I've never considered myself a particularly strong person. That may surprise some people who know that I live with chronic pain, have endured 5 back surgeries, dealt with my husband's bout with cancer and several other health issues that have plagued our family the last several years.
I'm not sure that strength is what gets me through tough times. First and foremost, I believe my faith in God has pulled me through many tough times. I believe in the power of prayer and know that God's strength will see me through when mine is weak.
Secondly, I believe that I get through many situations on pure adrenaline, fear, and determination. When faced with an undesirable outcome, my survival instinct kicks in and I do what has to be done. When the alternatives are considered, what choice do I have? Is that strength? Maybe. But I see it more as a strong will to not let hard knocks get the best of me. Life is too short and I want to make the best of it.
Often times I am mistaken as the strong one in my family because I'm the one who doesn't fall to pieces crying when bad things happen. They couldn't be more wrong. Even though I appear on the outside to be holding it together, on the inside I am hurting just as bad and falling to pieces just the same as everyone else. Mine doesn't show because of a condition called dry eye syndrome which prevents me from crying most of the time. I do cry occasionally, but seldom at the appropriate time when you would be expected to. Some see this as strength and some look at you like you are the most cold hearted person in the world. They just can't see how deeply I am hurting on the inside. Sometimes I wish I could cry like normal people.
Everyone goes through tough times and we all have our own ways of dealing with them. Life itself is survival of the fittest and we all do what we have to to keep going. So, if that isn't strength, what do I think describes a strong person?
Strength is my 90 year old father learning to live alone after 66 years of marriage to my mom and her sudden death in a car accident last July. Strength is my 90 year old father-in-law who is living alone in their assisted living apartment while watching my mother-in-law in the neighboring nursing home slip further and further away after 65 years of marriage. That is strength. That is strength beyond my comprehension.
Until next time...that's my view.