I read this blog post that a my mother's friend sent her....and I related. It seems that my poor family has been through a lot over the past 6 or 7 years. And if the sufferning doesn't belong to me personally or a family member, then dear friends are going through it. If you don't have time to read my blog post and that article, then skip my post and read what she wrote, because it is far better. There are so many times in my life where I wish I head read an article like this, so I am saving it for the painful times in the future, but please, those who are in the midst of bad times and those who are not, read the linked post today.
Actually I take that back, I may write my own version of this blog post, but for now, I would rather you just read hers. I cut out some of my favorite lines... BUT please read the whole article. I cried. I've had the long nights and unbearable mornings. I've had the conversations with God where I begged for it not to my turn to suffer or my family's turn to suffer. I've said, hasn't there already been enough?
But I've also lived the Joy that comes on the other side, the pain. Sometimes I will be talking to people I know who seem to have had a lives that worked out well....in many areas, the way they would have planned. And I envy that, but than I felt bad for these people. Not that I would ever wish pain on anyone, nor would I say hard times are ideal. BUT I would say that there is a Joy and pride in surviving, there is a confidence in one's self for making it through (like hmm, you didn't get the best of me) and even more, there is a confidence in our Lord. It takes awhile, but I have known the Joy that comes on the other side -- and I have sometimes known the Joy that comes with no pain proceeding it. The Joy that comes after pain is always better, always stronger, always sweeter. Every time though, I would still pick the easier route to Joy, as most of us would. Sometimes I still don't think the blessing at the end is worth the suffering -- so thats why its good God is God and not me, that he makes us walk through hard times to learn, grow, cling and find a new Joy, one that is oftentimes better (although its hard to see that in the sad, scary, painful or lonely moments) God redeems, and it is always hard yet amazing to watch Him do so.
Lines from the post that I loved....
If I could have scripted what I wanted life to look like right now- this wouldn't be it.
This isn't the way that I wanted my prayers to be answered.....
I have often felt that I've paid my dues- so to speak- in life.
Often felt that the pieces that string together like pearls to create my testimony- have been more than my fair share.
We can all feel that way at times. When life becomes something we need to survive instead of embrace.
When life is hard. When life is unfair. When life threatens to overtake us and rob us and suffocate the very breath out of us. When mornings are unbearable and the nighttimes are so long we believe that they will never end.
We want to wish away the suffering.
But the suffering - the unbelievably hard things...can sometimes be the Father at work in our lives.
Even if we've already survived a lifetime of suffering before.
Even if we've already had "our fair share" of unfair things happen.
Still. There can be more.
These are the order of events that make the good things- so good- once they finally arrive.
These are the things that bring us to our knees with gratitude once we manage to survive them all.
These are the things that make good movies so good and cause us to read the same books over and over again.
The suffering. The pressing. The crushing.
There can be beauty in scripted suffering. In all that He may allow in our lives.
There can be beauty in the overcoming and the breaking forth....
Even those things.
The things we would never script for our own life...
The Father may use for the pressing.
Even if we've had a lifetime of pressing before.
The anointing. The character shaping. The heart softening. The humility. The ear to hear anothers' heartache. The learned art of listening and doing. The servitude. The ministry. The breaking forth.
He is a God who can resurrect every, single thing in your life that looks like it is over.
He wants you to trust Him. Talk with Him. Seek Him. Ask Him. Love Him even when things do not make any sense. Even when things are unfair. Even when things are so painful it hurts to breathe...
He knows. He sees. He is working. He is faithful. He is orchestrating details right now on your behalf.
And soon sweet friend. The pressing will stop. And the page will turn.