We signed up for a hike with a ranger, who told us a remarkable thing: when a tree’s life is threatened, stressed by the elements of fire, drought, or other calamity, it twists beneath its bark to reinforce and make itself stronger.

On the surface, this new inner strength may not be visible, for the bark often continues to give the same vertical appearance. Only when the exterior is stripped away, or when the tree is felled, are its inner struggles revealed”

Inner struggles for folks like you and me can also make us stronger if we so choose, and face our difficulties and challenges with courage and determination and not allow them to defeat us.

— Marilyn J. Abraham