Purpose in the Process

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

We tend to start the year with so much energy and promise. Then, over the course of 12 months, we are beaten down by personal and professional disappointments and failures. We experience the loss of friends and family. To make matters worse, the adversarial nature of the profession and client burdens further eat away at our optimism. We crawl toward the end of the year exhausted.

There have been several points in my life, and the life of my family, where faith fulfilled was painfully illusory—or so it seemed. In all cases, our family’s faith has taught us to believe in the vision even when there was nothing to see.

Experiencing failures and life trials has taught us about gratitude. When our world seems to be falling apart, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. But, what if we decided to look forward instead of down. Instead of replaying all our life’s problems, what if we focused on the good, no matter how small it might be. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., author of Gratitude Works! and professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, ran a study wherein a 21-day gratitude intervention among a sample of adults with neuromuscular disease resulted in greater amounts of “high energy positive moods, a greater sense of feeling connected to others, more optimistic ratings of one’s life, and better sleep duration and sleep quality.”

As attorneys, we are flagrant goal setters and the profession is saturated with success matrices. It is easy to get lost in the narrowness of the destination and lose focus on the goodness that comes with the journey. Looking at our past failures and trials through the lens of gratitude, our smallest joys are magnified and our future has hope. There is purpose in the process.

This holiday season, I invite everyone to embrace their failures and trials as it shines a special light on our blessings. In closing, I hope to share a few notes that have helped our family and me find faith fulfilled:

  • We are not defined by our failures. They are temporary and fleeting.

  • Pray with gratitude. It doesn’t cost any money. It’s easy to do, and, most importantly, it’s good for the soul.

  • God is real. In a world of uncertainty, I believe this is certain: God loves you and wants the best for you.

  • Do a good deed. Even if you think that you don’t have much, there is someone out there who has much less. Giving in service will remind you of the blessings that you do have.

As we still recover from Thanksgiving turkey and pumpkin pie, holiday lights and decorations go up, Hallmark movie marathons commence, and 2019 winds down. Please rest in the fact that you are blessed. Even if you can’t see it now, faith fulfilled is a prayer away.

Together, let’s pray this next year for friendship and courage, cheerfulness and charity, diligence in duties, counsel in adversity, and patience in pain. Let’s pray that we will learn to be generous, to give and not count the cost, to fight and not heed the wounds, to labor and not ask for reward, and for us to rejoice and be glad in the peace that is provided by faith.

Better Together,


2019-2020 President,
Texas Young Lawyers Association


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