Trials

Blessed with Battle Scars

Blog_DepressionIf given the option, would you choose the path of suffering? I would guess the average person would answer “no.” Were it up to me, suffering would not be on my radar, and most definitely not on my bucket list.

Compared to most of the world, I can’t say I’ve suffered much. But I do have my share of battle scars. There was a season in my life when it seemed I’d escape the fires of one trial only to encounter the next. And while it wouldn’t have been my first choice to endure what I did, in retrospect I’m grateful for that season.

If anything, I’m more real now than ever before. There was a time when I lacked genuine empathy when someone else was struggling. I wanted to understand, but couldn’t. Now I can say, “I’ve been there.” Maybe not in the exact circumstance, but I’ve been in some deep valleys and survived. And because of it, I can not only relate, but I can encourage others through their own valleys.

Going through the adoption process has given me understanding for anyone waiting for something they’ve always longed for. Having a special needs child has given me greater love for other parents in a similar situation, and for children who are uniquely created. Having another child with health issues and dealing with my own chronic fatigue has given me deeper compassion for the sick. And enduring a long season where we didn’t know where our basic provisions would come from has given me empathy for the unemployed, the homeless, and anyone struggling.

The list could go on. I admit, there was a time when I’d rather pull the covers over my head than face another trial. But I can now say that my faith has been refined in the fire, and I’ve come out stronger. I’ve seen the depths of some pretty dark caverns, but I’ve also seen the point when light breaks through and darkness is overcome. My battle scars are blessings in disguise. Because of them, I can say with confidence, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Quote by: Corrie ten Boom

Photo Credit: Free stock photos of depression · Pexels

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Consider the Trees

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Consider the trees. There is beauty and order in each, and yet…in a natural setting they are not lined in perfect rows. Their branches are bent and twisted, growing every which way, yet still forming something…beautiful.

 

Photo Credit: Planet Earth (TV series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Redefining Perfect

Blog_ForestPathI watched one day as a man planted trees on an empty lot. With great precision, he lined the trees in perfect rows. If his pattern fell off, he would re-fill and re-dig to get it just right.

Later, I walked through a park where it seemed the trees had been there from the beginning of time. The path wound with bends and turns, veering here and there, never once forming a straight line.

Instead, it followed the pattern of the trees.

So often we expect our lives to fall in perfect line. Like the man planting trees, we define perfection by precision—a strict, military regimen without hindrance or obstacle. But when I observe creation, I wonder if perfection has an altogether different definition.

Consider the trees. There is beauty and order in each, and yet…in a natural setting they are not lined in perfect rows. Their branches are bent and twisted, growing every which way, yet still forming something…beautiful. It’s the same with rivers and mountains, flowers and hills. Even the shoreline of an ocean changes daily with the tide.

Our lives weren’t meant to be formed on an assembly line. There will be bends and turns, times when everything seems opposite of order. Yet from a higher perspective, our Creator observes and declares, “It is good.” He is the ultimate artist, and his definition of perfect trumps our own, every time.

 

Photo Credit: Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Revisit) (5) | Flickr …

With Me

Blog_Journeyi don’t need to know
where You plan for me to go
i don’t need to see
where this path is taking me

i don’t need to understand
every detail of Your plan
all i need is to believe You are with me

You don’t need to tell me when
this trial’s gonna end
You don’t need to show me why
i’ve been going through the fire

You don’t need to answer me
when i cry out on my knees
all i need is to believe You are with me

though the answers to my questions
seem they’ll never come
though the furnace blazes hot, though my heart desires to run

still with passion, i will claim that you are my only One
and i will not bow to any other God

for i know that You are able,
and i know that You will
but even if You don’t my heart will love You still

because i do believe
You are here with me
yes, i believe You are with me

with me
You are here with me

oh, my heart is strong,
because You’re here with me

with me
You are here with me

i can go on,
for You’re here with me

 

Photo Credit: Free stock photo of landscape, countryside, path www.pexels.com

Behind the Veil

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we see a dim reflection
this side of eternity
the knotted imperfection
of an unfinished tapestry

creation’s artist sees a masterpiece
wisdom weaving its design
everything made beautiful
in its perfect time

 

poetry by j.e. fernandez

Photo Credit: weaving hands | on a loom in the iron age | Hans Splinter | Flickr

Every Tear

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Every tear sowed waters the ground for joy to spring forth.

Source: The Painful Side of Mother’s Day

Photo Credit: Vintage Poppy Flower In Rain Free Stock Photo – Public Domain Pictures

When Light Breaks Through

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There was a time when I’d rather pull the covers over my head than face another trial. But I can now say that my faith has been refined in the fire, and I’ve come out stronger. I’ve seen the depths of some pretty dark caverns, but I’ve also seen the point when light breaks through and darkness is overcome. My battle scars are blessings in disguise. Because of them, I can say with confidence, “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”

Source: Blessed with Battle Scars

Photo Credit: into the light | Flickr – Photo Sharing