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Many important issues remain hidden when life is calm. It’s easy to put things off or simply never consider them during life’s normal rhythms. But stress exposes what we’re made of whether we’re ready or not.

For example, a person can live with an underlying medical condition for years without any symptoms. But symptoms may appear as the conditions of life shift and reveal what was there all along.

Current circumstances didn’t cause the condition. They only revealed what was already there.

And stress works in a similar way of exposing what is beneath the surface of our life.

And this is not something we can fake our way through. All of our typical masks and ways of hiding breakdown under prolonged stress.

This is rarely pleasant, but it’s part of our resistance training that pushes us beyond our edge and allows us to grow.

But first we must allow ourselves to accept what is being uncovered.

Perhaps stress on the job highlights a need to grow in time management or in discovering our true calling.

Financial stress might point to the need to grow in money management, while increasing relational stress strongly encourages us not to put off needed conversations any longer.

Fears and the foundation of our faith are also exposed when life heats up. Platitudes of faith crumble and we must discover a true anchor for our souls.

Whatever the case, stress brings to the surface the many undone parts of our life and relationships.

This is not to despair but to lean into.

We grow as we proactively address the issues that get stirred up. Ignoring them only adds to our stress and eventually burns us out.

Don’t hide what stress brings to the surface. Accept it and grow.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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