I often think of my life like a story God is writing…and so is yours. And to be honest, some parts of the story I don’t really like.
If it were up to me, I would have written some of it differently. My second child would not have died, and I would have a daughter who would be 26 years old this year.
As for my friends’ stories, I would have tweaked them too. Carol’s son would not be in prison. Linda’s 20-year-old daughter would not be a quadriplegic. Barbara’s daughter would not be bipolar. Patty’s 21-year-old daughter would not have died in a car accident. Jennifer’s husband would not have died of a brain tumor. If I had been writing the story.
But I’m so glad I’m not the author of those stories. Each and every one of those friends has ministries that impact thousands upon thousands of women all over the world. God has turned their pain into purpose, the misery into ministry, and their devastation into anointed messages of hope and restoration.
Sudden glory fills and spills from each of these women’s lives. Their love journeys of living and moving and having their being in Christ have led them through dark valleys and back out into the light on the other side. They practically glow with radiant wonder.
Here’s what I’ve learned about the hard parts of my story: Difficult times are pregnant with glory moments just waiting to be birthed in the lives of those willing to labor through the pain. The key is to not allow bitterness and anger to make our hearts infertile to God’s gifts.
One way to avoid the darkening of the soul is by constant communication seasoned with thanksgiving—a continual acknowledgement of His presence.
Glory moments in difficult times are not dependent on our circumstances, but on our focus.
Focus on the difficulty and God is difficult to see. Focus on God and glory seeps through the broken places.
Difficulties become the bass notes of our life’s song, adding a depth and beauty not found in a life that hovers around middle C. Click & Tweet!
After my husband and I got out of college, we moved to Charlotte so that my husband could go into practice with another doctor. But after we moved here, the doctor changed his mind.
“Sorry, Steve. I changed my mind. Good luck, son.” the doctor said.
I was so upset. OK, I was angry. Flat out angry. Angry with the doctor and angry with God. We had no money. No job. And school debt.
Three months later a situation opened up that was far better than our original plan. It was Ephesians 3:20 in lab-coat white: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurable more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”
Well, why didn’t God do that in the first place? Why didn’t He lead us to that second opportunity when we did all that praying and seeking? He could have. But He is far more interested in developing our character than doling out a life of comfort and ease.
C.S. Lewis notes: “If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable. Think of it as a place of training and correction and it’s not so bad.”
We are ever the students. He is the teacher still.
Trials rip away the flimsy fabric of self-sufficiency and become the raw material for God’s miracles in our lives. Click & Tweet!
Someone once said, “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” Oh that we would trust Him even if the twists and turns never make sense this side of heaven. That’s what trusting God is all about. As we live and move and have our being in Him, the dark places are simply opportunities to trust that He knows the way—and the perfect time to hold on tight.
So here’s the question: will you trust God to write your story?
How do you trust God in tough times? It comes by having a consistent daily walk with God…as you live and move and have your being in Him. The more you know Him, the more you trust Him. If you would like to experience God in the midst of your difficulties as well as your victories, then A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More will help you get there. Click here to download a free chapter and watch a video book trailer.
CONGRATULATIONS TO LINDA NEELY, the winner of a free copy of A Sudden Glory from the blog comments on a recent post.
Thank you Sharon, I have a difficult situation that it is taking God a long time to turn around my daughter who I thought I was very close to a year and a half ago decided she needed separation from me and her father because she needed to heal from hurts of her growing up… no explaination of what hurts or anything just no talking, texting, or seeing her for over a year she had a baby in May and we got to go meet our grandson at the hospital the day he was born and have not seen them since…several times they have said God was moving and we would see them soon but nothing…I walk in prayer for them constantly and if faith that God is moving but it is hard…I have 2 grandbabies I am missing their growing up…
Whoa! I could not agree more with your post today. 2015 was a rough year. My parents divorced after 57 years of marriage, my mother’s health declined, and she split her time living with me and my husband and her brother and his wife. My mother eventually went to assisted living and passed away shortly after. The day after she passed, my sibling hired an attorney. What followed was a barrage of unfounded, untrue accusatory letters. The rest of the year was spent jumping through hoops and sending documentation. Everything my uncle and I were accused of was unsubstantiated and my mother’s assets dispersed. Through this, I realized that my sibling truly thinks the worst of me. And my father has disowned me. But even still, God showed up. He reminded me that He will fight in my silence. (Ex 14:14) I could go into great detail but we would be here for hours! After dealing with severe back pain, I had to retire from my dream job as a hairdresser at the age of 47.
