by Kaydene Green
Whatever makes you uncomfortable is your biggest opportunity for growth– Bryant McGill
Last November, I opened my home to Mickey and Malarkey, my two adopted domestic short hair tabby male cats. Try not to get hung up on the names, I had no participation in that decision and I was too lazy to think of new ones. Furthermore, I thought the already assigned names were perfect as is. A mantra I live by is to not fix what isn’t broken.
The kittens, alongside their lactating mother, were dumped into the bushes along a road in a plastic tote. Thankfully they were found by a good Samaritan. I am not going to advocate for a universal love for cats. I know they can be a handful and may display unfavorable behavioral patterns, but I would suggest that the humane thing to do, if they are unwanted, is to take them to a nearby animal shelter where they can receive the proper care until they are placed into a forever home.
At the time I heard about this discovery, I was not mentally prepared to own cats. I considered my dwelling space to be too small for such free spirited animals, but the dilemma had prematurely tugged on my heart strings and I could not find the breath to say no.
The kittens, at the time, were obviously traumatized and I was told it took quite an immeasurable amount of effort to rescue them. Once they were introduced to their new home, a few months after being rescued and getting back to good health, they spent hours in hiding before they realized this unfamiliar territory was going to become their new place of sustenance and safety. I know I’m probably about to lose the people who don’t like cats right now, but I urge you stick this out with me.
This past week they were both due for their annual wellness examination and booster vaccinations. Unfortunately, Mickey was the only one of the two that made it to his appointment. Malarkey, upon realizing that I was fixing to put him in the small carrier, made quite the scene and refused to endure that kind of discomfort. The outcome of course is that he would have missed a very important appointment. Mickey, on the other hand, unknowingly, cooperated well but like any cat would, became very vocal about his discomfort the moment I set him in the carrier, in the back seat of my car.
Mickey stuck with me on that car ride through the discomfort. He was audibly uncomfortable and like most cats, did not like that he was confined to a carrier in the backseat of the car not knowing how this journey was going to end. The sole purpose of Mickey’s discomfort was to get him from his home to the vet to give him the necessary medical attention he needs as he gets older for a healthier happier adult life. Mickey’s pain was for a good reason, if only he understood this.
When it Rains
Like Mickey being in the dark about my plans to take him on a mentally uncomfortable car ride to the vet that day, I too am never ready for a misfortune to land at my doorstep. If I had it my way, I’d never want any if it and would probably set up a system of detection to warn me of the impending doom to allow me enough of a heads-up to do everything within my human capabilities to avoid it.
Misfortunes are uncomfortable and disrupts my smooth predictable routine. I’ve never seen anything more inconvenient than a problem I did not see coming let alone when they set up residence in my life. I’m not one for a surprise that I am not ready for, unless of course it’s one that would make me happy and misfortunes did not make the list. Depending on our worldviews, what may be a big problem to me may be small to you and vice versa. “When it rains it pours“, are words I grew up hearing and ones I’ve found myself repeating in my own series of discomforts.
I complain every time something throws me a curve ball. But why do we do that? To share the burden? It’s even more frustrating when others do not have the right words to appease us or are just incapable of expressing the empathy and sympathy we so desire. Perhaps you can relate to this. Maybe right now, you are in one of your hardest battles of your life and no-one probably knows about it. One after the other, problem after problem, struggle after struggle. Does it ever end? Can I catch a break?
My outlook on struggles changed drastically and for the better not long ago. To say the least, I found myself in quite an uncomfortable situation and it was not the kind I could (easily) run from. I had always been extremely crafty at figuring out how to escape discomfort. I lacked the ability to challenge myself let alone to accept the challenge. Somewhere along my life’s journey I adopted the culture of getting away from a problem, never to embrace it with outstretched hands. Who does that anyway? This time however was different. It was time for me to grow into next season and this was my catalyst. The light bulb had finally been switched on and I soon realized that in order for me to grow mentally, spiritually, emotionally, amongst many of the other “allys” that you could think of, I had to sit in the seat of discomfort and buckle up for the ride.
The Story of Job
If there is any story that has given me a renewed perspective on trials it is the story of Job. You may or may not be familiar. In the biblical era, the norm was to interpret misfortunes as punishment for doing something wrong. Many people still feel that way today. If you were facing trials of any kind, it was an automatic belief that you were a victim of God’s wrath. Job was exceptionally faithful to God and most certainly did not “deserve” misfortunes. His love and trust for God was probably more than that of my own if I am going to be honest. He was blessed in all areas of his life beyond measure but his comfortable life got turned up-side-down and he ultimately lost everything, except for his life of course. Feel free to fact check me and to dive deeper into the story in the book of Job.
I cannot imagine that he endured this with a smile on his face at any level of loss he experienced. The mind-blowing realization was that it got worst at every level of his circumstance. He never saw it coming and I would say it qualified him to have gone into depression and ultimately to have thrown in the towel and lost all faith. Job commendably endured and ended with more than he had to begin with. The process had only served to strengthen Job’s faith and trust in God and to show mankind that they should never rely entirely on human wisdom in tough times.
Lessons from Nature
- A caterpillar must undergo metamorphis in order to become a butterfly
- A mother must endure the pain of labor and delivery to bring forth a new life
- Diamonds are formed within the earth’s surface under conditions of heat temperature and pressure
- A seed will never grow into a tree without the right amount of sunlight, water, air and temperature.
You get the idea right? So it is with nature so it is with us, we grow under certain conditions and it is usually in discomfort.
This is not to encourage you to sit in an uncomfortable harmful situation that you need to get out of. There are things within our control and for those things I believe we should take the necessary steps to flee. Even then, use wisdom. What I am mainly referring to are those unsolicited moments that we can do nothing about that we have to allow time to remove. I’ve learned to grumble less in misery and to seek divine and deeper meaning to gain a higher perspective than that of my own.
If you have thoughts on this topic, please comment below. I’d love to hear your story and how you used those challenging moments for your greater good. Until next time, be encouraged and have a blessed week.
James 1:2-4 NIV – “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perserverance finish it’s work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Last updated: December 1, 2021