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Monday, June 2, 2014

When Life Gets Tough

Why is trust so hard? Why do the fears, the stress, the worries overwhelm and completely engulf? Why do the promises I know in my heart to be true suddenly seem like a weak, flimsy cord to which I must cling for dear life? Why do I fear that the cord will snap, and I will plummet? Down, down, down . . . into the grip of my worst fears-come-to-life.

My happy existence tumbles and crashes, and I stare dazedly at the rhyme-less and reason-less mess. I try to place one foot in front of the other—to eat, to chew, to swallow . . . to read, to escape, to hide . . . to smile, to talk, to breathe . . . to pray. I try to live as if life carries on and reprieve will soon be blessedly encountered. But as I turn, frail and frightened, to face the thoughts of my own heart, I wonder—do I truly believe? Do I believe with all of my being that everything will be okay? That God is in control and knows what is best for me and for those I love who suffer? Do I cling fiercely to the promises that He will never leave us, that He will provide, that He is all-sufficient? 

I realize. . . This is when life gets tough. This is when faith and God’s Word are tested. When answers are not yet revealed and just day-to-day living becomes complicated. This is when I look at the tragic problems of others and wonder—Why do I fall apart in the midst of troubles far less daunting than their circumstances? My faith is weak. It is anemic and fragile, and I am ashamed to go before God.
But, oh, when I do. When I sit up straight in my bed in the darkness and stillness of the night, sobbing and broken, and envision Christ’s sitting in front of me . . . When I achingly, ashamedly hand Him my fears, my doubts, my frustration, and my weak faith . . . He listens. He smiles. He reaches out. He takes my pitiful offering, and He treasures it. This, He says, this is what I want. I want your weaknesses, Emily. “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 
The troubles do not disappear. My faith does not miraculously grow strong. The hurt and confusion remain. But I find myself taking a deep breath. I let it out slowly. My tears subside, and I smile through their lingering traces--a small, firm smile that appears involuntarily. It cannot help but appear. "My grace is sufficient for thee." Watch and see, Emily. Pray, watch, and see. 
"And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
~II Corinthians 12:9-10 


carolyn etheridge said...

You are such a sweet young lady. I count it a privilege to call you my friend. I continue to enjoy your posts. Keep playing the music and enjoy your life. love you, Carolyn Etheridge

Emily said...

Thank you so very much, Mrs. Etheridge, I love you, too, and I'm thankful for you.

Jessica said...

Dear Emily,
I have been going through these struggles myself and somehow it's comforting to know that I am not alone. I am glad you have time to write on your blog now. I really enjoy reading it. You have a gift with words. God is using that gift to bless not only me but others too. Love you! I am reminded of the precious passage in Scripture that says that He will not quench a smoking flax or break a bruised reed. In the midst of our weakness and pain He will carry us gently.

Emily said...

Thank you so much, Jessica, it's encouraging to know I'm not alone, too, and to see your faithfulness in serving God. He never leaves us. Love you, Kindred Cousin

Madison Lyerla said...

Thank you so much for your beautiful posts and encouragement! I nominated you for a blog award over at girlhoodjourneys.blogspot.com and I'd be honored if you stopped by! Thanks again!

Emily said...

Thank you, Madison! I am honored and thrilled :) I had fun accepting and passing on the Liebster award!