Life is a continuous rollercoaster, you’re not often just cruising but you’re either living the high of your life expecting a down, or at a low point expecting a high. Life is not going to be smooth sailing, whatever the current situation now is, it will change. I want to talk about trenches today, the different ways to go about trenches in your life and how going straight through one can benefit you the most and shape you and motivate you and grow you. As the motivational Zig Ziglar said, “Sometimes it takes a good fall to know where you stand”.
Everybody at some point in their life experiences trenches, and I’ve come up with the three different types of ways to deal with them. The first one is really simple, and it’s to not deal with it. You can simply deny and avoid the fact that there is any issue and go about life as if nothing ever changed. Suppress any feelings or emotions, but you build it up for an inevitable explosion later. Bottling everything up in your pandora box (a term used for emotions and feelings are suppressed) can be nice at the moment, but at some random moment over the smallest thing it will open like floodgates and everything crashes. I’ve used this method before, it seemed easiest to just ignore the fact that there was pain in my life, and refining that I had to do. It resulted in a panic attack one random night where I had to call my sister to come home and calm me down, it’s not the preferred or correct method to go about bad things happening in life.
The second method is going over the trench. This way takes quite long and even though it admits that there is an obstacle to overcome, it still attempts to avoid the refining and admitting of pain. Going over the trench takes three times as long as it would to just go through it, and that is because instead of admitting the issues to deal with you still in some way are avoiding them which will come back to you in the long run. It sometimes seems so much easier to just pretend emotions and feelings don’t exist, trust me I numbed mine out for 2 years. But later I realised I would rather feel so intensely pain as I do happiness, instead of missing out on both. Life isn’t meant to always be sunshine, and you need rain to appreciate the sun. There are good things in everything, every bad thing that happens has good in it. Why? because we can learn through every experience we go through. At that moment we may not really be in a ‘learning’ mood, but I realised in my deepest trench the faithfulness of God and his hand in my life. I shouldn’t still be here today, but because I was able to go through that trench with never ending support I am here today stronger than before.
The third manner, as you may have guessed, is going straight through the trench. Look I know it’s so easy to say to just go through it, and I know it’s the most painful way to go. However it’s also the most fruitful, the most refining, you burn all those bad parts away and get down to the core. You’re stripped of things you thought you were to become things you’re meant to be. I was convinced my life shouldn’t look like the way it does now, I had such a completely different plan for it but now I can’t imagine not living the life I do now. When you go straight through the trench, you face everything at that time for how it is, you allow the emotions, feelings, anything to come on you and you work through them. It means not being afraid to show vulnerability, allow yourself to cry, to scream, anything, as long as you don’t allow yourself to give up. It’s the hardest of the three ways at that moment, but once you’re through the trench you’re through it. There’s no more needing to deal with old emotions because you’ve gone through all of that. Now I’m not saying it won’t have an affect on you later still, but the initial things you had to deal with are dealt with.
The trenches within life are inevitable, and every single one teaches you something. But it’s up to you how much you let it teach you, how much you let it burn and refine you.
In fact, I know a family that is going through a deep trench right at this moment. This trench isn’t recent, it’s actually been going on for a while. While most of us have been out having fun starting the new year, my very close friends have been in and out of the hospital because their youngest daughter, Annalise, is concerningly sick. At just age 11 she is suffering from paediatric pulmonary hypertension and is currently on an ECMO machine to keep her lungs and heart working. There is fluid pressing down on her brain, and this fluid is difficult to drain. This family should not have to endure more pain, in 2010 they lost their precious daughter Anya after a tragic fall, and if Annalise isn’t able to get a double lung transplant this could lead to heart failure and death. As you can imagine, this doesn’t come cheap and they need help. This family means a lot to me, it would be greatly appreciated if you would please consider donating by clicking here.