J. Marshall Jenkins

Author, Therapist, Spiritual Director

Give Through Your Struggle

From the turbulence of struggle, a gift emerges.

Dear Wounded Healer,

Some people exhibit a natural and easy equanimity. The storms of life come, and they ride them out. While others forget that the storm will pass, they remember, and they ride it like a wave.

Most of us have to work at that. Hard.

You have to work at that. Yet, some days you are too tired for the work, and you struggle until the clouds break.

Someone loves you and lives with that natural equanimity. Her love rights the boat.

Yet, you – as you are, working at equanimity but stumbling after daytime blindsides and fitful nights – you too have a blessing to offer, one that the world badly needs.

For when you love amid your struggle with awkward equanimity or just honest confession that you feel a little seasick, you enroll in your struggle like a class. Then you commit to letting your life teach others whatever you learn despite no knowing for sure what it will be. Such is faith.

You cannot know for sure what gift God will sift from the silt and gravel of your turbulence, but you can believe that the Spirit who passed over chaotic waters and shaped them into our beautiful and terrible world will form something beautiful out of your chaos. With your consent, God will give your lovely gift to fellow travelers.

Just listen. Listen to your life, its tides and thunderclaps, its silence. Listen to the lives of those to whom God calls you, how they struggle like you, how they search for God like you even if unawares.

Then you listen to God, of course, God who transcends it all and keeps things solid, God who keeps the tides and the ticking of the clock, God who stills storms with a word. Yet, you listen to God whose love is unrequited despite its gratuitousness, whose existence is denied despite its density, whose walk on earth led to misunderstanding and death. Whose gift is life itself. And God invites you with your consent to join in the giving not in spite of your struggles, but through them.

Warmly,

Your Inner Voice of Love

Posts in the Wounded Healers Blog are messages of gentle encouragement I give to myself and offer to you as messages you may adopt for yourself. For further context, visit the home page.

J. Marshall Jenkins

About J. Marshall Jenkins

J. Marshall Jenkins is an author, psychotherapist, teacher, and spiritual director. For several years he has been writing on the Beatitudes for people in emotional pain, publishing biweekly here on his Beatitudes Blog at http://www.jmarshalljenkins.com. His newest book, Blessed at the Broken Places: Reclaiming Faith and Hope with the Beatitudes, is now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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6 Replies

  1. Great post; definitely passing this one on.

    1. Thanks, Patty. It’s always good to hear from you!

  2. Nancy Hunter

    Love this , Marshall. Thanks.

  3. Steve Caldwell

    Mr Jenkins all I can say is “Thanks, I needed that!”. Awesome post.

    1. J. Marshall Jenkins

      It means so much to read that, Steve, along with the other comments today to the same effect. I always post with the hope that it helps. Thank YOU.

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