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How to Overcome Challenges: 7 Stories of Triumph

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All Scripture references come from the King James Version of the Holy Bible (KJV)."

We talk a lot about overcoming challenges in this blog. Everyone has struggles that they go through and it’s always interesting to me, the methods that people use to overcome challenges. So I thought I would ask a few of my blogger friends to share their stories about overcoming the challenges in their lives.  What you will find here are actually 7 stories of triumph!

The question was:
Think of a time when you had a major challenge in your life. What did you do to overcome challenges?

I hope you enjoy the following replies.  Their names and websites are included. Please take the time to check out the blogs of these fabulous ladies. You will love them as much as I do!

Jessica Synan from One Lost Coin

The One Lost Coin lifestyle is about how to develop a personal relationship with God in all aspects of life.

“People say to take things one day at a time. I had to take it one hour at a time. No joke. When I was at my darkest moment, I would set a timer for every hour that I was awake and I would stop and say a quick prayer, or I would try to memorize a Bible verse. I would pick one verse for the week, and when I was too weak to even pray I would work on the Bible verse. Training myself to always put God first reminded me that I didn’t have to go through it alone. My strength wasn’t enough but His strength was more than enough.”

Lisa Mitchell from Fluxing Well  

Life is in a constant state of flux, full of changes and challenges. Fluxing Well means approaching life’s situations with flexibility, creativity, and a willingness to try something new. At Fluxing Well, Lisa’s passion is finding and using reliable information.

“One of the biggest challenges in my life was when I switched from teaching fourth grade to teaching sixth. That may not seem like a very big challenge to some, but it really threw me for a loop. I enjoyed teaching fourth grade and had completed a terrific year with a great bunch of students. Right before the end of the school year, my principal asked me if I would switch to teaching sixth grade as a favor to him to fill a vacancy. It was early in my career, so I thought it would help strengthen my resume if I ever needed to look for another teaching position. I thought it would be fun, and was looking forward to giving it a try. Unfortunately, I was overconfident.

About two months in, in November of the next school year, things started falling apart. The classroom management strategies I had used with fourth graders were not working with my sixth graders. I felt I was losing control of the behaviors in my classroom, and I dreaded going to work each day. I was losing sleep, and I felt I was caught in a vicious cycle. The less sleep I got, the worse my interactions became with my students, then the less I slept, and on and on. I tried to recite Bible verses to myself, tried praying about it, but everything seemed hopeless.

Here’s what finally made the difference. I turned to a trusted friend, a fellow teacher, and asked for help. She had taught sixth grade and gave me some excellent ideas. She helped me formulate a plan. Once I had a plan in place, I began sleeping better. On the advice of my husband, every time I woke up in the middle of the night and started to worry, I prayed for others, not for myself. I thought of people I knew who were dealing with extremely serious situations and prayed for them. Suddenly my problems seemed very small in comparison. Gradually, behavior in my classroom improved, my outlook improved, and the school year ended well. After that year, sixth grade moved to the middle school, but I stayed behind at the elementary school. It was the only year I taught sixth grade, and I still keep in touch with some of the students. I will be forever grateful to my teacher friend, my husband, and God for helping me overcome the challenges I faced during that time.”

Andrea Smythia from Saving Joyfully.

Saving Joyfully brings you tips and advice to help you save money and reach your goals of financial freedom while encouraging you to live a more joyful life.

“I was recently informed that I would be losing my job with a company which I have worked at for over 16 years. I have moved around within the company throughout the years to various jobs, always choosing on my own when the right time was to move on to something new. This was the first time in my life that I have ever had to face the thought of being unemployed and it was terrifying. My husband and I had also just discovered that I was pregnant with our first child and dealing with the job loss and the pregnancy was a bit overwhelming.

At first, I struggled a lot with questions like why would God allow this? Why is this happening to me? How were we going to pay the bills? I realized quickly that God has a plan in all of this and that I need to trust Him with my future and my finances. I can’t say it was easy from that moment on but whenever I reminded myself of this truth it became clear that I was to leave it in His hands and trust Him. I would love to say that I proceeded with confidence from the day I determined to leave it in his hands but sadly that would not be true. What I did do though is daily give it to God and pray constantly for peace and answers.

