Hang Up Your Gloves & Stop Fighting Now!

hard circumstances - acceptance

When it comes to the challenging circumstances in your life and work, do you have a knack for donning your gloves and fighting them? You know, getting riled up and frustrated – wishing things were different. Or do you accept what comes your way and seek out to creatively make the best of your situation?

Proactive was my very first “One Word” in 2013. As the year progressed, it became clear that God had some important lessons for me to learn around intentionally taking action. He knew I would be facing several circumstances that would require me to be decisive and take action – circumstances that I wasn’t too keen on!

One of the circumstances I encountered that year was selling the house that my husband and I had built together. It was a house that we had carefully planned every detail of to create a home that worked well for our family and suited our love for entertaining. Many memories were made in that home. Saying good bye to my dream home was emotional and so was downsizing as we prepared to be empty nesters in a new home in a brand new city.

After much searching, we decided to purchase a home in a beautiful neighborhood that needed some major updating as well as some changes to the layout to better accommodate the fact that both my husband and I work from home.

Moves Are Challenging!

A move alone is a big change. Add to that living in the midst of a major renovation, and you’ve got one unsettling adventure on your hands. I’m not going to lie. I was fighting it all – the move, the big changes, and the disorganization. It felt like my life had been turned upside down!

Three months into the new house and our garage was still full of boxes that needed to be unpacked but had no place to go in the midst of the mess.

My kitchen was non-functional and for someone who enjoys cooking and eating, that’s rough! Cooking in an electric skillet and washing dishes in the bathroom is not my idea of a good time!

And, as is true of all remodeling projects, the time frame of the project drug on and it all took much longer than we expected. Not to mention it’s rather tedious to try and work with strangers in your home and all the noise.

That’s not all! I was learning to find my way around a new city and to feel like I belonged as we searched for our people and a church. I wondered if we would ever feel connected to others in this new place.

Rather than accepting what was and trusting that God was at work, I spent a lot of time wishing I was back in my old house and in the same town as my treasured friends! And since my husband was the one eager to make the move, he became the obvious scapegoat in my frustrated state.

Accepting my circumstances required a great deal of faith. Faith that God loves me, that He’s with me, that He’s working it all out for my good. And I had to stop fighting and let go of the past and accept where He’d brought me. After all, He could have prevented the move, but He didn’t. He allowed it to happen.

What’s beautiful about God is that He doesn’t waste any circumstance. He uses them all to teach me, stretch me, and encourage me to grow!

So, what did I take away from the messy moving season of my life? I learned the importance of…

1. Taking Off the Gloves!

I like to be in control. When I’m fighting my circumstances, I’m actually fighting to win control. Taking the gloves off is symbolic for surrendering and accepting what is. Admitting that I’m not in control, and trusting that God in His wisdom is at work for my good even though it might not seem like it in the moment.

2. Stepping Into His Rhythm

I gravitate towards rhythms and routines – especially if they are my rhythms and routines! The major disruption to my way of doing life was actually an opportunity to step into HIS rhythm. To learn to do life in a new and better way if I was willing.

3. Accepting What Is

The truth is that there was no way to go back, so wishing I could only made me more of a frustrated hot mess! It takes a lot of energy to fight what is and it’s pretty pointless too. After all, you can’t change it! Resisting also leads to a whole lot of unnecessary frustration, stress, and unhappiness! Who needs that?

If Paul can be content in any circumstance, so can I!

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV)

4. Choosing To Respond Proactively

From a place of acceptance, with the gloves off, and surrendered to Him I was finally able to be proactive – to practice my “One Word.” Rather than dwelling on the past and what was, I began imagining what could be and actively taking steps in that direction. I intentionally kept my attitude in check which became easier and easier the more I let go of what I wanted and trusted God. I focused on what I was grateful for like living closer to my sons, looking forward to a brand-new kitchen, and the gorgeous surroundings that I enjoyed on my morning walks. While those may seem like small things, they had a big impact.

I am still learning to be someone who accepts-with-ease. At times I fight my circumstances more than I’d like to admit. My desire is to accept my circumstances more quickly and respond proactively with greater wisdom.  It’s a process. Growing in this area of my life has been positive. In fact, it’s served me well.

The bonus: I will reflect Him better which brings Him the glory He deserves. I want that!

A Few Years Later…

I was enjoying my new kitchen, had made some new friends, and faced yet another challenge – Lyme disease. Another circumstance I had no power to change. It was yet another opportunity to surrender and trust that God was up to something good in my life. While battling Lyme disease was a very, very hard season, I experienced God’s love and presence in ways I never had before. It took more than two years before I was back to my old self, but it was clear that God was slowing me down and healing me.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing! I see how God has used those tough circumstances to remove the rough edges in my life. I am more compassionate towards others facing hard situations, and I’ve been able to be a source of encouragement and hope for numerous people dealing with Lyme disease.

You see, in the end, God cares much more about my heart than He does about what I think will make me happy or how organized my house is. He delights in the ways that I am reflecting Him and operating out of who He created me to be. His desire is for me to be surrendered. And nothing demonstrates my faith more than my attitude and actions – my proactive action!

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track. Proverbs 3:5-6 (MSG)

When it comes to the hard circumstances in your life and work, are you a fighter, or one who accepts-with-ease?

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

2 Comments

  1. April on December 22, 2021 at 8:49 am

    As a young person, “old” people in my experience were generally either very prickly or very at-peace –as if years of living put them in one camp or the other. I’m a senior myself now, and understand how life can make us bitter or accepting, depending on our understanding of God’s love and sovereignty in our lives. I like how you put it, looking in the rear view mirror: “I see how God has used those tough circumstances to remove the rough edges in my life.” I’m still in process, but hope to be a sweet old lady someday. 🙂

  2. Marvae Eikanas on December 22, 2021 at 12:45 pm

    Yes, life does seem to impact people in the two ways you described. We are all still in process – being refined!

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