From Hardship To Helping

Hardships make us who we are. And we can choose to use them to help others.

Annie Oakley’s Journey

Annie Oakley’s father died when she was six. To help feed her destitute family, she learned to shoot game. The better the shot, the more food on the table. When she was grown, she beat a professional marksman by the name of Frank Butler in a contest. Apparently, he was impressed with more than her shooting, because he courted her and they were married. Through the years, they toured in various shows and her sharpshooting fame grew. But Annie never forgot her childhood, and oftentimes gave her earnings to help needy women and children.

My Journey

The harshness of some of the events in my life made me critical and uncaring. And I freely expressed my unwanted, unsolicited opinion whenever I chose.

The truth of those defects and actions are difficult to admit.

Thankfully, other experiences have refined those attributes (with God’s help) into the ability to discern many sides of an issue, and understand why people feel and act as they do. I’ve also learned to ask if someone wants my perspective.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not perfect. I can still judge harshly. And unfortunately, I sometimes speak before I take the time to consider my words. When I spout off, it does harm.

But I hope and pray most of the time I use discernment and careful consideration in a compassionate way. And if someone doesn’t want my opinion, I don’t give it.

Hardships made me who I am.

But I can decide to use my life lessons to help others.

What traits and life lessons do you use to help others?

From Hardship To Helping – How do you use your life lessons to help others? Share on X

Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.

May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

12 thoughts on “From Hardship To Helping

  1. Hardships remind me of pruning. When I look at a branch I pruned on my potted lemon tree, the remaining branch is hard and is putting out new shoots for growth.

    We don’t like the rough times but they are a bridge to maturity with strength to bear the new growth.

    Thanks, Joni. What a good message and reminder.

  2. Great reminder of using our life experiences for good. Thank you, Joni.

  3. I belive this is the difference between knowledge and wisdom.
    I have learned to share my experiences so that others don’t feel so alone. And to ask what they need from me, before I offer.
    Thanks for sharing Joni.

  4. Joni, Your posts make me think about hardships in my past. Very thoughtful post.

  5. Very thought provoking, Joni

  6. We like to avoid hardships but when we face them scripturally we can grow. Thanks for sharing this, Joni.

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