Initially I hated this quote because it's always hard to believe that we have to have to struggle. But it's true! We all have it and the reward is so much sweeter when we can look back and say "Omgsh I cannot believe I got through that!!"
After I read this I was trying to think of a time where this has really applied to my life. Three words: Moving to Nashville.
I was 19 years old when I packed up and moved from Washington to Nashville. My then boyfriend also moved with me, at the time neither of us knew that our time together would only last 3 more months. I arrived in Nashville on July 1st and some where in the middle of September I came home from church one afternoon to find a half empty house. Earlier in the morning the decision had been made to part ways but my heart wasn't ready for such an abrupt change.
I had been coming to Nashville since 2008, and though I knew a lot of people in the music industry I had no friends. So I found myself alone in a new city 2,600 miles away from everything I was familiar with. After finding a temporary roommate off of Craigslist, I packed up and went home to Washington from Thanksgiving all the way to February.
When I got back to Nashville in mid February, my mind was made up that I was going to move home in April as soon as my lease was up. Waiting for April was excruciating. It consisted of the loneliest nights I have ever experienced. I had never felt so alone or so sad, I longed to be home with my family - I felt like I was trapped.
Somewhere around mid March an angel showed up. My friend (the only one in Nashville at the time) asked me if I wanted to grab lunch and catch up. When we met up that day I told her that my time here in Nashville was coming to a close and I was ready to give it all up and move home. Her response was "You have too much left to give to leave already." This woman was my reminder that someone still believed in me. This is one of the reasons I believe it is so extremely important to encourage each other because you don't know when someone is on their last leg of hope.
With more words spoken, my friend had renewed my faith in my decision to move to Nashville and we actually moved in together and became roommates for the next 15 months. Since my decision to stay in Nashville, so much has happened. And honestly, the hard times out number the good by 1,000. It wasn't until about 6 months ago (2.5 years into living here!) that out of the struggle started to become the reward. I never knew that fighting through the pain would lead me to: irreplaceable friendships, meeting some of my biggest musical influences, finding my true self, finding greater faith, finding a church I felt at home in, having my own Web Design business, working in my community, living in an amazing condo with my dogs in the coolest part of town... I could go on and on. The rewards have been so much greater because of the struggle. Struggle sucks, but it is real. So keep struggling through the struggle, wherever you are, because the reward will be beautiful.
*The author of this quote, Wilma Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome.