Adversity: Expect the Unexpected

Overcome Adversity by Being PreparedAre you ready for the unexpected?  Most of us aren’t.  Having been a Girl Scout growing up, I remember part of our Girl Scout Motto. The Girl Scout motto is “Be prepared.”

In the 1947 Girl Scout Handbook, the motto was explained this way:

“A Girl Scout is ready to help out wherever she is needed. Willingness to serve is not enough; you must know how to do the job well, even in an emergency.”

The same ideas are true today.

Overcome Adversity by Being Prepared

Stay with me on this trail.  I decided to do a small hike after having a few days of unplugging, prior to coming home.  I wasn’t prepared to hike.  I didn’t have my usual pack and all my usual equipment with me.  Yet, I knew better than to head up the mountain without some supplies and such.  So, I searched my car, and came up with enough things to make me feel comfortable to hike alone on an unknown trail.

I had my water bottle full, plus, I drank a good amount of water prior to starting up the hill.  I attached a small flashlight to a belt loop.  I put a couple of Ibuprofen in my pocket.  I tied a sweatshirt around my waist and had a light weight windbreaker with me.  I tucked in a couple of band aids.  I actually had my hiking poles, I took just one, as I needed to carry my water bottle in one hand.  I put my leatherman knife into a pocket, along with a granola type of snack, left a message at home of what trail I was on, and when I expected to be down.  And, grabbed my cell phone.  I was prepared.

What was I prepared for?  The unexpected.  Adversity.  Getting stuck on the mountain, a quick storm rolling in, getting injured, coming across someone that might need help, a number of scenarios. Remember, I didn’t know the trail, and I was hiking alone.

Tips for Overcoming Adversity

Adversity happens.  Usually, we have no idea it’s coming.  When I had my cerebral hemorrhage, I wasn’t prepared for that.  I’d just had a baby.  Well, kind of, she was six months old.  I was prepared for sleepless nights, feeling exhausted, being pulled in lots of directions with my other children.

I wasn’t prepared for a life altering event, and the emotional and physical toll it would take on my body, or the effect if would have on those around me.

Here is how I’ve learned to deal with past adversity and be prepared for when it appears again.

  • Strength:  I read a daily devotional, limit the negative influences, and volunteer, regularly.
  • Dignity:  No complaining and whining about how I feel physically, or what circumstances I’m dealing with personally, professionally, and relationally.
  • Grace:  Forgive myself when I fall short of dignity.  Forgive others for lack of dignity.

I made it up and down the trail with no adversity.  I didn’t need most of the “stuff” I took with me.  I’m not a fatalist, I’m not looking for adversity to happen.  I do know, that with much success, comes much adversity.

What are you doing to, “Be prepared”, for adversity, when it happens?  When did you experience a time of needing to be prepared?

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