The other day a friend admitted she’d always thought I’d lived a charmed life, that everything had always been pleasant for me, and I’d never experienced any kind of difficulty. I almost choked on my salad.
This was false. While I am blessed in so many, many ways, I am definitely no stranger to hardship.
My childhood was scarred with alcoholism and divorce. I moved so many times I lost count. I was painfully shy. My family members have battled everything from sexual abuse to eating disorders to mental illness to cancer and more. Over the last couple of years I’ve lost several extremely close family members. I’ve been divorced and remarried, and our blended family has four kids between the ages of 10-13.
And yet, I’m so thankful, feel such joy, and know I’m so blessed! In spite of my family’s struggles, we’re nearly all Christians who encourage each other in our faith-walk. Each of my kids has a personal relationship with Christ, as does my husband.
I’m grateful for all I experienced. The difficulties deepened me and made me who I am. Without them, I wouldn’t be the mom, wife, friend, sister, or daughter I am today. I probably wouldn’t have the empathy I do.
The bad things we go through aren’t easy, but they’re not supposed to be. They build character and draw us closer to God.
Life on earth wasn’t meant to be perfect. In fact, in John 16 Jesus promised us we’d experience difficulty. But heaven awaits.
Here are some of my favorite Scriptures for times of trial.
· I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
· Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong (1 Peter 5:10).
· And of course, today’s verse, spoken by Jesus.
Remember—whatever you are going through, you are not alone. We’re all in this together, and as Christians, it helps when we lean on each other and on Jesus.
~ Jessica Brodie