That which does not kill us makes us stronger.   4 comments

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche

It is not the traumatic event in and of itself that makes us stronger, rather our response to it. Some have said that we say this to ourselves or others as a way to attempt to minimize our or other’s pain and to rationalize it, and to find an answer to the ultimate question of “why”. Unfortunately, the truth is, very often there is no real answer to that question; all that is left for us is to feel the pain and deal with the outcome.

As we travel along our journey of recovery we are bound to encounter potholes and pitfalls. When facing some of these obstacles we will instantly call upon the strength and character that lie within and navigate through them easily, without hardly breaking a sweat. Others, on the other hand, will literally knock the wind out of us. They will sweep us off of our feet, but not in a good way! When we encounter these obstacles, it is as if there is a war within us. On the one side, we can just give up and quit working and surrender to our continued suffering and self-destructive choices that we have known so well for so long.  This choice, though painful is comforting as it is familiar and we know what to expect. On the other hand, we can choose to keep up the good fight calling upon the strength, hope and confidence that are within as a result of past successes. We set our mind and heart choosing with diligence to be an overcomer and the master of our destiny, refusing to continue to be a victim in our own skin. This is much easier said and written than done, but ultimately if we want to truly live and not just exist, it is the ONLY best choice that we can make.  This is a very scary choice as we are forced to trudge into an area that many of us have seen very little of, success. We have for so long settled for and accepted our failures that we have rarely, if ever known the other side of success. This is our “Great Unknown”: Unknown emotions, Unknown challenges, Unknown responsibilities.

It is this process, as difficult and frightening as it may be which actually makes us stronger. It is from our choices and behaviors in the midst of turmoil that we develop strength, hope and confidence for the journey ahead. As we face each trial as we encounter it and struggling through our difficult emotions and pain we keep pushing and moving forward, refusing to give up. In doing so, we overcome. With each new obstacle hurdled, with each new obstacle conquered we gain self-confidence and we begin to recognize the strength that lies within, that we have long refused to acknowledge. Confidence and strength are not the only benefits of success. As we journey and struggle through difficult time, we gain a greater understanding of our illness, and develop new and effective skills for coping with our symptoms and the day to day stressors that we face.

 As we grow stronger and wiser through our journey and success, we more easily manage the trials and difficulties that we will inevitable face. With each success we are stronger and more capable of facing and overcoming the next.

 Most of us have spent our lives “Making mountains out of mole hills.” If we choose success, endure the hardship and refuse to quit, then we will be able to make “Mole hills out of mountains.”

 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not…. Deu 31:6

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not…. Deu 31:6


4 responses to “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

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  1. So here’s my question…what about when we’re so tired of fighting and battling the next thing that comes along? I know it’s darkest before the dawn and God won’t put on me more than I can bear, but I seriously question if I ‘can’ handle all He’s giving me. I feel like every battle I fight, before it’s over there’s another one coming at me. Maybe I’m doing right to be on satan’s dart board, but I honestly don’t know.

    • Kim,
      Let me start by saying thank you for your response. I can honestly say that I understand. It is true that many times in our lives we seem to be faced with one crisis after another, after another. There eventually comes a point at which we do not FEEL like we can go on any more; we tell ourselves, “It’s is just not worth fighting anymore, I QUIT”. At that point, we give up, stop trying to get better or be better and we let our circumstances consume us. “God won’t put on me more than I can bear”. You are not the first to use that very same quote and describing very similar circumstances recently. Here is my take, I believe that I he does put more than we Feel that we can bear on us because he has more confidence in us than we have in ourselves. He knows the depth of our faith and character and He desires for us to realize that same strength and confidence. Here is the scripture from which many Christians have derived this belief:

      “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is
      faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with
      the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
      1st Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

      In my reading, I do not see a promise that he will NOT give us more than what we can handle, rather, when the temptation is too great he make an ESCAPE. That being said what is our ESCAPE? In my humble opinion our Escape is that moment when we cry out for help. Sometimes that plea for help goes directly to the Almighty and he intervenes directly on our behalf. However, it may also be that He utilizes His hands and feet that are in our midst to assist us in our battle. Sometimes, we are not meant to “carry our load alone”. We are suppose to ask for help! Let me be clear however, help does not entail us giving up and letting another person “fix” our problem. It is them coming along aside and assisting and supporting US as we work it out.

      In closing let me leave you with a few more scripture references to chew on:

      …having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, (Eph 6:13-14)

      …we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us,…. (Romans 5:4-5)

      ….because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (JAMES 1:2-4)

      I hope and pray that this answers your questions and you find it encouraging!

  2. Thank you for your words of wisdom and enlightenment. Very inspirational to me.


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