Choosing to Respond Well

Life has its surprises; There are days where your whole world is suddenly and irrevocably changed. The path you thought you were on is gone and you’re faced with a whole new set of unknowns. All of what you’ve taken for granted comes to light as your past worries become minor trivialities compared to the challenges you now face. We may not have control over these events, but our response toward them is entirely of our own choosing.

Amidst the shock and pain, the anger and sadness, and the overbearing sense of loss—there is an important decision to make: How will I respond? This question can be quickly overlooked as we allow despair and self-pity to overcome our every thought. The natural response is necessary in humanly processing the event, but our secondary response—how we choose to carry on—can strengthen and define our character. Anger, regret, pity, that feeling of defeat—these are all things we can easily make a part of us; What is not easy is choosing to lift your chin up and be strong for your own sake and the wellbeing of loved ones. This intentional act will help you grow in transformative ways.

So how does someone respond well? What does that look like? Is there an example of someone you’ve seen choosing to be strong in a life crisis? How do you think they managed that mindset? A good way to prepare yourself for life’s surprises is to observe the way others have displayed strength in their struggles and ask them how they found that strength.

If you are in the middle of the sharp painful transition of the first few days or weeks of a life changing event or in the slow process of accepting the change, I encourage you to continually make the choice to respond well.