Monday, June 22, 2009

Thoughts I think, by Karen Tosie

Karen Tosie is the mother of a friend of mine. For some of you that may not know, she is the woman who found my father, two days after my birthday last July. I turned to her that Wednesday night, scared, excited, confused, and overjoyed. I will never forget her words to me, "God wants this for you, he is saying now is the time". From that night blossomed a mentor / friendship / mothering that has forever changed my life. Karen gives me clarity in times when I seem to need it the most; always meets me with warmth, comfort, guidance, and the words I desperately seem to be in search for.

Last week, as we typically do, Karen and I were conversing by email. Both of us were having trouble sleeping and Karen responded to me with this:

".... here's the thoughts for tonight: why would you wish to not be so "up in the clouds"? Why can't we just accept that where we are is where we are? Why can't we just be thankful for "being"? Not doing, just "being"?... When we do all these things, it seems we are second guessing God and nature, the two most powerful sources of the universe.
... I heard a sermon on the radio this morning that reminded me, it's not about me. Nothing is mine, it's all His. And you and I already both know that strength comes from adversity--if you're never tested, how can you know the extent of your faith? It's like a muscle--unused, it has no strength. But if you work it out, stretching it and using it, it has definition and power."

It was from this email that I asked Karen (or begged her, tomato, tomata), to write a piece on Adversity for Plan B. Her insight and wisdom, inspires me daily -- guides me back time and again ... I hope you gain from from her piece the same wisdom I did, and continue to do:

Thoughts I think, by Karen Tosie

In hard times she had learned three things—
she was stronger than she ever imagined,
Jesus was closer than she ever realized,
and she was loved more than she ever knew.

Adversity and Faith

We wouldn't be who we are, if we hadn't gone through what we went through.

What does this statement mean to you? What images does it bring to mind?

From the earliest days of childhood, we are exposed to situations on a daily basis, which can either make us, or break us. Some of us have parents who love us unconditionally; some parents who love conditionally, others have parents who don't seem to love at all. How we integrate this determines who we become. But the other side of the coin is this: what was their true intent, what was their true feeling? It's the sad truth, that our perception of what is, is not always the reality from the other side. But it is our truth, and it shapes us, and it defines us.
A story comes to my mind of two little boys in a room full of poop. The first little boy waded through the poop, and knew it for what it was—a room full of poop. The second little boy, in the same room, waded through the poop, all excited, and shouting out loud, “It has to be here somewhere. Where's the pony? There has to be a pony, with this much poop!”
That, my friends, is an example of attitude. The second little boy had faith and hope, looking for a bright side, where the first little boy did not.

Life is about choices. Maybe we don't always have a choice about what happens to us, but we do have a choice about how we react.

These are some of the things I've learned:
Give thanks in all things.
From great pain, comes great gain.
Be careful what you wish for.
Thank God for unanswered prayers.
My strength comes from the Lord—I can do all things in Christ. I shall rise up on eagles wings.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
A fool and his money are some party.
It is more blessed to give than to receive.

And the standard cliché, you may as well learn to dance in the rain.

So, next time you're facing adversity, try to remember this: it's only for a little while. If it doesn't break me, it will make me stronger. And God is with me, always, all ways. Choose to see His face, focus on His will and keep on smiling. And lean on His angels, the people we call friends!

1 comment:

  1. I love it! True words from the heart that touch so many! Thanks Karen!