God brought about an answer within the next few months when He opened the door for me to return to a former job within my company. God had it all under control the whole time and He provided me with not only a job but this job was willing to take me back at my current salary. He blessed me with another position that would meet our needs and allow me to stay within the same company at this time. If you are faced with something similar in your life my advice is simply to trust God with your future needs. Even when it may be hard to leave it in His hands you need to wake up daily and commit to doing just that. He understands that we are human and that often our faith is weak but He will show you His power and faithfulness if you trust Him.”

Sasha Lassey from Everyday She’s Sparkling

Sasha hopes to help other women use blogging as a tool to grow their businesses and side-hustles to their highest potential.

“I recall a time in my life, not so long ago, where I felt completely trapped by the life I was living in. I had married a man who swept me off my feet and didn’t mind that I had two small children from a prior marriage. We had two children of our own and life, from the outside, looked “perfect”.

The problem was, this man, with slick words and charming charisma, was also a bigot and sexist. He had a firm belief that I should stay home to raise our children and play more of a role as a housewife to take care of his needs. Even though I had worked nearly all my life, I gave up my dreams of continuing education and entrepreneurship and moved into my new role. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my kids but I also really craved the need to fulfill my own life goals.

After being together for seven years, I had finally had enough of the constant nagging, belittling, and control and decided to leave. But I had a new issue. I had no employable skills, had been out of the workplace a LONG time and he made all the money (and made sure I knew it). I didn’t know where I was going or how I was going to get there but it was going to happen. I found courage in me somewhere and almost overnight, packed up and left.

All at once, changing my mindset changed what was happening to me. No longer feeling controlled and helpless, things started to happen full swing (I really believe in the power of the universe). I got offered a job in a real estate office, which I loved and I started to build a better life for myself and my kids. I knew that I had all the power I ever needed. The road in the coming years wasn’t always perfect, but I always look back on that pivotal moment and know that when you really believe in yourself, anything is possible.”

Marlene Caraballo from Cheers 2 Chapter 2

Marlene’s purpose is to share inspiration and truth for women over fifty who want to live their best life and share the journey.

“One of the more recent challenges of my life has been the declining health of my mother. She has always been an involved and active mother and grandmother through the years. In the last several months she’s had a sharp decline in her cognitive functions and has needed to lean on me more and more. From a strong vibrant woman, she’s been fading to a mere whisper of who she once was. Not only is it painful to slowly lose my mother, but it’s also heartbreaking to watch her lose herself – to lose her sense of purpose and her ability to take care of herself. Overcoming this challenge is not about changing the situation since I can’t, but about looking on this as an opportunity to share the final stages of her journey with her. I’m deeply grateful to have this chance to return the love and caregiving she so selflessly gave to me in my youth.”

Sarah Brumley from Lemon Blessings.

Lemon Blessings’ is a lifestyle blog with a focus on supporting overwhelmed moms in all matters of finance, including budgeting, savings, debt payoff, and more.

“One of the biggest challenges my husband and I have faced is that of infertility. After a cancer diagnosis and all of the treatments that followed, we still held out hope that we’d be able to have biological children. Six years into our marriage, it became very clear that we would not be able to get pregnant.

Having children was still part of our dream and honestly, the biggest part of our ability to succeed in that dream going forward was the act of allowing ourselves to grieve the loss of the dreams and expectations we’d had for our lives. Only after we’d allowed ourselves that time combined with a lot of prayer for guidance, were we able to embrace the additional challenge of adoption.

At the time, having a family seemed to be an impossible challenge, but today, we are blessed to have two daughters that we would not have had otherwise.”

woman on rock raising arms, overcoming challenges, 7 stories of triumph, one exceptional lifeKaren Ellis from Warrior Women

Warrior Women provides hope, help and encouragement to other women. Let’s be Warrior Women taking control of our thoughts and lives.  Let’s be determined to give ourselves and others grace. Be blessed, be faithful and live fearless!

“It may not seem like much to most people but it was HUGE for me!!  Growing up I never felt like I was good enough for people to like me for who I was.  My mom colored my hair, wanted me to get colored contacts, take singing lessons, piano lessons, and go to modeling school.  So it made me feel like I wasn’t good enough as just myself. As a result I was very shy. That sounds crazy since I sang in the choir at church and was in every club we had at my school.  But that was what was expected of me so I did it.

