I have found myself many times thinking about trials and suffering. Probably because I have seen more than my fair share in my lifetime. My dad left my family when I was 12. I took ill with Lyme Disease when I was 14. Struggled with family dynamics and relationships when I was an older teen. I had to drop out of college because we were poor and I ran out of money. I married young and then struggled with infertility issues. Dealt with harassment in the workplace. My first child had severe developmental delays and was later diagnosed with Autism. My husband was diagnosed with a medical condition that will forever change his life and he will never fully recover. I took ill again and faced 4 significant surgeries over the past two years. So many trials, some have questioned how I continue when faced with such adversity. That inner strength is Christ in me.
I was raised in a small family in the country in Minnesota. My parents were encouraging and poured into my sister’s and my life. They provided a faith foundation and made sure we went to a Bible preaching church and answered our questions about God and His Son Jesus. We were provided with Bibles and shown how exciting the stories and lessons from the Bible were. We were able to attend summer camps and youth retreats where our knowledge about God as a loving Father and as the creator of the Universe grew. Our parents understood the importance of us as children developing a faith in Jesus that was our own. Not just a faith that our parents practiced. As a teenager, I discovered a saving faith in Jesus and continued to seek after Biblical knowledge, spend time in The Word and spend time in prayer.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. — In this verse alone, I found that faith was about hope and assurance. Two things that most people continually desire in life. But the most important aspect is confidence. Confidence in the saving grace of Jesus who died on the cross for my sins.
I do not practice any religion. I do not associate with a denomination. I identify as a Christian (a Christ follower) who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I place my faith and my trust in Him. I have placed my life in His hands.
With any faith or belief system, it is often personal, yet life-changing. And my Christian walk has been just that. Through each trial, in every challenge, I am reminded that I am not alone, I have a personal God who cares and provides for me. I am also reminded that suffering is temporary and lasts but a night, and joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)
I am a joy-filled person. And it is the Joy of the Lord that is my strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) I love life and live it to the fullest. I enjoy being a wife, a mother, and friend. I want to encourage, help and serve others when I can and pour into their lives the way my parents did for my sister and I. I also love being a writer. I write about life and what matters. I write about my family and relationships with other people. I write about what hurts, what makes me smile each day, and I write about the importance of a personal faith foundation. My strength isn’t self-supported. I have absolutely nothing to do with it. I am faulty human at best. But I am strong because the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives inside me. (Romans 8:11)
When I tell you I am just 10 weeks into recovery from extensive surgery, most would still be curled up in bed and resting at home. I get up each day, I pray and I ask for strength – strength which I do not possess on my own, but strength that is found in Jesus. When I smile and laugh and enjoy each day that is given to me, I know that each day is an actual gift and we are not promised another. So I choose to live each day to fullest, to seek out others who choose to do the same and share my faith. That is where my true inner strength is found. A confidence in what I hope for, yet can not see.