“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
This weekend, we were once again encouraged by the resilience of the human spirit as fUSS delivered training session at the African Leaders Institute for Community Transformation (ALICT.org) to students from 26 countries. During an intensive 3 month period, ALICT students are trained in a variety of community transformation strategies. Since 2010 fUSS has played a role in addressing the impact of loss in the lives of ALICT students, helping them on the journey of growing forward, through their pain, incorporating the variety of experiences into their lives. Thus aiding them to live, strengthened by the experience of pain, rather than a victim thereof.
I listened as he talked, and after he finished his story, we investigated some of the ‘happier’ memories he shared with his brother as they were growing up, the struggles they overcame, and the happiness they shared as they started their families. Once again, the tears flowed over his cheeks. This time, with joyful memories. “These aren’t sad tears. Yes, I miss him. I miss feeling like we’re a big family. But I have such love and joy in my heart when I talk of him. I know that I can deposit a memory bank of good memories into the lives of our children. And they can also feel part of our family legacy.”
Growing through pain takes time. When we build a house, we build it brick-by-brick. When we learn to live with a loss or life-changing event, we rebuild our lives ‘brick-by-brick’ too. Patience and persistence are two key-words in re-adjusting our ‘new’ lives as we learn to live with the change. We need: Patience to grow slowly. Persistence to keep going.
When we experience a big loss in our lives, it is normal to feel that our life has fallen apart. As you embark on the growth-journey, it can however be helpful encouragement for our journey, when we look for some good things; we might find some good that has come from the situation.
Among other things, here are some resilience-characteristics we have been fortunate to observe in the lives of those that we work with. Resilient people:
• are strengthened as they grow through their experience;
• come through the experience whole and focused (albeit with a few battle-scars);
• have a clear plan for their lives and have not allowed their loss to stop them from having hope for their future;
• become a person who is an inspiration to others.
• support other people to help them through their experiences.
• share their growth-journey, in order to give hope to those who face similar situations.
Be encouraged by our foundational biblical verses that say:
'Be bold. Be strong. Never give UP.’