Suffering is simultaneously breaking me down and building me up. And it’s both incredibly hard and amazingly glorious.
On a particularly difficult Sunday, I confessed through my tears to my pastor’s wife. “I don’t know how to raise Rachel. I can’t do this! I don’t know how to care for a child with special needs.”
I posted about another hard Sunday a while later:
Last Sunday, I was in a rather desperate state heading to church. The morning had not gone well. Things were very difficult with Rachel, and only half of us ended up going to worship. As my son drove, I sighed, “Lord I need your strength!”
I expected that caring for a child with such special needs would be most difficult in the younger years. That expectation was incorrect.
As Rachel enters adulthood, her independence and stubbornness is increasing. Her anxiety about going anywhere, even to familiar places, is mounting. Her poor expressive language intensifies the problem.
While we try to figure out the cause of frequent sore throats and unexplained fear, the incredibly difficult decision of where she’ll reside in adulthood looms large in my mind and in my heart.
And as our friends enjoy a greater measure of freedom as their children become teens and young adults, my husband and I still face demands similar to parents with toddlers. It’s affected our time together. But perhaps hardest, it’s inhibited our ability to nurture other relationships.
Yet, increasingly, I’m seeing the blessings of our struggle.
Blessing of Suffering
Not being able to solve my problems intellectually or physically has forced me to the cross. I am compelled to consider how Jesus handled the worst suffering in the history of the world. And in doing so, I’ve come to better understand the depth of His love for and devotion to me (and to you too).
As I dig into the Word, I’m finding solace and strength for each day. And I’m falling deeper in love with my Savior.
At the very least, the continued hardship of caring for my daughter is drawing my mind (and in turn, my heart) to God.
Discover Our Indescribable God
Every day we have a list of tasks to accomplish. Each day we awake with anticipation of something we’d like to do that day. Moving to accomplish it all captures our minds so completely that the Lord barely gets a nod.
But bring us to the end of ourselves … take us to a situation we cannot solve … give us a weight too heavy to bear … place our humanity squarely in front of us—then something amazing happens!
When we face the impossible—the uncontrollable—we discover all over again, our all-powerful, all-loving, indescribable God!
The Pain Is Real, but God…
I’m not downplaying the pain you may be experiencing. Tears come. Hearts ache. Sometimes we wonder how we can face one more day.
Yet when we know from where our hope comes, we can trust God’s grace will meet us in exactly the right way at exactly the right time.
I cannot face my daughter’s future on my own.
But for God….
But for the victory we have over death and suffering in the sacrifice and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ…
But for the hope we have for a pain-free eternity…
But for a God who is with us through it all…
We can face that next day in the midst of any hardship when we stand on the Rock!
Suffering will come. And it can be incredibly painful.
But we have a choice. We can curse it. Or we can let it draw our minds and hearts ever closer to our God. I pray your choice is the latter.
Let your suffering draw you into a deeper and more passionate fellowship with your Lord.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you” (Isaiah 43:2 ESV).
Reflections: What suffering are you currently facing? How can we pray for you?
I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time. Yours in grace ≈ Julie
I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time.
Yours in grace ≈