I read a quote the other day that said, in so many words, that man is built to handle anything that life throws at him until the day he dies. As simple and potentially cliche as the quote sounds, it's actually profound. Each individual is built to handle anything that can possibly be thrown in his direction up until the day his body and soul give up. It's actually quite a hope filled statement. It gives the profound understanding that absolutely everything is manageable and most challenges are temporary.
My favorite movie of all time is Big Fish. It is the ultimate storyteller's movie. Everything about the film puts life in perspective, albeit a twisted perspective sometimes. In one of the scenes in the beginning of the film, the main character, Edward, then just a boy, goes to see the town "witch", who has the power to show people how they are going to die through her one glass eye. The boy sees how he is going to die, and after that, no obstacle is too big because he knows that he will come out the other end alive. Given, none of us can really now what the cause of our inevitable deaths will be, but it does shine a positive light on the times we think that we are broken. It lets us know that we can and will be fixed.
I haven't always had an easy time. Growing up I got picked on, in high school I didn't always fit in (and after high school, but it seems less important these days), I moved an ocean away from anything familiar, and I have spent the last three years in an army that is defending a country the size of New Jersey but with more enemies than the guy who turned Cookie Monster into the Veggie Monster. I have been through days where I am alone, and hurting, and broken into a million pieces. On those days, I admit, I didn't see the perspective of Big Fish. On those days, I felt as though the obstacle was too high for me to pass.
I am currently in a huge transition period. I previously mentioned that plans turn upside down, and that is exactly what happened to me. I am now in a state of limbo, between what is/was, and what will be. I find myself frustrated, now knowing what is coming next, and not knowing what to do other than twiddle my thumbs and hope that my efforts are paying off. I feel as though I am being broken down just so that I can build myself back up. And so, between the thumb twiddling and waiting, I must remind myself that this is temporary. This, too, shall pass. I was built to handle this because I am not going to perish from this. My spirit cannot be broken, at least not permanently.
At the end of Big Fish, Edward, now an old man, dies exactly the way he came into the world - in a story. All the hardships he faced in his life became the events that shaped his life. All the days that he felt broken became the days that he felt most alive. I think we can all learn something from that. On days like this when we question our purpose and our actions, we can be comforted by the fact that tomorrow is a new day, that be thankful that we were built to deal with whatever curve balls are thrown at us. This, too, shall pass, but enjoy it while it's here, because it will ultimately be one of the shaping events of your life.