Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Over the last few months, during my journey, I have had several people comment regarding "my suffering". I'm not sure why, but the term "suffering" bothers me. I do not feel like I'm suffering. Mostly, I feel like I am on a journey. A journey of sanctification, learning, compassion and hope. Of course, I go through days when I'm in a lot pain, I get discouraged and lose sight temporarily. But, after a day or two I'm doing a lot better. I can see the end and rejoice that the Lord brought me through it and I'm thankful of the things I've learned or experienced along the way. Also, I know that God does not see things the same way that we do. Someone might think something is "bad", but God sees the whole picture and knows that it is "good" for us. Just like when you start an exercise program after a long time of being lazy (like me. lol!)...you struggle in the beginning, the day after you can hardly walk...you struggle with continuing, but in the end you tone up, you look better and you feel great....but you had to do a little "suffering" along the way.
I looked up suffering in the dictionary. It says, "to feel pain or distress." I guess "technically", it sounds like I'm suffering since I do experience pain or distress during this journey. To me I think of suffering as a day in and day out (long term) type of trial. Even though I have been on this journey for several months there are so many blessings and good days along the way. I also know in my heart that "my suffering" is only temporary. It may sound strange, but I'm thankful for the experience. Without the trial I wouldn't see the blessings and I wouldn't be changed. I'm definitely being changed. When you watch someone go through a trial and you have never experienced the same trial you can only have sympathy for that person. You feel sorry for them. But, when you go through the trial yourself you have compassion. You've been through it. You can cry with them and they will know that those tears are tears that carry the same pain that they are experiencing. I love that I can hug them and share with them what they are going through because I know. Sympathy is very different than compassion. Whether it be sickness (cancer), loss, divorce or some other trial...if you've been through it you KNOW what they are going through. So, don't feel sorry for my "suffering" since I'm not sorry. I am learning what it is like to go through a major surgery, have drains put it and taken out, make friends with my scars, go through chemo treatments, struggle to get through a day, have major pain, etc. But, most of all, I'm learning to depend on God each and every day. This doesn't mean I don't need prayer. It is through your prayers and your support that I'm able to get through this trial. I see the blessing of so much support from my husband, my family, my church, friends, co-workers, etc. Through your support and giving of yourselves I know how to give to someone else going through a similar experience. Yes, I am even being taught through your support of me during this trial.
If you believe in Jesus Christ and call on His name, His grace is sufficient. He will provide you with the grace you need. He will walk with you through your trial and the Holy Spirit will comfort you when you need comforting. He may not take you over the mountain when you ask Him to, but He will provide you with what you need to get through it. If you do not know Jesus and want to know more about Him, click here. If you wonder why you should believe in Jesus Christ and how to know if He is real, read this pamphlet and it may help answer some of your questions.
In the bible, in Romans 5 it says, "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us," (emphasis mine).
I have seen and felt God's love being poured out during this journey. It is amazing. I know I'm not through this journey yet. I have 2 more chemo treatments and my final reconstruction surgery. But, I can look back over the last few months and see the Lord carrying me through it and I know He will be with me through the rest of the journey. I also know that those that love me will continue to encourage me and pray for me until the end. My cup is full. My heart rejoices in this "suffering" because without it I wouldn't have experienced so many blessings, so much love, so much encouragement and so much teaching. This isn't suffering. This is grace. I'm learning to depend on God to provide me what I need.
Like Paul said in II Corinthians 12:9, "...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."