Jesus never promised life would be easy. In fact, in John 16:33 he said “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” It’s important as Christians that we realize this. If we expect life to be all rainbows and flowers, we aren’t prepared for hard times when they come.
Angel Reconstructed was birthed through the hardest and darkest times of my life. The times that left me asking, “How much pain is too much?” and “Is this when I fall apart?” I was convinced that there was a breaking point. There was a point of no return. Which is a scary thought when you have suffered from depression for thirty years.
Yes, Christians suffer. Yes, Christians go through hard times. Yes, Christians hurt. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you never fall apart, but it does mean that you trust your Savior to put you back together.
I thought depression would be the hardest thing I’d ever face. Enter brain trauma. I was stopped in my tracks, forced to let go of so much—my ministry, my writing, my agenda and left with pain. Non-stop pain for months. There was no end in sight, no guarantee of returning to a “normal” life. There was only seeking for answers that were slow in coming and not being able to do much of anything, let alone everything I loved.
It was there, in that place of pain, that I learned we can stand when all the odds are stacked against us. God WILL meet us in the middle of our pain if we continue to seek Him. If we continue to trust.
In the midst of the pain, I didn’t always feel like I was standing. Most days I felt I was barely surviving. Listening to His Word, coveting the prayers of friends, clinging to my husband. But then one day after the pain when Satan came whispering his lies to me, I realized the truth. I realized that through it all God was with me, loving me, sustaining me, and nothing, absolutely nothing, would separate me from His love.
So, I wrote these words on a sticky note:
You lose. We win. And I won’t forget. Ever.
Then I wrote out Romans 8:38-39 and read it aloud. The key behind “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28) is we need to not give up. We can’t decide to quit fighting or turn our back on our Maker. If we do, we may miss the good.
My teens are the first to listen to my books. I read the rough drafts aloud to Noah and Becca to work out the kinks. I’ll be honest that there were more nights than not that we finished reading Angel Reconstructed and Becca was either crying or upset with me.
“Why does it have to be so hard?” she would ask.
“Because it’s in those hard times that we grow.” I’d hug her and kiss her. “It’s in those times that we feel God’s love and grace more abundantly because we seek it.”
And I would smile, thankful that she doesn’t remember the hurt I experienced because I clung so tightly to the Lord His glory shone through the pain.
Rainbows only come after the storm. Some flowers bloom after a season of being dormant. Whatever you are going through, God is beside you. He wants to help you through. He offers you that peace that surpasses all understanding if you will just cry out to Him with your prayers and petitions with a thankful heart. It is that peace and God’s love that CAN carry you through every hard situation.
As Lauren learns in Angel Reconstructed, we need to hang on to the truth—God’s Word. In your hard times, recite it, memorize it, and believe it. When we hang on to His promises until the end, we will see His glory.
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