Recognizing blessings, especially in the storms of life, can seem nearly impossible. Perhaps this comes easy for some of the more optimistic folks, but for me, the gray cloud that often times lingers over my head, also clouds my vision and ability to spot the blessings.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
My husband and I have faced some pretty difficult situations and decisions as parents recently. We’ve dealt with things no parent wants to deal with. We’ve doubted ourselves and the intentions of our children. It’s worn us down. Last Friday, it was all I could do to take the next breath. I searched Scripture, trying to make sense of the things that were falling apart around me. Nothing made sense.
Some things are just impossible to understand.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
We managed to stumble through, day by day. Each day over this past week, brought new revelations and challenges of it’s own. Each day, I fought the doubts and fears that have set up camp in my mind. Determined to hang on to the last little ounce of hope I could, I searched for verses that spoke to where I was. God used these verses to bring me through some of the most trying times.
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2
Keeping my focus on Him is the only explanation I have for surviving all I have. Mountains have crumbled in front of me. Oceans have swept over me. Valleys have buried me. And yet, even through the darkest, God has never abandoned me. He has remained a constant, a source of peace and comfort.
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
We all face heartache, pain, trials, devastating circumstances. We all experience loss, grief, fear, worry. At times, the weight has been so heavy I even found myself questioning the worth in taking even one more breath. That’s a pretty scary place to be.
Recent days have been filled with many emotions, so much hurt and pain, heartache and worry, anger and sadness, and yet the blessings are the lessons I have learned as a wife, mother, friend and child of God.
I learned many blessings have come from very difficult times…
There is wisdom in seeking out counsel and comfort.
Not everyone is capable of helping in every situation, nor should they have to, but we don’t have to walk this road alone either. God places people in our lives to help through different situations and at different times. Stopping long enough to consider the right people for the right situation has meant everything this week.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
We really do need others. Not only have I had walls up with my husband, but I’ve had them up with everyone. Learning to let others in has been a challenge throughout my entire life. Sometimes, I felt that in order to let someone in, I had to share with them every dirty, ugly part of my life. What I learned this week is I don’t have to share all of me, but I do need to share some of me. Not too long ago, I would have argued that and said I don’t need anyone or anything. I’ve spent most of my life stumbling through on my own. Only, I was never really alone. I see now, so clearly, all the places God carried me through. And in recent months, I’ve questioned life many times. I’ve questioned my purpose. I’ve questioned my suffering and the suffering of those around me. I’ve been lost.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiates 4:9-10
Communication is absolutely necessary in a marriage. Neither my hubby or myself are big talkers, at least not with each other. For him, it may be as simple as he’s a man and just doesn’t “need” to pour his heart out. For me, it’s deeper than that. It’s part of keeping my walls up to either protect myself or those around me. It’s natural for me to push others away, even my husband. Over the past few months, my walls with him had grown even higher than they already were. My excuse … I didn’t want to burden him, worry him. What I failed to realize is that he worries, whether I confide in him or not. This week, we didn’t have a choice. We had to talk things through to work together as parents. Friends encouraged me to let him in and reminded me of where I stand in his eyes. With that and all that transpired this week, the opportunity came to share with him where I am in my own personal journey of hurt and healing and he was able to better understand me and support me. He needs that from me and I need that from him.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
Fear is devastating. Fear can destroy a person. Fear leads to irrational thoughts. Fear cripples. Fear is a very ugly thing.
The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
We will experience hard times. We will face devastating circumstances. A few times, those circumstances nearly led me to an end and yet, here I sit, pouring my heart out to you. You are not alone in your suffering. Last Thursday evening, I thought I couldn’t bear another thing and Friday morning, my day began in disaster. Was God trying to tell me I could handle more? I don’t know. It certainly was not what I wanted or thought I needed in that moment but the blessings have poured out from a situation that seemed hopeless.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
God will use this. He will take every trial, every stumble, every last bit of imperfection in our lives and turn it into something beautiful. Even when we cannot see or comprehend, He is still working for our good.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiates 3:11
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
He is worthy of praise. He is mighty. When all hope seems to fade away and you feel like you can’t breathe another breath, don’t lose sight of the one who’s willing to carry you through. He just might be carrying you to some of your biggest blessings.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
And since we’re talking about blessings, I hope you will take the time to enjoy this song from All Sons & Daughters, We Are Blessed.