“Trials come to make you strong.”
If you ever made a dent in a church pew, you’ve heard that line. And for the life of me I can’t exactly remember where it comes from, but it’s probably from a Kirk Franklin, Fred Hammond or Richard Smallwood song. And when it’s sung by a sister with an alto that seems to take your soul to a different place, that line can touch you through and through from skin to bone.
But it’s flawed logic. Trials don’t come, they are sent. And for many people developing strength isn’t the following reaction, it’s the straw that break the camels back. For people who face trials, it seems they come too often. When you are facing it alone it can feel relentless and too heavy to bear. Because anyone who has faced trials one after another can tell you, it can make you not only grow a second skin, it can make you build an armor.
If I know about this, it’s because in years past I’ve had to tear holes in mine, because not being able to breathe or move wasn’t worth the pain of not being able to feel. But I’ve seen others build up an armor so thick that movement is hard. They usually find themselves adamant about how far they can go, insisting on the limits as the boundaries.
Being burdened by trails and hoping to become stronger can feel like an endless waiting game. We all want more control than that of our lives. But the problem may simply be in the perspective we are taken.
What if the trials were continuous? What if they were never ending? But what if your ability to withstand them was limitless as well?
One of my favorite writers Edwidge Danicat wrote in her novel Breath, Eyes and Memory of a young girl named Sophie and of the stories her Tante Atie tells her about her country of Guinea and where the people came from.
Their Maker, she said, gives them the sky to carry because they are strong. These people do not know who they are, but if you see a lot of trouble in your life, it is because you were chosen to carry part of the sky on your head.
The problem with “trials come to make you strong” is that it suggests you would be weak without them. It ignores the beautiful and awesome truth that you were made specifically to uniquely handle every trial you should face.
Today, revel in the thought behind your creation and the inherent strength you have inside. Regardless of how heavy the burden, remember you were made to hold up the sky.