“I would rather have young people settle on a small income at once, and have to struggle with a few difficulties together, than be involved in a long engagement….” ~ Mrs. Croft, Persuasion by Jane Austen

If there is anything that my favorite fandoms (and life) have taught me is that struggles make us stronger. To narrow down the framework, lets concentrate on fandom romances. Harry and Ginny struggled for a year, not knowing if they would survive to be able to rekindle their love. Bill and Fleur settle on a small income in perilous times, as did Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Katniss and Peeta fall in love in the arena, both believing their life is over. Bella and Edward’s first few months of marriage are fraught with near-death experiences, and the two have to learn to fight arm and arm to protect their family. As for life, my husband and I married while I was still in college. We lived off his small income for nine months, and then he was laid off. We started our own business, which if you’ve ever done, you know the first few years are not very profitable. But, we’ve come out almost seven years later all the stronger.

Struggles stink at the moment but afterward they prove to be gold.

The same principle applies to our lives as Christ-followers.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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 12:9-10 ESV

God’s power is made perfect in our weakness—in our areas of struggle. Because, when we struggle, we tend to lean on and trust in and rely on Him more. When we get to a point where we surrender our strength to Him, that is when He comes in and gives us His strength to get through.

Harry is strongest and most powerful when he surrenders to Dumbledore’s will—through his surrender, Voldemort is destroyed. We are strongest when we surrender to God’s will; when we  face the struggles in His strength and not our own.

Struggles make us stronger because they teach us to rely on God for strength.