I was so glad to ring in 2016. Both of our grown children were engaged, our family was growing and love was in the air! It was a busy, fun time and the weddings were 7 weeks apart. Preparation was exciting but made difficult by my limitations. I’m a can do, want to do, servent kind of girl! It frustrates me to be so limited.
In the midst of this, my hisband’s two brothers were both hospitalized with life threatening illnesses and one of them went home to Jesus at the age of 59. What a shock for his wife to be thrust into widowhood so soon.
I lost my voice a week before my daughter’s wedding. Seven weeks later, I finally went to the ENT and was diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal cord. There is no cure. Surgery only helps slightly and then it must be repeated every 2-3 years.
After experiencing some other symptoms, I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. So now I am chuckling. What’s next? Well, you shouldn’t ask these things. We put our house on the market and it sold in 22 days. We are in the process of moving into my mother in law’s basement for the time being. And our beloved Schnauzer, Rudy, passed away on Monday…
Is this how I would have written my story?!?! Not on your life! But! I can smile everyday knowing God is good. He formed me in my mother’s womb. There isn’t a moment He isn’t walking with me. I have seen so many sightings of God during these two years of struggles. I thank Him nearly constantly. I let Him know that I am listening and waiting for Him to write the rest of my story. God has not forgotten about me, this isn’t the end, it is the beginning of something. He will not leave this servent girl.
Psalm 40: 2-3 says:
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.
And I WILL sing His praises forever….although not as loud as I used to! 😉 A quote I use quite often: “God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.” I am just waiting for what He is equipping me to do! Have a terrific day, Sharon. Thank you for your ministry.
Ms. Sara, it sounds like He has really equipped you. God’s blessings on you as you seek His will for your life!
Xxx holding on to these words today xx
Sharon, I know you hear this a lot, but you must have wrote this for me. I do want to rewrite my entire story on those down days, when I think of not growing up with a father, my mother having cancer while I was in college, the loss of two babies, devastating job losses for my husband, the moves caused by the financial difficulties, children you love, but wish had made better choices, children’s happiness etc, etc. etc. Then I remember the story he did write for me and the glory that is seeping everywhere. A child born out of wedlock in the 50’s, an verbally abusive mother, father dying of alcoholism and I still found God in the amazing teachers that surrounded me in grade school, the aunts and uncles that watched over me and saw that I was clothed and had a present or two, the wonderful examples of adults put in my life as I came in to young adulthood. My parents didn’t raise me, but God did and I thank him everyday for it. My life has not been simple, but it has been full. My tears have been angry, sad, but they have also been joyful and happy. God is good, and God will take me home one day and I will no longer be an orphan on this planet, but a child in his presence.
So timely. Thank you Jesus. God bless your obedience ad diligence to the sensitivity to The Holy Spirit. May you continue to be blessed with your pursuit of His Wonder. May you continue to be persistent in seeing your pain as a platform of purpose to glorify God’s great name. ???? God bless you sister on Christ. Thank you for this timely encouragement.
What a refreshing blog today. “Faith means believing in advance what will only make sense in reverse.” What a profound, power-packed statement! And how true it is. I was equally refreshed to read the comment by Sara Young. With all of the challenges she has faced in the last two years, still being able to give praise to God because He is still good and still worthy, is a powerful testimony to the faithfulness of God. Sara could have easily become a victim, like too many times we do, but she chooses to rejoice. She still feels the pain of her reality, but she understands that God’s truth transcends the depths of darkness and despair. Thank you for sharing, Ms. Young. I am so encouraged.
Thank you thank you and thank you, may God continue to bless and strengthen you. You have a way of making me see God differently, I am supper great full and I don’t hesitate to share your link with friends around me
Wow! I just found you and am so touched by what you wrote! I won’t even begin to tell my story, but am encouraged at how through it all God has a plan. I wait upon that.