My preacher has often said that if you’re not currently going through a time of trial or recovering from such a time then you are soon going to be facing one. That has always caused me so much fear to think about. We can plan our lives but we can’t plan our trials. We have no clue what is coming or what we will go through or be faced with.
I lived in a state of fear for a long time about when my trials would come. I was TERRIFIED the entire time I was pregnant with Brittlynn. I actually even wrote a post about it, here, and talked about how I knew the devil was trying to get to me and steal my joy. It seems like SO MANY mom friends of mine have faced trials with their children. Miscarriages, infant deaths, etc. I felt like I was doomed to face a similar fate. Surely God was putting all of these women around me to prepare me for my trial with my babies, right?
I thought I had it “figured out.” I thought I was planning my trial. I remember even going to my pregnancy dr appointments expecting bad news. I was truly shocked when Britt was born so healthy and so perfect. It didn’t make sense to me because I had assumed my trial was going to be something wrong with my baby.
However, we aren’t in control of our trials. We don’t choose our hurts. We can’t plan for the times of pain. I lived in SUCH fear of the valleys that I didn’t enjoy the hilltops. I didn’t just sit back and appreciate my blessings because I was too consumed with when the bad thing would come.
Well. It’s here. My trial. My time of struggle. My valley. And it’s nothing like I had anticipated. I assumed my world would come crashing down when my trial came. But it hasn’t. Living in fear was far worse than being faced with the time of hardship. Knowledge is power and knowing that this is a time of struggle for me is, in an odd way, a blessing.
Being in the valley means I’m able to look up to the hills. When I was on the hilltop all I could do was look down. I could see the pain waiting for me. The time of hardship ready to strike. And now that I’m here I can SEE my blessings. I can appreciate the good in my life on such a different level.
It’s easy to allow myself to play the “pity party” game. Feel sorry for myself in my time of hurt. Feel alone. Feel lost. Feel unworthy. Feel unloved. And feeling that way makes me realize that I NEED to feel alone in order to fully seek God and His perfect love. Feeling like I have no one else allows me to seek Him in a way I didn’t before. It makes me lean on Him. Trust in Him. Hope in Him.
Giving my struggles to God is so freeing. Allowing Him to take control and giving up my “power” (which I never really had anyway, huh?) is exciting. It turns a time of pain into a time of possibility. I know that the Lord uses all things for good. ALL THINGS. And this? My time in the valley? It will be used for good. Lots of good! Good for me. Good for my children. Good for others who I may never even realize it’s helped.
Anticipating how my trials will shape my future gives me so much hope and it makes this burden so much easier to bare. To know that I WILL be at the mountain tops again and that when I am I will be a BETTER person than I was before. I will be stronger. I will be filled with more faith. I will experience personal growth in ways I can’t even fathom. My trial is a blessing. Sure…it still really sucks. But it is a blessing.
When your times of trials come I encourage you to find the good in it. Allow yourself to hurt and face the pain, but also search for the good. Even if it’s hard to see…it’s there. It’s always there! I know the next time I’m on a hilltop I will appreciate it so much more. I will not live in fear and instead will have full faith that when the next trial comes I will be prepared to face it. For now though I will continue through the valley and keep my head looking up to the hills.