I didn’t really have “friends”.  I knew a lot of people but instead of letting people get to know me, I always turned the conversations around to them and  learned a lot about other people. So I was well liked I suppose and later found out the people I grew up with liked me more than I thought.Anyway, being so shy and these feelings of inadequacy had a profound effect on me.  It effected my view of myself as someone who wasn’t good enough and unlikeable and it affected my view of God.

When I started college in a different town I decided that none of these people knew me so it was my one and only chance at a do-over.  It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I moved on campus so I was away from people who made me feel like nothing I did was ever good enough and I spent time with people who had the same interest as me.  They accepted me and acted like I was just one of them. This gave me the confidence to really bloom as a person.

I jumped on the chance to be friendly, funny, outgoing and make as many friends as I possibly could.  After all, the kids I went to college with didn’t know I was a shy wallflower growing up. They didn’t know I would never look people in the eye and never spoke to people unless they spoke to me.

So now I have a blog that encourages other women.  Be the woman God created you to be. He made you this way for a reason and He has a plan and a purpose that only you can fulfill!  You are wonderfully made and created in His image so you are not a mistake! You are good enough just like you are.”

Well friends, there you go!

7 different perspectives of how to overcome challenges.

I hope you were able to learn from the hearts of these awesome friends of mine.

As for me, my greatest tool to overcome challenges that I face in my life is my relationship with God and the power that scripture and prayer play.  With God every story is triumphant!

I want to take this opportunity to thank each of my friends for their kindness in contributing to this post.  They all shared some pretty personal events in their lives. I know they would appreciate it if you visited their sites to learn the rest of their stories and what they bring to the blogging world.  You might also be interested in 6 helpful ways to overcome life’s difficult challenges.

What about you?  What is your go-to when you have to overcome challenges? Please share in the comments below!


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  1. Wonderful and inspirational post, Wendy. It is always insightful to read what others have experienced in their lives. My struggles are there, of course, and they are unique to me. But it helps to know that we can always work through them. My strength comes from the Lord.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Candi! It’s fun to read how others cope with their challenges but thank you, Lord, for seeing us through!

  2. What a great post! It’s helpful to hear how others deal with everyday struggles, and how they work to overcome them! I’m glad to hear I’m not alone. And it’s nice to have some new ideas to try!

  3. Such inspiration!! Thanks for this. For me, when I encounter a struggle, I try to thank God for it (even if it’s a headache — seriously). After all, not only do I know He will be by my side, but I know the problem will eventually lead to wisdom and strength. 🙂

    1. That’s a great reminder, Jessica. All good gifts come from God and everything is for our greater good, even those nagging headaches. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is a wonderful and powerful post filled with so much encouragement.Thank you for sharing these stories by inspiring women. I have learned to REST in God’s presence and LISTEN to get through challenges.

  5. I loved every one of those stories! Each one was different but while we’re about empowering themselves And in turn, empowering other women. The scariest time in my life had to of been when my son was diagnosed with cancer and I clung to my rosary and prayed constantly. Eight years later I still sleep with it under my pillow and grab it whenever I need.

    1. Sandy,
      You’re so right. We need prayer to get through our trials. I hope that since you said 8 years later that your son is healthy now. It’s been almost 8 years for me too. Sounds like 2011 was a rough year!

  6. What an inspiring group of women! Thank you all for being so vulnerable and sharing your stories with us!
    I’ve been through my share of challenges to overcome but God has gotten me through it every single time. I am so grateful that He is so faithful!
    Thank you, Wendy, for putting this together; I’ve really enjoyed it! ?

    1. Hi Emily! Thank you for a wonderful reminder of the faithfulness of God. I’m so thankful for him every single day.

    1. Thanks for participating and allowing me to share your story, Marlene. I’m so thankful for the love and support of my woman friends.

  7. Thank you for including me in this! I’ve loved reading how others get past their challenges – it’s encouraging to know that we all might approach them just a little differently, but when we set our minds (and hearts) on what really matters, we can make it happen!

    1. Hi Danielle,
      I agree that growing in faith will help you overcome the struggles in life. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for reading!

  8. This is such a wonderful post! I love hearing stories of how other women overcome challenges. So inspiring! My motto for 2019 is “what you focus on grows” and I’m focusing on me. What I want to grow, and it’s been successful.

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