Bend Don’t Break!

Everyone is guaranteed some form of hardship, storms, distress/duress that ultimately forges us into the people God would have us to become. Though not pleasurable experiences, our problems are necessary for our progression from one stage in life to another. The way we deal with these experiences determines how we will come out of them. Some people seem to make it through, scraped up a bit but they come out in one piece. Others, instead, succumb to situations and trials never to come out of them and instead become overcome or swallowed by circumstances. So what is the difference between making it through and remaining stuck in a particular situation?

The answer is simple.  Bend don’t break.

We all have the best laid plans. However, the plans for our life and God’s plans are not necessarily one and the same. Our expectations don’t always transform into our experiences. Delays and disappointments are inevitable. The people who make it through hardships aren’t broken by life’s surprises. Instead, they learn to bend.

Twigs snap. Quick and sudden stress causes them to break into pieces. People can also snap. It is when experiences become so extreme, circumstances are crazy and expectations unmet that we “lose it” and do things we would not do if we were in our “right mind.”

The propensity to bend means that we can weather a storm. We can withstand the course of whatever life throws our way.  It may be uncomfortable, hard and even painful but bending means we won’t become broken by disappointment.  Our attitude determines our outcome when we choose to bend a little.

  Sometimes we have to change our habits. At others, we have to change our minds. And then there are situations where we have to choose to give a little, possibly giving up our own expectations or desires, in order to push forward and even keep peace along our journey.  Being inflexible in our relationships and even our own preconceived ideas only limits us and sets us up to potentially  “snap” under pressure. We should always be willing to bend to some extent by choosing to learn, mature, and submit to God.

Hardening our hearts and an unwillingness to listen to the counsel of others can leave us rigid, frail and easily broken.  Refusing to compromise can leave us frustrated and at odds with ever-changing  circumstances. Flexibility doesn’t dictate that we conform to the world. Flexibility allows us to move with God instead of remaining stuck where we are.

If you want peace of mind, be willing to change it when Divinely directed. If you wish to prosper, set goals but change them when God dictates. We can’t truly prosper out of God’s will. What worked yesterday won’t necessarily work today.  Don’t stay bound to the same ideas or experiences when God is trying to stretch your faith and do a new thing!

Listen when God speaks and then obey accordingly. God has challenged me do things I never would have imagined yet I can definitely say I’much better for it! I’ve been blessed when I chose to follow God instead of my own (sometimes crazy) inclinations.

Bend or Break?

The choice is ours to make!

By Lilka Finley Raphael

Author, Editor, Gardner, Photographer, Pharmacist


  1. Great post! I agree with you 100%. I would respectfully add to this discussion by saying that we must be merciful to those who are broken. One of my younger co-workers had a psychotic break with reality after the death of his Dad. I believe his Mom had already passed away. The young man is only in his 20s. He flipped out at work and had to be hospitalized for some time. It is a sad situation and my heart goes out to him. Not everyone is strong and some people have a lower breaking point.

    As a person who spent two weeks on the mental health ward of Kings County Hospital in 2015 I hesitate to criticize others. It is very difficult to develop and put into action coping skills. The only reason I’ve done better than my poor co-worker is that I’m older and have more perspective.

    Fortunately while I was in the hospital I was able to keep my job and have not returned to any psych wards since my last episode. Actually being on the psychiatric ward was so horrifying, scary and terrifying I promised myself that I would never go back and I’ve kept that promise. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree wholeheartedly! My mother’s death expedited my retirement. I knew I was not in the correct state of mind and my judgement was not what it should be to continue to practice pharmacy where I was currently employed. I left in part to keep from making an error/negative impact on someone else.
      Things can break us and that’s okay. I think we sometimes break because we don’t allow ourselves the space to bend (or in some cases grieve) and we try to keep a rigid facade that eventually gives way.
      We were both blessed with great support from our jobs. You are correct in that treatment is not without its own ills.
      Age does give us an advantage. I’m confident if I was forced to deal with my Mom’s death five years ago, it would have put me under for sure.
      B Blessed and as always, thanks for stopping by today!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely understand. My parents died many years ago. At that time I was in my 30s. Fortunately I had many family members and friends who encouraged and supported me. What put me over the edge in 2015 was the death of my beloved cousin right before Christmas 2014. Since he had no wife or kids I had to assist in the funeral arrangements. Plus I was overwhelmed with other responsibilities. Mercy & Compassion are good things. Have a great weekend and week! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    1. You are not alone. The past five years bent me out of shape and into a better version of myself. What I once thought impossible God showed me first hand what I can endure. It was uncomfortable but I’m far better for it. Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment!”

      Liked by 2 people

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