Here are some truths to hold if you’re struggling. Often we look for meaning when everything seems to be crumbling around our ears. The wonderful thing is there is hope, beauty, and meaning in our suffering!
But first, can I confess, this last month has been challenging. The little struggles added up until it all reached a boiling point last Friday. I did not handle it well. The kids did something to annoy me one last time and I yelled. The look in their eyes and how they scurried outside made the day feel even worse. By the time my husband got home, I had turned the TV on to occupy them and I was in our room with tears rolling down my cheeks.
I don’t know what your house and stage of life looks like right now but we really are in a “mostly good days” phase of life. But some mornings start with being poked in the butt at 6 am, when that happens somehow by Murphy’s Law it is followed by a day full of toddler fussing and yelling “mom” non-stop all day.
Those days feel weird because I’ve had fully bad seasons of life that dealt much worse days. Days where the newborn wouldn’t sleep at all during the night followed by the toddler and newborn taking shifts all day. The night the tree fell and hit our home. That incident was followed by hours the next few weeks on the phone with an insurance company, and a move to an apartment with two small children. There was a year of verbal abuse from a toxic spiritual leader who injured my soft heart and made every day the stuff of nightmares for years to follow.
What I’ve Learned in Trials
When something is hard our hearts will look for a way out or to numb out. We crave turning to scrolling, movies, or ice cream. Those things are okay in moderation, but they only offer temporary relief. The beautiful thing is there is something even more comforting than these temporary pain blockers. But these are the truths I choose to hold and the hope I’ve seen be real.
As a believer, I often hope and pray for growth. The uncomfortable yet comforting truth is that the sufferings large and small produce the spiritual maturity that I’ve asked for but also greater clarity. Clarity to see the woman I want to become and habits I want to avoid. Trials strengthen the muscles of my faith by allowing me to practice what I say I believe. This develops me into the saint God has called me to be. The fruit of this is a deep hope that what we endure today isn’t our eternal reality.
As much as I wish it wasn’t true, I can’t grow without the struggle. like Dallas Willard said, “The ordinary challenges of life is God’s curriculum for spiritual growth.”
So on the days that everything blows up AGAIN (because in this world we will have tribulation). I look for comfort in Jesus’ promises. In 2 Corinthians 12:9 he said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9)
Looking Back on Suffering
At this point, I’ve wrestled through multiple rounds of suffering. What I’ve learned is summed up well in this quote I heard during our sermon on Sunday. “Suffering digs wells of grace in your soul that you will draw from for the rest of your life.” And the more beautiful fruit of it is that when others who you love are suffering you are able to also draw from the hope that is built in you to relieve their despair too!
If you’re suffering, I check comments often please let me know how I can pray for you!