Struggle well – what Literature offers us

Struggle well – what Literature offers us

Struggle well – what Literature offers us

What if we could combine life lessons with school conversations and student assignments?

My goal as a home-school consultant is to dig deep into the ideas that build a mature life with integrity – and wrestle with these ideas in literature, math, history, science, art …

Enjoy this composition, written by a 13 year old student – after reading The Bronze Bow. Well done, Bianca!

“Struggle is a normal part of life; struggling well is the road that leads to maturity. Struggling gives us the opportunity to grow and learn. Struggling well means to ask someone you trust to help you. It also means to embrace discomfort and allow truth to influence your thoughts. There are many instances in the book The Bronze Bow that help us see what it really means to struggle well.

The protagonist in the story, Daniel bar Jamin, is loyal, loving, and courageous. He experiences many struggles, but it’s evident that he matures through these struggles. Daniel’s struggle is his determination to hate the Romans. But his love for Jesus makes him want to retreat from his hate. Daniel connects with Jesus, because he trusts him; he allows Jesus to influence his thoughts. Daniel trades his vow of hate and begins, instead, to consider love.

Another character in the story, Thacia, is a strong, happy, and graceful young woman. She isn’t afraid to show her real emotions; emotions do not, however, take over her identity. Thacia doesn’t hide her real emotions, but she makes decisions based on her convictions, not her feelings. One beautiful example of this is when she has an argument with Daniel, and we read: “”Thacia!” He burst out. “Don’t torment me!” I have to see it through alone. There’s no room for anyone else.” She did not speak again. She stood still, taking this truth as she taken the other, with her head lifted, not trying to hide the hurt anymore than she had hidden the happiness, wrapped in a sort of pride that made the ordinary pride of women seem silly.” Thacia struggled well.

Because The Bronze Bow is a historical fiction novel, Jesus is a character in the story. Jesus’ struggles are not like any of the other characters. His struggle comes from his desire to love others even at great personal cost. One example in the book was when Jesus, exhausted from his ministry, ignored his own need to rest because he wanted to help Daniel. Jesus chooses struggle to give us sacrificial love.

In The Bronze Bow, Daniel, Thacia, and Jesus show us what is really means to struggle well. Struggling well means to deal with life’s problems in a mature way. Instead of choosing comfort, which is normal, we choose to lean into the discomfort and listen to Jesus. Trusting Jesus, we make decisions based on truth, not comfort – and we grow. Like Jesus, we learn to meet other’s needs, even if it means sacrificing our own needs. Grace is always sacrificial love.”image

  • Rachel

    I always love to hear what Bianca has to say, and this time is no exception. How different would our students be if they were encouraged to think and write in this way? Phenomenal.

    • Janet

      I think my life would have taken a much different path if I had known these truths about “struggling well” at age 13 – especially the truth about feeling my real emotions, but making my decisions based on truth, not my feelings. I agree with you, Bianca is a great thinker and writer.

  • Julie Alvarez

    Wow, what a beautiful and well-written response by Bianca! I wonder if Bianca related to Thacia — strong, happy and graceful young woman? Sounds like Bianca to me! xoxo Julie

    • Janet

      Yes, Julie- it IS who Bianca is,too! What beautiful affirmation – thank you!