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Growing through our trials

Our problems can seem so overwhelming at times. Especially when we are in a season of growth. Before we can fully overcome one thing, two more things pile on top of our list of heartaches. When we are in the trenches of life, our mind starts to look for the escape. We want to get out of pain — immediately — so we start looking for the easiest way. In my journey, however, I have found that easiest way is not always the Lord’s way.

When I was in my sickbed, it just made sense for me to focus on my health, and to stop doing the things causing me additional pain. In order to that, however, I would have had to give up on my dreams. For a while, I asked God all sorts of questions. Why is this happening to me? Why do I have to constantly suffer? In that frame of mind, I felt like a victim of my circumstances. Then, when I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere with my victim mindset, I changed my questions. How can I overcome this? What do you want me to learn from this?

Once I changed my mindset from a victim to an overcomer, then I was able to get to the place where God could use me. It was inside the storm that I found my strength. When I asked God, “How can I overcome this?” then He would answer me. He would give me things to do and I would do them. At one point, I lay in my bed and pedaled an exercise bike that was on top of the bed. Even though it hurt, and I wanted to quit, I pushed my feet with my tears and the desires of my heart. When I decided that I would do whatever it took to get better, then God showed me the next step. I stopped telling Him that I couldn’t do it and I started praying for the strength and determination to be able to do it.

Looking back on those years of my life, my mind wonders how I was able to get through the struggles and pain. My heart, however, knows that it was by the grace of God and by my obedience to follow and serve Him.

We can’t move forward in our lives until we learn the lessons and glean the wisdom from our present struggle. Once we learn everything that we need to learn and grow through our struggle, then God will bless us to overcome it.

This morning, I thought, God, I can’t take this anymore. The struggle I am currently in is so painful. I want it to be over. Then, I realized that I am the one prolonging the misery. So my heart whispered…God, what do you want me to learn from this trial? How can I use this to serve and praise you?

We usually feel powerless when we are going through our trials and tribulations, but we have more power than we realize. The moment that we decide to grow through our heartaches, instead of just going through them, then we are able to look at them with new understanding. This trial is not meant to break me; although I feel like it might at times. It is meant to help me. Therefore, I am ready to do whatever it takes to overcome this trial. One day, I will overcome it and I will be so grateful for the gifts that it gave me. It is through our hardships that we obtain wisdom, faith, strength, courage, knowledge, and understanding. Without my trials, I would not be the person I am today. My troubles have taught me how much I need my Lord and helped me to develop a closer relationship with Him.

One of these days, my life will come to an end and I will have finished my course. In Heaven, I will be surrounded and filled with love, joy, and peace. And I will never suffer any type of hardship again. What a day that will be! Until then, I want to run my race with patience and be a good soldier for my Lord. While I don’t enjoy the struggle, I always enjoy the blessing that comes out of the struggle. Each one is so precious to me, and it is all for my benefit.

Candida Sullivan is an award-winning author and inspirational speaker. She helps others to develop the mindset to overcome their circumstances. Her recent book, Despite Your Circumstances, won the 2016 CSPA Book of the Year Award in Christian Living. She lives in New Tazewell with her husband and kids. For more information about her books or to schedule her for your event, email her at candidasullivan@yahoo.com.