This post is a follow-up to a post I wrote recently entitled Dealing with loss and sorrow.
Pain that engulfs and pins us down. An emotional pit we’ve been cast into with no known way of escape.
Cancer and death and depression and anxiety and chronic disease and loss. Swirling. All-encompassing. Closing in.
We sometimes face hard things in life. Things that test our faith and threaten our hope, things that knock us to our knees. I have. So have many of you. Maybe you are in the midst of hardship right now.
Please know that this blog is dedicated especially to you. I hope it can encourage you somehow.
As miserable as trials can be, they can actually be good for us. As excruciating and painful hardship is for the person suffering, a refining, a beauty even, can come as a result. A “diamond” often emerges from these circumstances of great heat and pressure.
It has in my own life. I often tear up when I think about all of the lovely, beautiful things, that have grown out of hardship. Things that would not have happened otherwise. To reject pain, would have been to reject the greater good that was accomplished in me BECAUSE of the pain.
Here is what can happen if you accept the bad along with the good in life, surrendering these oh-so-difficult things.
Hardship can give dear empathy for those who suffer as we did. Hopefully that leads to us offering a helping hand, to extending love to those who need it.
As in exhibiting more patience, perseverance, and long-suffering. Trials are the fertile soil necessary for the growth of many character qualities in life. We would never grow in patience, for example, if we never had to wait.
There is nothing like walking through the “floods” to make you rethink life, to set priorities, to dream big, to plan to help others. My own hardship is what birthed this website.
I know that technically humility is a character quality, but it is so, so important. There is nothing like a good dose of brokenness to help give you a a humble view of yourselves compared to others. Egos tend to deflate and that, let me tell you, can change the world.
Going through hardship helps us learn to lean on other people. It can build trust and depth in relationships, taking them to places that can only be achieved through pain. (As a Christian, my trials helped me grow in my relationship with God as well.)
Peace and Joy
Acceptance of our trials can be a gateway to peace and joy like you have never experienced before in life. Bitterness, anger, what-ifs no longer control and poison us. And if we can feel peace and joy in extreme brokenness, we can experience them at any moment in life
While I have not done this perfectly, I have seen BEAUTIFUL change in my life as I have allowed the trials of Ulcerative Colitis, depression, anxiety, my ultimate trial, the daily stresses of living etc. to help me grow.
Of course, none of us would choose hardship and brokenness. BUT there are great gifts that can be ours when we allow them to mold us. And we find that it’s there in the very midst of hardship that we find our “diamond” in life.