Photo Compliments of Jessica Lorren Photography
Things have been a little crazy for me recently. One thing after another, the hits have kept on coming. The thing is, I know these are attacks from Satan. Largely I attribute it to my ministry and the effort I put forth to help marriages and further His kingdom. When you go to war, you’re going to get a few bumps and bruises.
While it is certainly discouraging, and you wonder what in the world is going on; I have no doubt who is in control … God. Sure it’s tough, frustrating, and painful, but those are temporary discomforts that are a small price to pay for being able to pursue my passion and calling. God never disillusions us to think our lives will be cushy, pain-free, walks in the park. In fact, He makes it clear that we will suffer and come under attacks. That’s why He emphasizes that we need to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:13-17).
Life is going to be tough. Not always, but definitely sometimes. We are tempted to shake our fingers at God and scream, “Why?” What I have learned through the life experiences I have had to face (and trust me, some of them have been pretty severe), is that the question is not why but rather, what. What can I learn from this? How can I grow? What is God equipping me for? The truth is that I may never have a clue as to why bad things happen in my life or the lives of those around me. It’s not my job to know why, so I don’t waste time asking it. Instead, I give myself time to grieve, hurt, and deal with the ambush of emotions that come from these challenges, and then I seek God and move on.
My mom always told me that in life we have a choice: to become bitter or better. It’s so true. The more obstacles I overcome, the more I realize that life is one choice after another to make the most of our surrounding circumstances. We get up, dust ourselves off, ask for God’s guidance, help, and healing, and we ultimately grow as an individual. I view life’s struggles as spiritual weight-lifting that builds our faith and relationship-with-Christ muscles.
The other element to weathering these attacks is our support system. I have found such comfort and encouragement in the husband and family God has placed in my life. They have helped remind me of the important things and that ultimately, “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
There is nothing like having those who love you rush to your aide through encouragement, prayer, and care. They offer Bible verses, words of wisdom, and a shoulder to cry on. What is amazing about my husband and family is that they are empathetic but always willing to speak the truth in love. They don’t allow me to wallow in self-pity knowing that victory comes in trusting that God is who He says He is and having the faith and hope in Him to overcome the evil of this world.
The other day I hit a low point dealing with some of the bombardments that had come my way. As I sought after God, I also confided in my other half – the partner in life God blessed me with, my husband. After helping in practical ways, he showed up during his lunch break that day to just be there for me. It’s amazing how when we just show up for our spouse in times of adversity that it not only helps but brings you closer together. As he hugged me and we prayed together, an overwhelming sense of peace came over me. This is what God intended when he said that, “two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
Marriage is a tangible example of the relationship between God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as well as Jesus and the Church. When we shoulder our spouse’s pains and demonstrate consistent love, self-sacrifice, and presence, we give them a glimpse of our Heavenly Father’s character. What a privilege and honor to be so instrumental in someone’s life!
It’s easy to lose sight of the “big picture,” but our lives are but a moment in time passing as quickly as the blink of the eye. We get distracted by the glitz, glamour, and responsibilities of life, but those are not really what it’s all about. Life on earth is about fulfilling the purpose God has called us to. It’s about furthering His kingdom. So, when life’s storms come hard and with a vengeance, know that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
There are moments in life that push us to our limits, and yet, God promises to never give us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). I would encourage you to celebrate that you have a faithful and loving God that will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). Rejoice that He has blessed you with a loving and supportive husband or wife (fiancé, significant other), and a family that cares for you. Don’t waste time and energy on the why, but rather, decide what it is you can learn and take away from the situation. How can you become better?
Here are a few verses for encouragement:
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. ~Isaiah 40:31
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~Lamentations 3:22-23
Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? ~Luke 12:25-26
This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~Joshua 1:9
The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation. ~Psalm 91:14-16
Finally, I wanted to share with you all a song that I love to listen to when I am struggling – big or small. It is by the Newsboys, and it’s called Blessed be Your Name. Every time I listen to it I find it so uplifting and hope you do to.
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