The challenges we face in life are a way to know that we are truly alive. A life free of problems can be a problem in itself. At the risk of sounding like a fortune cookie, there is some truth in the saying “You can’t have rainbows without the rain”.
If you think back through something in your life you have faced that was truly difficult, hopefully from this perspective you can identify ways that you became stronger or in some way better, because of those challenges. These positive developments aren’t always easy to see, and in some cases, it may take years before you feel like you’ve even got back to square one, let alone moved forward.
The long term benefit of a trial is all well and good, but how do we cope IN the moment? This is particularly pertinent for our HSC families at the moment – and I say families because these final exams represent the culmination of years of listening to reading, helping with speeches, serving in the school, meeting with teachers and now managing an exam stressed teen. In a sense, in Australia, the HSC can be a milestone that marks the ending of childhood, and that can be a scary thing for all involved. There is plenty of advice out there about ways to cope and I have personally used many of them.
There is one strategy however, that has been the greatest benefit for me, and I hope it may prove so for you – and that is relying (or desperately clinging!) to those I know who have the same values and beliefs as myself, who can provide me with refuge and comfort, without judgement.
Not only is this a secularly wise and evidence supported strategy, but it’s actually commanded for believers to be that source of support for each other in whatever way needed. Galatians 6:2 tells us to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I don’t think it’s too far of a stretch to say that if we’re commanded to offer this sort of love then we should also accept it when we need it.
We are not created to be lone survivors; we are made to live and love in community. Don’t decide that you have to do this (what ever your “this” is) alone to be successful. If you need help or a shoulder to cry on or even just someone to smile ruefully with over the head of your child as you walk in late, then I truly hope you find what you need in our school community, and in turn that you are able to offer it to someone else.