We all love rooting for the underdog. We’re drawn to stories where greatness is measured by the challenge. The bigger the obstacle, the sweeter the victory.

Whether it’s listening to the financial advisor that rebuilt his life after bankruptcy or the young man who started his soap business after being homeless, we love stories of people who overcome great odds.

On the flip side, we’d prefer our own stories go from good to better, skipping the ugly and trying parts all together. But instinctively we know the value of struggle when it’s someone else’s journey. We’re quick to remind our friends facing hardship, that God has purpose and will see them through. “Hold on,” we’ll say “it’s only for a season,” grateful it’s not OUR season.

What we often loose in our rally for better days mind set is the undeniable gift of the struggle.

When a turtle is born its very important to let it make its own difficult crawl to the sea. Its how it gathers the strength for the next challenge of navigating the ocean. There is purpose in the struggle.

For the tiny sea creature and for our own lives when we face the ugly ‘not what we had hoped for’ moments, it’s important to embrace the power of purpose.

Success as it turns out can be one the warmest places to hide. It can sidetrack us from doing all the work needed to be a better human being. Or from building the company strong enough to endure. Our journey to change usually begins when we fail, are rejected or broken. Our steps to seek a better path are usually born from the scars of struggle.

In a very real way, we’ve all been navigating our way to the ocean. An entire industry defined for decades by struggle. A season we’re all ready to move past. To navigate new territory. Empowered with the truth of purpose and grateful for having made it to the sea, there’s change happening in our industry. Good, positive things that can turn where we’ve been into our own industry story of overcoming. Finally getting to the victory chapter in the story.

At last struggle can be redefined as where we were not where we are. Because if purpose can reveal anything to us, perhaps its knowing when change becomes imperative. When new ways of thinking and doing business are required to survive.Decades of struggle that can change in one wave of the sea.

Malcom Gladwell in his book, ‘Blink,’ describes the power of successful thinking this way, “There can be as much value in the blink of an eye as in months of rational analysis.”

How incredible would it be to write the story of our industry as the tale of Great Purpose. Our 2018 version of ‘Gifts from the Sea’. The struggle of facing great odds that changed with a new way of thinking. In the blink of an eye, purpose revealed itself to be the power of overcoming. Our affirmation to the world, that Christian Retail is strong and vibrant. That people of Faith are one of the most powerful financial forces on earth.

Now that’s a story worth reading!

—Deborah Mash