Only once in my life have I ever received a "write up" at work. It was during my high school years when I was working at Montgomery Ward. What was my infraction? Not wearing panty hose. I hated those darn things!
Fast forward a few decades and you can imagine my lack of enthusiasm when my doctor told me that I'd need to wear thigh-high compression stockings following my varicose vein procedures. I thought hose were restrictive, but I'd never experienced them with 30-40 mmHg of added pressure!
I could certainly ignore the doctor's orders and enjoy a summer of bare legs, but I've come to learn that being uncomfortably squeezed is for my safety now, and long term good. Preventing blood clots, reducing swelling and helping blood flow are all benefits of compression. An added bonus is that the stockings help hide the horrific bruising that the procedure caused.
Perhaps I'm particularly adverse to being under pressure, but more likely is that it's a human characteristic. After all, who enjoys being uncomfortably squeezed? However, as I've learned the advantages to compression on my physical body, I'm again reminded that there are times of necessary pressure on my life that ultimately serve as a benefit.
Going through times of struggle and pressure are never fun. No one wishes it for themselves, because we know how uncomfortable it will be. However, much as the butterfly emerging from its cocoon needs the experience of struggling free in order to strengthen its wings, we too need periods where the experience of pressure will prepare us for times to come.
A life of ease and comfort sounds dreamy, but the realities of this world necessitate moving beyond soft luxury and into the realm of blisters and callouses. It's true, there are those who experience more pain and pressure than others. It seems that those who fight the hard times (different than fighting through the hard times) find themselves worse for the wear. Those who allow the pressure to teach, change and transform them, may have some bruises to show, but ultimately come through stronger and more resilient than they ever could have imagined.
If you study the back story of most millionaires, they became successful only after experiencing extreme difficulties in life, and overcoming through hard work, invention and dedication. Even nature provides us with a spectacular example of what beauty can be formed though intense pressure--the diamond.
Today may be your breaking point where you feel that the pain and struggle have become too much. Reach out for help and cling to the knowledge that something beautiful can be birthed out of your suffering. No mother wants the process of going through labor, but what it produces changes the rest of your life.
Hang in there friends! As much as you are able, be malleable, and know that once you come through the other side, you will have been transformed into something even more beautiful and valuable.
". . . we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame. . ." Romans 5:3-5