

Facebook Comments