“Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.”
(From And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou. Copyright © 1978.)
In her poem, Still I Rise, American poet and activist writes of the indomitable spirit shown by the women involved in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. The poem cites the many hardships they suffered and their steadfast refusal to give up on their cause. It serves as a powerful reminder that the freedoms we enjoy were hard-won by those who came before us.
All of us have experienced adversity and pain at some point in our lives. Be it the death of a loved one, divorce, fire, loss of a job, automobile accident or any one of a thousand other situations, we’ve each had our lives suddenly turned upside down by events beyond our control. The shock, fear and grief which follow such events can be overwhelming. With time, however, comes healing and we slowly find ways to carry on with our lives. Eventually, we come to terms with the experience and learn important lessons from it. You might say, “And still we rise.”
Speaking personally, I don’t believe that God gives us challenges to test our faith nor do we somehow attract such experiences by “improper” thinking. That’s not the action of the loving God I know. I may never understand why they happen or even if there is any reason at all. What I do know is that I have learned from every one of the painful experiences in my life. Each of them has given me new insights that led to change. These experiences have played a role in making me the person I am today.
What traumatic events have you had or, perhaps, are still living through today? Are there any lessons to be learned from them? Come, let’s talk and learn from each other so that we can honestly say, “And still we rise.”