“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kübler-Ross
No one asks for defeat, suffering, struggle or loss. You grow up and have hopes and dreams, but those aren’t always reality. This past year we have been touched in one way or another by all of these things, both personally and through close friends.
A friend recently said it best…”Our journey with children has been far different than we ever dreamed of, yet we find peace in God’s plan and comfort in His presence, and will follow Him into the unknown because HE is our redeemer!”
Life is hard, especially with young children or when you experience any of these things, but choosing to find the joy and peace that each day brings, despite the struggles, offers HOPE and perspective in an otherwise depressing world. And sometimes, even though it sucks in the moment, suffering can be the thing that eventually brings the most joy – community, solidarity, friendship and fellowship.
Our preacher recently preached on suffering and said, “Friendships are formed when one person looks at another and says ‘Oh, you too?’ All suffering has a shelf life – our best days are always in our future. Don’t let suffering determine your view of God’s love, let God’s love determine your view on suffering.”
While I would never wish or hope for suffering, I am choosing to be thankful for the experiences we have had, despite the hard times, because of where we are today. Because of the friendships that have come from those times of struggle, and because of the things we have learned, the strengthening of our faith, and the mercy of Christ we have seen in those hard times.
This Christmas season I am especially thankful for the HOPE we have in Christ Jesus and what His birth means for those who truly believe in Him and his saving grace!
4 thoughts on “Suffering & Hope”
This is a beautiful message and one I needed to hear. Thank you for sharing you me heart!! May God continue to bless your family, Merry Christmas!!
Maggie, this is beautifully, honestly and faithfully written. You may or may not know the story of Shelley’s birth 31 years ago, a week before thanksgiving. We were told to say goodbye, she was too premature and science had not arrived where it needed to be, for us.
Bill left me in intensive care (while Shelley was in the NICU) and went to our little non-denominational church to pray for help. That night they started turning back the oxygen and released her to us Thanksgiving Day. The final notation in her medical chart at Baylor Hospital was, “no medical explanation for recovery.”
While we are not, “overtly faithful”, our faith is the foundation of our lives and our marriage. Those days of fear (and sometimes anger) the incredible realization of God’s grace in our lives, led us to where we have spent the bulk of our lives. They forged a lifetime of faith and love. “But now faith, hope, Love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.” We do not always show love in ways that are clear to the people dear to us. We do the best we can.
I know this has been an incredibly difficult year for y’all, and your friends, but you have remained a beacon for all of the people in your lives. There is not much more anyone can do in life than try to be a positive example of Gods grace.
While we do not succeed as often as we would like we find hope in our family. Thank you for sharing with us your journey.
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Beautiful, just like you!
Love you friend and that God’s given you this gift!