In My Words: Bring on the Trouble
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Writers know the fundamental rule about trouble: We're supposed to make trouble for our characters--wreak havoc and keep it coming. Make sure things go from bad to badder to baddest, as author Susan May Warren likes to say.
I can't say I have such an easygoing attitude about trouble when it comes to real life. Throw a little bit of stress in my life? I'll manage. Pile it on? I'll start looking for the exit. I request to please be excused from all this bad-going-to-worse.
And yet . . . are trials only good for imaginary heroes and heroines? Isn't there some truth that can carry over from the fictional world to real life?
Some of you are already nodding your heads. Maybe you're even smirking a bit, thinking I know where she's going with this.
When writers create stress for our imaginary people, we're pushing them up against the wall for a reason. We're developing their personalities--testing their strengths and their weaknesses.
And the same is true in real life.
Case in point: I've been dealing with vertigo for two weeks now. My world is literally off-balance. If I turn my head the wrong way, i.e. any way, the room spins out of control. I was ready for this to be over days ago, but it's clear to me I don't get to decide when this ride on the Tilt-A-Whirl ends.
I can either whine and waste this stressful experience--and there's no denying two weeks of vertigo is stressful--or I can glean something from it.
If I was a heroine in a novel, I would make sure that I was learning something through all this.
Why should real life be exempt?
What have I learned?
- It's wonderful to have friends who pray for you when you don't have the strength to pray for yourself.
- God is still God--and he still loves me--even when prayers don't get an instant "Yes!"
- It's okay to admit I'm weary. I'm just being honest.
- Sometimes all you can do is hang on to hope and wait. (I think that's called "trust.")