Hope In The Struggle

Last week I shared about the time I slept through a big section of the ACT when I was in high school, and I wondered —why exactly am I inclined to share this story and other stories like it? Is this useful information to anyone? But then I thought of all the times I’ve been relieved when I found out that someone I thought was performing well in life, was in fact stumbling along just like me. We need to hear things like that don’t we?

I love listening to the podcast “How I Built This”. It tells the stories behind entrepreneurs who have  pursued their business goals and been successful. I love getting to hear about these courageous men and women— their attempts and failures, their perseverance and failures, their faith and failures, and ultimately their success. If this podcast was about people who had succeeded in every way since birth and then succeeded at some business venture, I would have zero interest. I need to hear the struggle. It gives me hope.

When I share paintings on instagram or in shows, I’m sharing a part of myself. It’s a part I’m happy to share. If a video of me painting clouds went viral, I’d be like “Wow, how about that?” But if a video of me crying as I struggle to work difficult math problems went viral I would be more like, “How could this happen!!!????” Why such different reactions? They’re both accurate representations of some part of who I am. But in one video, I would look successful, and in the other I would not.

And although I’m not willing to create a video of me crying as I do math (and I don’t think you’d want to see it anyway), I’m happy to share some ridiculous blunders I’ve made in my life. There are a lot to choose from.

One of my favorites is the time I lost my car for weeks, thought it was stollen, and then by chance, found it again. Hard to believe, isn’t it? But it happened. My husband says I should share this story in more detail at some point so maybe I will.

Another favorite is the time I intended to go to a psychology class in college but went to a PHD level physics class on accident and—still assuming I was in the psychology class—proceeded to think that everything the teacher said was metaphorical. I really did that, and I got a lot out of that class too. I only figured out I had been in the wrong class when I went to buy the textbook and it was not a psychology book. Suddenly the lessons I’d learned in class that day took on very different meanings—much more literal meanings. It was one of the funniest moments of my life and still makes me laugh thinking of it.

I’m going to share some things like that here and there on my blog and you may love me for it or look down on me for it (you’re not that type though, are you?) but either way I bet you’ll marvel at God’s faithfulness to a dreamer like me. I’m shocked by it often. Metaphorically.

~ Amy