The following was written by Mark Huber.

This past year has been nothing but a struggle for me.

Whether it was my fight against vaccine mandates at St. John’s University, or simply finding the person who I am supposed to be, I know that these struggles are nothing more than a blessing from God. After pondering my thoughts, I am writing this in hopes to remind you that adversity is only a part of the process of becoming great.

I want to start this with a simple statement from Yoda in one of my favorite movies, The Empire Strikes Back:

“Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us.”

Now after reading that, I want to replace some words. Size with control, Force with God, and of course, put it into proper English:

Control does not matter. For God is my ally, and He is a powerful ally. He created me and made me grow. He surrounds me and is always with me.

It is of utmost importance to remember this message. God is and will always be with you. He is the source of your strength and with Him, you can accomplish anything. I also encourage you to read one of my favorite poems, Footprints in the Sand.

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But don’t take my word for it, take the word of God to believe it:

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” -Isaiah 41:10

“Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:20

“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” -1 Corinthians 3:16

When discussing past leaders in the world, it is impossible to not find some sort of adversity that they had to overcome. Out of the ashes of adversity rises strength and growth. These leaders lived by these words.

Take George Washington as our first example. Many remember him as a war hero, founding father, and the first president of the United States of America; but let’s also not forget that he is human.

Washington has had his fair share of hurdles in life. Picture being the first president and how hard that must have been. The Constitution did outline the powers and limitations, however, there were no guidelines about the nature of the position.

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In the late 1700s, America was a one-of-a-kind country where its leader was a president in a world full of kings. The pressure was on Washington to find and define what it meant to be a president, and I think he did a damn good job at it. Why would every president after him (except for FDR) step down after two terms before the passing of the 22nd Amendment? To this day, Washington is not only a model for what a president should be but also a leader for the world.

At the age of eight, Ben Carson found himself in the situation far too many kids are in nowadays after his father abandoned his family. At this point in his life, he was known as the “class dummy” and never cared for his school work, which caused his mother to limit his time watching TV and forced him to read and write book reports.

He did have the urge to progress in his academics, however, his temper prevented any form of growth. According to Patricia Sellers of the Fortune, Carson said “‘I’d hit people with bats and bricks.’” He also knifed a friend over an argument about the changing of a radio station. But that is when his life turned for the best. He locked himself in the bathroom to pray and read the Bible. The Book of Proverbs warned him of his temper reading, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down.”

Carson realized that his temper blinded him to his true desire to be a doctor. If there is one thing that is definite, he overcame his own adversity and became a very successful neurosurgeon. He later became the first person to separate conjoined twins.

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I gave you a few political and medical professionals but what about religious leaders? Well, there was Mother Teresa. Do you think it was easy for this Catholic nun to choose poverty after being raised in a family that lived comfortably? Or what about Thomas More? Was it easy for him to defend the Catholic faith and defy the Church of England? He knew he would be persecuted for this, and he still died proclaiming himself as “the King’s good servant but God’s first.”

And let’s not forget the greatest leader of all. Jesus. He bore so much pain and died on the cross for all of our sins. You all know His story and how He rose again to be the living King of the Earth.

I wanted to share all this with you to remind you that with the strength of God, it is up to you to hurdle past all adversity that comes your way. David Kuhnert, author of Servant Leadership, reminds us in his book that there are only three things we can control in life:

1) Whom we trust 
2) Our Attitude
3) Our Actions.

It is inevitable that life will throw challenges your way; you cannot control it. Stop trying to control it, and control yourself. With trust in God, the right attitude, and proper actions, anyone can take that adversity and grow to be a leader in this world.

This was written by Mark Huber. Click here to read more from Mark.