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Sharpe-Jefferson: Light in the Darkest of Valleys

By Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson

We still have reason to give thanks. I recognize that, at times, life seems unfair. Let’s just go ahead and put that out there. We take hard losses. We endure tough trials. And sometimes, people can just be plain rude, difficult and vindictive.

I acknowledge every day and every circumstance does not have a rosy outcome. I wanted to write this article to balance my exceedingly optimistic attitude because I do recognize that there are some situations which are just really hard. And having just a “good attitude” or “positive words” is not enough.

I’ll share a page out of my own life.

I recently found about another health setback for a beloved family member who’s already suffered seemingly unfair health trials. At one point, it would have gotten me all out of whack. It would have left me questioning. And could have left me exhausted as I would consider stepping in to “do something.”

But life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we need to personally learn. Hear me clearly – I still do not like the setbacks this family member is dealing with. I have a compassionate heart and my desire is that everyone wins in life and in love at all costs. But, when that doesn’t happen, where does that leave me?

Quite simply, it leaves me where I started. My heart feels an immense amount of compassion, but I do know that regarding another person, there are some things that I am powerless to change. I get it and I accept it.

But here’s what I can do: First, keep them uplifted before God and ask Him to ease their burden or any unnecessary suffering;  second, share reasonable time, resources and kind words to show my love and compassion;  and third, refuse fear and keep showing up and engaging life as a testimony and encouragement to them.

Sure, that’s easier said than done. But I’ve found that if we will allow our light to shine in the darkest of valleys, God will provide strength to us and use our lives as a source of encouragement to others.

Let me be clear – I still don’t like it when unfair things happen to the people I love. I know you don’t either. But, I also understand there are things I cannot change.

I accept that and choose to remain grateful for that which I can do and for the opportunity to continue to engage life yet one more day. You see, we are all dealt tough blows, but a heart of gratitude can sure cushion us from any permanent damage. I am grateful that I get the opportunity to live life, appreciate it and cherish those who share it with me.

Yes, I still have a reason to give thanks. What about you?

Keisa Sharpe-Jefferson is a life coach, author and speaker. Her column appears on the first and third Thursdays of each month online and in The Birmingham Times. You can contact Keisa at keisa@keisasharpe.com and visit http://www.allsheanaturals.com for natural hair and body products.