Monday, June 4, 2012

Getting Through Trials And Coming Out Stronger

Good morning.
I had a very decent night’s sleep and I’m not dragging, which I consider a “win” going into a Monday.

My friend Katie introduced me to a devotional book called “Jesus Calling,” and I just love it.

This morning’s entry read: 

“Welcome challenging times as opportunities to trust Me. You have Me beside you and My Spirit within you, so no set of circumstances is too much for you to handle. When the path before you is dotted with difficulties, beware of measuring your strength against those challenges. That calculation is certain to riddle you with anxiety.”
Isn’t that the TRUTH!?!?

This takes me back to that first year we were married, when things were so tough. When I literally couldn’t make it through a day without crying just a little bit. I would cry when I could cry – in the shower, in my car alone, or in the bathroom. Life was SO HARD, it felt eternal and it felt impossible.

God was there. Like He promises, He never left me. But, I was mad at him. How could he let this happen to someone who loved Him and served Him? And, I wasn’t just talking about myself. I was talking about Michael. Then, my discontent grew from looking at Michael struggling to see myself struggling, and I questioned what God was doing. I tried to tell Him I couldn’t handle anymore, so he could go ahead and stop anytime.

And, it happened.
I don’t know if managing my life as a wife, a caregiver, and a journalist got easier, or if I just got used to being stretched, but the fear, doubt and anxiety eventually faded.  We prayed and prayed, I know we had people praying for us.  We got help in the way of counseling.  We started this blog, and met other young couples in situations similar to ours.

We started working as a team. And now, when things go wrong – like a catheter coming off, or a really long bad day, or a challenge comes up – like a road trip or a tight month budget wise, we get through it.  Together.

And my prayers have more faith and thankfulness.  I believe God can work all things for good, because He has done it in my own life. Perhaps that isn’t real faith, because it relies on something seen rather than unseen, but the point I’m making here is – if it’s tough for you right now – if you’re mad at God because of your difficult circumstance – and you can’t get through a day without salty tears, keep on keeping on.

Because one day, you will look back, and realize that no, maybe you aren’t stronger for it (or maybe you are), but somehow, you got through it. He carried you through it.

And you’ll be able to read a Bible verse like James 1:2 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,” and not roll your eyes with disdain for the Lord.

Maybe it will get easier, maybe you’ll get used to it, maybe time is the best healer of all. 

But don’t cave. Because this challenge you’re in the middle of right now will shape you and give you great perspective and compassion for the people who will walk behind you into their difficult days.

And maybe you can help them. There is great joy in the helping. Trust me.


Cheri said...

Wonderful post! We all have to take one day at a time knowing that God will see us through. Our motto is "Never Give up because you never know when you're "suddenly' is going to happen". In the bible the phrase "and suddenly " appears numerous times and it always gives me a thrill when I read those passages. God has great things in store and it is worth getting up each morning just to see what those things are. Thanks for sharing!

Breanna Anderson said...

Beautiful!! I need that book :)

Kristen Maddux said...

Oh Dana, that is so true. "Joy comes in the morning"--and even though it's usually not in the way we picture/hope for...somehow it is still an amazing JOY.
I don't get it all either, girl. Some days are so hard. But I also know (like you)that pressing on and relying daily on Him is something special in itself. That's where our selfishness fades away and His glory shines. This post from Beth Moore today spoke to me today; it's totally where I am at:
I love you!

Dana Brown Ritter said...

Kristen, THANK YOU for sharing. That definitely hit home!!
Breanna, you do. :) Here's a link, I have it on my iPad and I love it because the daily readings are short but always applicable:

And Cheri, my sister, thank you for your encouragement!

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