Hardship Series #4: Looking for Your Own Silver Lining

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When I was 18 years old, I thought I knew what the rest of my life would look like. I would go to college in Texas, graduate with a degree as an Art Teacher and move home to Virginia.

I didn’t plan on meeting the man I was going to marry 48 hours after I arrived at college, and spend the rest of my life as a Texan. Or that my professors would discourage me and I’d drop out of the art program two years in.

I certainly didn’t know that my husband and I would go through the trials that lay ahead of us, dealing with a death in the family and a chronic illness that left me bedridden. I didn’t plan on needing a nanny to take care of my kids while I got better or being a plane ride away from my family, but it happened.

And if I had continued to choose to be bitter and angry about all the times I didn’t get my way or when life just seemed to be plain rough, I would have written another new future for myself: a sad, lonely, pity party of a life.


In the early years of our marriage, I was sad and uncertain about staying in Texas far away from my family. But when my mother-in-law got sick and my husband needed to be with her every weekend, I felt purpose in staying. And when my first child was born three weeks after her death, I knew my son was here to be a comfort to my father-in-law.

As a 2nd grade teacher, I was disappointed about not pursuing my art degree. But two years in a row I had a student who lost their parent during the year. I felt purpose, a strange coincidence that I was the teacher to help both kids through it.

Then as a mother, my second child came easily, but my body didn’t follow suit and I ended up with a chronic illness. I wondered, why now, when I wanted to be able to snuggle with my children. I wanted to be the one to take them to and from school. It wasn’t until almost five years later, that I saw purpose in that pain. I see the impact I’m making on others struggling with their own hardships when I train myself to see the good in difficult situations. That very-much-needed silver lining.


We have the option to choose our mindset in every moment of every day. Yes, it is work. It is a discipline to guard your thoughts and choose positive ones, but well worth the trouble.

So many blessings are waiting for you if you have the eyes to see them.

Don’t be afraid! Your hardship may be filling you with fear and anxiety. Focus on what is good and what is true. What is hopeful and brings peace to others. Find your silver lining.


Want to learn how to navigate your own hardship? Take the challenge to change your mindset from surviving to thriving. Get your free Goal Setting Workbook when you subscribe to my weekly newsletter here:

Also check out these other posts in my Hardship Series:

  1. How to Get Back Up After Life Gets You Down
  2. Choosing Faith Over Your Fear
  3. Using Music as Therapy During Tough Times
  4. Looking For the Silver Lining During Difficult Times
  5. More coming soon!

You’ve got this friend!


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