Exercising Resilience

Some of my favorite things about my wedding day were all of the imperfections. That may sound strange to many, but I promise, it’s true. The things I remember the most were the things that didn’t go as planned.

For instance:

  • my wedding dress somehow got a pencil mark on it, which I noticed after I put it on
  • my bridesmaid’s dress was too small, so we had to shove her into it in my hotel room bathroom
  • the flowers were stuck in traffic until the last minute
  • my soon-to-be husband got knocked around on a jet ski just hours before the ceremony
  • and my veil fell off during our pictures and blew into the ocean

Despite all of these and a few others, none of it ruined my day. They were just bumps along the way.

Fast forward to this past month. I would love to share all of the before and after bathroom remodel pictures as promised in my last post; unfortunately, there have been lots of hiccups along the way, like my wedding day. Every task seems to be taking twice as long as we thought. One project leads us to another unplanned one, aka trim in the bedroom. And the biggest one yet: the vanity top was delivered with two different colored sinks! 

Notice the off white on the left and bright white on the right.

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t that big of a deal. It just delays the full usability of our bathroom for at least another week. 

Isn’t this how life goes? We plan things out, wrap our minds around the plan, and then execute accordingly. Except our minds have to be wrapped and re-wrapped to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. One of the best gifts God has given us is Resilience.  

Definition of resilience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

As I reflect on this idea, I keep thinking about the part in 2 Cor 12:7 where Paul says, “So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud.”      

Paul endured much suffering for the Gospel. No doubt, he wanted everything to go according to plan. I don’t think having a thorn in his leg was part of that plan. But it didn’t prevent him from moving forward. In fact, he points out how it benefited him to have it. 

We are guaranteed trials and “thorns” in our flesh. Some are much, much bigger than others. But I believe we are afforded the smaller inconveniences and splinters in our everyday life to practice resilience. 

So by God’s grace, I’m going to choose to remember the bathroom remodel imperfections as moments allowing me to recover quickly so that my resilience muscle is ready for the greater difficulties still ahead! 

  1. Find the humor. Laughing in the middle of frustrating times brings a lot of healing and levity to situations. 
  2. Find one thing to be thankful for at the moment. Gratitude changes your thought patterns. Thankfulness begets thankfulness.
  3. Rewind. Look back on a time where the imperfections made the situation better.


JL McCarthy

February 16, 2021