A Request: SHARE your struggle with others.

I had an idea today. In the last few weeks I’ve been struck with the amount of struggle and heartache all around me. On a day to day basis, we can all have joy, yes, but who has not had heartache or hardship in their life? I honestly don’t think anyone has been exempt.

Here are some examples:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Miscarriage
  • Death of a child
  • Cancer or serious illness
  • Serious illness of a child or spouse
  • Child with disability
  • Infertility
  • Divorce
  • Rape
  • Brain surgery
  • Dementia/ Alzheimer’s
  • Depression

 

I’ve learned that we ALL struggle. We ALL have hardship. What defines us is what we do in those times. Do we turn to GOD for comfort and strength? Do we trust that He is in complete control of the hardship and that it is His will without becoming angry?

I’ll tell you a little secret. For me, THAT was the only truth that made my struggle doable. Knowing that GOD was in control of it made me feel like I could overcome, because He would be the one to see me through it.

We all have crosses to carry. Yours is no easier or harder than mine, and you aren’t a better or worse person than me. Our struggles are just different. But they all matter to God.

WOULD YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE SHARING YOUR STRUGGLE HERE? WE COULD ALL BENEFIT IN KNOWING WE ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES. No one’s life is perfect. Let’s show each other our weaknesses. We are all REAL.

I’ll go first. {I’ll share a few, but I’m sure there are more}

  1. I have struggled with DEPRESSION on and off during my life. (Even before everything happened with Ian.) My depression seems to be seasonal. It comes when times are tougher than usual (beginning of school year, deadlines at work, etc), and it comes in the summertime which is the opposite of when most people experience it. I’ve learned that I have to be constantly analyzing my mood and attitude, my willingness to participate in activities, and friendships. Sleeping better and exercise help a great deal, but when that is not enough, I’ve had to supplement with medicine. It was hard to admit I needed it. I thought I should be able to control it myself, thinking I was weak when I couldn’t. Ian helped me see it this way. “If you had diabetes or high blood pressure you’d take medicine for that, right? This is no different.” Have I told you how much I love my husband? He’s full of wisdom and encouragement.
  2. When Emma was 23 months old, we found out we were expecting a baby. We told my family and friends all about it, and everyone was happy for us. Unfortunately, that turned into a MISCARRIAGE. I’ve never written about it, or talked about it much either. It was a special occasion holiday dinner on a Saturday and I told my parents and sister.. actually we had little one year old Emma tell them. “What’s in Mommy’s tummy?” I prompted her. “A baby!” she said. Everyone was thrilled. I went to bed just fine that night. The following day, a Sunday, we were sitting at a restaurant at lunch, and I started to feel the most painful cramping I’d ever felt and realized I was bleeding. I didn’t want to say anything and ruin my family’s lunch. Ian and I came home afterward, and I lay in excruciating pain in my bed crying for the rest of the day, knowing I was losing my baby and there was nothing I could do. After several months, we found out we were pregnant with what would be Jack. We had a complication with that pregnancy, something called a subchorionic hemorrhage. They found it during our first ultrasound. Ian tells me when he looked at the screen he thought we were having twins. But, no, it was an accumulation of blood that my body could release at any time. Basically, it was a condition that could cause my placenta to separate from the uterine wall and I could miscarry. Praise God I didn’t miscarry. Jack was a happy baby boy. But, my entire pregnancy was a constant worry, what ifs, and having to totally trust God.
  3. The most notable struggle has been the one with Ian in the last several years. He got sick, almost died, lost his legs and fingers, and life changed forever for us. I became a CAREGIVER for him and my three children. I learned to be SELFLESS. I had to continue to look up when times were hard.  I had to change my attitude to a positive and encouraging one. Those who knew me before the ordeal can confirm that I was a very different person. God changed my heart and perspective to be less selfish and more positive. Looking back on it, it wasn’t so bad. GOD gave me STRENGTH to do it.

So you see, my life has been far from perfect. Every day I choose to live according to God’s plan for me. To have joy and to love those around me. To HELP when I can, to TEACH what I know, and to ENCOURAGE others.

 

***Here’s what I’d like us to do. Let’s share about our struggles. Let’s show those around us the cuts and bruises that have shaped who we are. Let’s try to be transparent. Guess what? You may have gone through something years ago that can help someone else right now. That’s how I feel about my miscarriage, for example. I can encourage another woman who had a miscarriage by telling her my story, and then showing her photos of the two sweet boys I carried after it. There’s hope to be shared. There’s love for us all. Please, please share your struggles.

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