They say, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, I find this saying a little difficult to abide by. Also, I hate lemonade so I really just don’t like the phrase at all.

Many times in life, we are handed sour and/or bitter lemons that really don’t seem capable of making sweet lemonade. For about a month, I have been dealing with one myself. Lemons (hard times and setbacks) are extremely difficult to cope with sometimes and unfortunately, some feel never ending.

Okay, enough with the lemon stuff.

My entire life I have always been goal-driven, persistent, and passionate about things that are important to me. Softball was always one sport that I was extremely dedicated too. This wonderful sport that I love taught me many things: how to be coachable, discipline, motivation, etc. Up until college, not a week went by that I didn’t pick up a softball, and man do I miss it.

Throughout my life, injuries have probably been the most difficult setbacks I have dealt with while playing sports. I had one major injury in high school that never fully healed, and it was very disappointing at the time. Eventually, it healed enough to where I could play again and I was so happy that it was over. My lemon was made into lemonade, and I thought that was it.

But here I sit, two years later, with an injured back. How it happened is not relevant, but I will tell you that I am probably more disappointed with this injury than I ever have been in my entire life. It hurts. It really, really hurts.

The past four weeks, I have cried a lot. Not just because of the pain, but because my goal-driven, persistent personality is telling me to go the gym and workout–but I can’t. I have never been so frustrated about something in my entire life. I have always been the type of person who hates going to the doctor and refuses to let anyone else be my caretaker. I am a the-pain-will-go-away-eventually type of person. But unfortunately, this time that is not the case.

This setback is definitely one that has impacted me in a very negative way. For a few weeks, I have let it crush my spirit and have felt as if it will never heal. The negative thoughts that have encompassed my mind are truly overwhelming, but I have finally realized that I can’t overcome this on my own, and I’m not sure why it took me weeks to come to that conclusion. 

Today I became fully aware that this lemon, thrown at me by life, is not one that I can make into lemonade on my own.

So many times in life I forget that the Lord is the one who should be guiding me through every moment of my being. Of course I call upon the name of the Lord in tough times and I thank Him daily for my many blessings, but my stubborn nature keeps me from wanting a caretaker when dealing with my physical health. But I am so, so wrong for being that way.

Through every trial, the first thing I should do is pray about my situation. But instead, I follow a series of events that include being upset, whining, complaining, looking for ways to comfort myself, trying to forget about it, and eventually praying. I feel as if this is what many people do. When something devastating hits us, we cry and whine about it when we should be hitting our knees, talking to the creator of all things, trusting that He will make our trials work together for His good.

You cannot handle your difficulties alone. You can try–you may even succeed–but to truly overcome your troubles and be filled with joy, despite the uneasy feeling they might give you, you HAVE to seek the Lord.

Just today, God has been extremely transparent about one thing: I need patience. I’d like to think that I am a patient person, but apparently I really struggle with that particular virtue. People have always said, “Don’t pray for patience unless you really, really want it.” Well I didn’t pray for it but I guess God decided it is time for me to learn. To be honest, I don’t want to be, I want my back pain to go away right now. Unfortunately though, I’ll learn to live with the pain for now because the Lord is using this to teach me patience. I do want to learn though, and the only way I will learn is by continuing to seek Him in my time of need.

Here’s my advice: Seek the Lord through the good AND the bad.

We are God’s children and He clearly put us on this earth with a purpose. He cares about each and every human being walking the earth, and all He wants is for us to worship Him, to trust Him, to want Him, and to need Him. We ALL need Him. In this moment, I am facing an injury and there is no telling how long it may last. But from this day forward, I plan to seek God’s plan for my life and to understand what He wants to teach me through this.

So what are you dealing with right now? It may be minor, it may be major, or you might not be dealing with any specific trial in this moment, but no matter what your situation, your job is to fall on your knees and seek the Lord. That lemon that life threw at you does not compare to the love God has for you. He will fight for you if you let Him, He will teach you, He will guide you, and He will win the battle you are facing.

God has already won the ultimate battle. Let Him turn your lemon into lemonade.

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