I think going through difficult situations and challenges, in general, helps us to grow and change. I think of people who go through military basic training– they are facing difficulties (such as being away from loved ones, and living in an unfamiliar environment) and challenges (getting used to rigorous activity and learning new skills) but at the end of their training they are stronger and more confident. I think this is why the apostle Paul uses the imagery of an athlete when he talked about the Christian life–
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should” (1 Corinthians 9:24-27, NLT). Being a Christian is not very easy. We often do not do the things we should do, but we get up and keep going. I hold onto the fact that all things are possible with God, so it is possible for anyone to change for the better with His help.