The Beauty of Finding Peace in Suffering
I’m coming out of hiding.
It almost feels as though I have new eyes.
Most everything in my life has changed since I last wrote to you.
If I could explain in one word what the last year and a half has felt like, it would be “suffering.” There are many ways in which one can suffer and some would be seen as far worse than others. Even so one thing remains, suffering is painful and will most definitely lead to some sort of change.
In an article What is Sanctification and How Does It Work? | Cru and a google search, I found that Christians endure suffering as a means of sanctification, which is the change of heart required to gain alignment of our will with Gods will.
This gives me peace.
In the last eighteen months, change has meant loss.
My family of four moved, changing our home and city which resulted in losing a beautiful community. We walked away from being worship leaders in a Church building which resulted in losing another beautiful community. I let go of all social media, adding to the great loss of yet another community and finally chose to step away from some of the most important people in my life for various reasons.
Yet I’m still finding peace.
2 Corinthians 9-10 (NIV)
But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I released my first book The Change in Us, which was my testimony eighteen months ago. This took courage, hard work, and faith. God supplied everything I needed for this to happen, making my experience with Him beautiful. But voices around me told me the attacks would come. They warned me what would happen if I shared my testimony with the world. I thought I was prepared.
I quickly became cowardly and shattered after those same voices were the voices the enemy used to ultimately break my heart. I quit writing, sunk down low in every area imaginable and began to question everything I thought I knew.
But God, He turned what the enemy meant for evil to good. Just as He promises in His word.
The losses and at times the confusion led me to commune with Jesus more than I ever have.
When all that was comfortable and familiar vanished, and I felt I had nowhere to go, I ran to
“The Church.” Not a particular building, but the body of Christ. My family and I visited 27 Churches on 27 different Sundays. Each building full of beautiful believers and a newfound community.
They welcomed us, and led us, gave us room to heal, worshipped beside us, and most of all loved us. I wept every Sunday, I probably still will. I’m human and I still hurt. But know this. I lift my arms in worship still because I can’t forget how close to hell I once was. God reached down and pulled me out then, and He will continue to as long as I keep reaching for Him.
This season led me away from much but led me towards more.
I’m more broken now than I’ve ever been, but I find comfort in that for I know Jesus didn’t come to heal the healthy but the sick. Although broken and some days plain beat down, I’m coming out of hiding, with a newly shaped heart and a more profound trust in the Lord.
I love to write, so I will. I don’t do it for money or accolades. I do it because it’s when I’m writing that I feel closest to Jesus. I sit with Him and tears stream down my face as I try to make sense of this one life I have been given.
But it’s here that I feel closest to you as well, the reader. You, who like me are looking to heal, looking to relate, looking for somewhere safe in your brokenness.
Friend, I’m right here with you.
Church, I’m here.
I’m singing next to you in the pews, I’m learning with you at the round table Bible studies, and I’m lifting prayers up with you to the same God.
It took the tumble from the mountain for me to fully understand my dire need for Jesus and to finally, fully accept my adoption into the family of believers.
I’m praying for and accepting the peace He offers when we sit with Him.
My human desire for some thwarted acceptance of man is fading. The freedom that brings is unexplainable.
I offer my gifts back to Him and pray He will use them to help us all relate to one another to grow closer to our Heavenly Father.
The gifts God has given me bring me joy and joy is worth pressing on.
I’m writing another book. I don’t know when I’ll be done or how the process will go, but I’m not letting my confidence slip away. I’m channeling it differently and enjoying peace and slowness in a quiet space.
I pray when it’s done that you can take at least one sentence with you on your journey and let it live in your heart as a gift from me, because of Christ.
Brothers and sisters, please share your gifts. If nothing more than an offering back to Him. I encourage you; you will be blessed.