Skip to content

Maya Angelou writes, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”

Life is a winding road and it takes us places we do not plan or want to go. While on it, we will find ourselves faced with challenges that test our endurance and belief systems. We will have our ups and our downs. The good news is that troubles can encourage or prompt us to discover some of the greatest successes of our lives.

Before exploring ways of getting through the struggle, I will start with the end in mind and some possible outcomes. Trailblazers often emerge as the result of a crisis they have successfully navigated.

Troubles teach us things we did not know and help develop new levels of awareness. As the metamorphosis occurs, you achieve what did not seem possible.

And on the other side of the experience, you may be transformed and better able to meet new challenges. Pioneers have found in themselves what I hope you will discover— the new you. The new you will be changed, able to make it through the difficult times while experiencing some unexpected successes.

As we look at getting to the other side of trouble, there are some stages. Initially, we ask ourselves, “How am I going to get through this?” or, “Why am I going through this?” There is of course, the give-up, “I refuse to do this – I can’t.” The breakthrough comes when you trust that difficult times are the backdrop for “growth spurts”.

Growth spurts happen without warning and are for an undesignated period. Like troubles, they disappear as quickly and unannounced as they arrived. Your goal is to figure out how to get through the tough times. Critical to your success is keeping a winning attitude.

Believe that you will get to the finish line. Hard times do not last forever. If you think, “this will take forever”, you can be certain that it will. When you recognize that the crisis has a stop sign, you have taken an important step. Remember, you are greater than your circumstances and the greatest power is within you.

Avoid focusing on the problem. Do a rollback and reflect on blessings or successes from your past that you are thankful for. As you recall them, write each one, remember how you felt and what got you through it. During the day and the last thing at night, focus on victories. Plan to open your eyes each day in the manner you ended the night before, with positive thoughts that remind you of the best from your past.

Initially, starting each day with only positive feelings may be difficult. If so, write them out and read them as soon as you rise in morning. The goal is to flood the mind with hopeful messages and totally replace any self-defeating thoughts.

Now you are on the path to peacefully overcoming troubles and despite new challenges; you will make it to the finish line.

Avatar photo

O. Raye Adkins spent more than three decades serving in public education. She concluded her career as an award-winning elementary school principal. She is the author of Letters To My Father: The Gifts and other narrative works. She earned her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University, and holds a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a bachelor's degree in English and Speech. The University of Texas at San Antonio recognized Dr. Adkins as a Principal of the Year prior to her retirement.

After leaving the school system she served several years as a national consultant for the AHA! Process of Houston, Texas. In that role she conducted workshops for educators from early childhood to college level and for organizations that serve children and parents living in poverty. She has also served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Texas at San Antonio and Weyland University in San Antonio.

In 2009, Dr. Adkins published Letters To My Father: The Gifts, a book of letters to the father she never met. Dr. Adkins' father, Raphel Orval Beason, died four months before her birth of in a World War II naval explosion. In Letters To My Father: The Gifts, Dr. Adkins chronicles through letters to her father her journey from pain and grief to miraculous gifts and blessings.

Her most recent work, "Why I Wore My Yellow Dress" was inspired by a gift of roses for Mother's Day from her only child John. John died in 2011, seven months prior her writing the narrative.

Dr. Adkins' interests are traveling and reading. She is an active member of Bethel African Methodist Church, the Ivy Readers Book Club and she holds life memberships in Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the NAACP. She resides in San Antonio with her husband Robert who is also a retired education.

Additional writings can be found here. Visit and for additional information. 

For more information, please visit

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Great observation on how to approach and manage “growth spurts” as they are part of life, awesome read!

  2. This message was so timely with great insight in struggling with problems of today.I will deinetly start journaling at bedtime and start day off with a postive note to self.Thank you Sister Raye,That was indeed a wonderful blessing❤❤❤

  3. Sister it is amazing how you can always deposit an enlightening and positive element into our being and also the tools to help continue to feed on it. Be blessed and continue to share your God given talents .

  4. Dr. Raye you are certainly one of God’s earth angels with such a loving and free spirit! May God continue to bless you and your husband, Bro. Robert, as you live out your destiny in Christ Jesus our Lord, Savior and soon coming King!
    High Regards,
    Rev Verna Maria Young

  5. Great read on self reflection, dealing with difficulties in life and assurance that things will be ok. Thank you for this awesome article, Cheyenne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *