Sometimes You Must Suffer To Grow

By Roz Jones

Almost everyone loves a comfortable life and some will do anything and everything in their power to get it. It is for such reasons that we bribe our way out of some challenges and take shortcuts if the route to where we want to go seems long and presents countless obstacles. But what happens when we become too comfortable and don’t face challenges? Not make people comfortable in their failures and struggles but hey, they say a smooth sea does not make a skilled sailor and we will find out why.

It is not without a reason that people are being encouraged to get out of their comfort zones. As previously highlighted, as humans we long for a life of comfort, and who can blame us? Challenges can drain life and energy out of a person. We want peace, certainty, safety, and all the good things we can get. However, when we get too comfortable, we become content with who we are and what we have and, growth is slowed down or there is none at all. There is even the possibility of growing backward. 

There are various reasons why we suffer including our own choices and those of others. Whatever the reason, you get to grow in some or all of the following ways;

Suffering pushes you out of your comfort zone – it leaves you no choice but to do something to change your life. Some people are doing well in life because they vowed to themselves that they will not continue living in the poverty they grew up in. Maybe it is even safe to conclude that if some people had suffered enough, they would be leading better lives than they do now. This includes choices in relationships, academic performance, career choices, and job selection among other things. People tend to relax when they know or think they still have more options other than to get out of their comfort zones and do their best. Sometimes it is only when we have suffered that we become more willing to consider other options rather than stick to what we have always wanted.

Makes you stronger – most people who have gone through various kinds of suffering are stronger than those who have known comfort all their lives and just a few ‘nice life problems’. As you go from one challenge to another, you get to realize that crying and anxiety are a waste of time and energy. No matter what you are going through, a solution will come sooner or later. Spending time drowning in your sorrows only takes away more from you because you cannot think straight, you have all your energies focused on the problem which makes you less productive or desperation gets you going out of your way to find a solution. It is often people who have gone through the worst who are often there for others and are able to remain sane even where there is seemingly no hope.

Improves decision making – sometimes we suffer because of the poor decisions we or others make. Suffering the consequences puts us in a position where we try by all means to avoid going through the same things or causing others to experience the same. For example, some have suffered because of their parent’s or their own poor financial choices while others have spent their childhood in a home that lacked love and affected them in a way. The experiences can be the reason they decide to handle finances differently and aim to provide a better home for their children.

Broadens your understanding – suffering improves your thinking capacity helps you see life in a way you never would have seen it if all you had known was comfort. You get to understand your place in life and how you can be useful in your journey. In other terms, you learn to see beyond your space and interests.

Sleep is the Antidote for Stress

The Lack of Sleep can also elevate stress.

There’s no avoiding stress altogether, but there is relief available every night. Sleep is an antidote for stress and provides the restorative help you need to face each new day.

Stress affects our mind and body and it’s important to unplug and refresh regularly so you can manage stress better. 

There are many strategies that can help you manage stress so that it doesn’t interfere with sleep. Taking time to relax and wind down before bed is important to sleeping well and eliminating the stress of the day. A period of quiet time before bed allows you to step away from daily worries and set them aside before sleep. Try taking a warm shower or bath, getting a massage or doing some light stretching before bed. Certain scents or teas can even help you relax. 

These peaceful activities can release physical tension and encourage the onset of sleep. If you find yourself struggling with stress and worry during the night, the following bedtime rituals can help.

  • Decide. Try to sort out worries and concerns before bedtime. Choose a time during the day to deal with the stress you’re facing, and keep bedtime a worry-free zone. If you find yourself carrying stress to bed with you, keep a notepad on the bedside table where you can write down your concerns and set them aside before sleep.
  • Stay organized. Keeping a clean office, home, and car can help you relieve some of the stress of your day. Clutter can lead to unnecessary stress when you can’t find an important document or the car keys.
  • Learn to meditate. Meditation has been known to relieve stress and improve sleep.
  • Be grateful. Taking time every day to give thanks for things that are good and comforting to you can help ease stress. Create a practice of giving thanks before bed for the great things that happened during the day.
  • Try breathing exercises. Breathing techniques can help you relax. Slow your breathing and start to relax by inhaling to a count of four, holding your breath for a count of eight, and exhaling on another count of four.

Let’s face it, there’s always going to be stress in our lives. And a little stress never hurt anyone. Cortisol actually helps you find food and run away from unsafe situations. You just need to take the time to find out what daily stressors are affecting your sleep and how to handle it. By taking steps in your daily routine to make sure you get the proper amount of rest, you’re already well on your way to dealing with stress in a healthy way. With attention and practice, you can break the sleep-stress cycle, both to feel better and sleep better.


When It’s Time For A Change

No matter where you travel to, God is with you!

Sometimes, pursuing healing means doing something different. You might have to travel to a different country, be around a different environment, or see a doctor you’ve never met. It can be scary and stressful to do these things.

But we can rest in the fact that God is with us in these new places. Consider what He said to Joshua right before the man embarked on the biggest journey of his life…

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

God is with you, no matter where you’re going or where your journey takes you today.


Women and Obesity

Mahlia working out and feeling good about herself and changes she is making.

As a woman, you know that your body is your temple, and you need to take good care of it. After all, this is the only body you will ever have. A part of having a healthy body is maintaining a healthy weight. If you need to lose some weight, this article is going to be very useful for you.

How to Know You Are Obese

Many women know when they are a little overweight, based on how their clothes fit or how they look in the mirror. However, in terms of obesity, it is a different level of being overweight. This is when you face certain negative side effects and potential complications as a result of your weight. Obesity is generally determined by your body mass index, or BMI. This is a measurement that is determined by your gender and height, as compared to your weight. There are plenty of calculators and tables online to help you figure out what your BMI is. For women, if your BMI is 25-29, you are overweight. You are in the obesity category if it is above 30.

Common Risks of Obesity

While it might seem obvious why you are obese, this is not true for everyone. Some women exercise regularly and follow a relatively healthy diet, having no idea why they keep gaining weight, or why it is difficult for them to lose weight. Your diet can definitely play a factor in your weight, even if you think you have a healthy diet. You may be taking in too many calories, a high amount of fat, or too many carbs. Lack of proper exercise to burn fat is another issue. There are also genetics that play a role, along with medications and certain medical conditions, like thyroid diseases and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). You might want to see your doctor before you try to lose weight to figure out how you gained it in the first place.

Tips for Overcoming Obesity

If you are in the obese category according to your BMI, now is the time to start losing weight. You can make small changes at first until you get into the groove of weight loss. You really want to develop a new healthy lifestyle, not just try to lose weight for the sake of it. Follow a healthy diet, track everything you eat, drink plenty of water, and exercise 3-5 days a week to start with.


Today I Choose Joy

Choosing Joy is a choice!

In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Paul gives these instructions to believers everywhere: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

It’s HARD to rejoice when you’re struggling with a chronic illness. It’s frustrating to watch as your body betrays you, as doctors scratch their heads, and as all your prayers for healing seem to go unanswered.

But Paul’s instructions are clear—God’s children are to rejoice in every circumstance. Keep in mind these words weren’t written by someone living an easy life.

They were written by Paul, who was imprisoned, blinded, beaten, persecuted, and deserted by his friends. He knew suffering and he knew it was possible to still choose joy.

Can I pray for you today, friend?

God, help my friend choose joy today. Let them look for reasons to rejoice and give thanks, no matter what they’re facing. Help them to pray always, leaning deep into your sweet Presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.