What Suffering Has Taught Me

I was conversing with my sister today. We were speaking about what we had each collectively have been through in our lives. She reminded me that mine has been a life of much suffering and she did not know how I had been able to bear it. I, too, have wondered how I have born this life that the Lord has seen fit to allow me to experience. I can only say that it was by the grace of God that I got through my past and am now walking a life of victory and triumph. But, oh, God, how I suffered!

I find it difficult to think about my husband. He left me after thirteen beautiful years, because of us losing our jobs and our possessions and going homeless. I loved that man with everything in me and still carry a torch for him six and a half years later. There are no words to describe the pain and heartache that, in actuality, I endure. I have forgotten what his voice sounds like and can only vaguely elicit a mental picture of him. I do not often speak of him, for to talk about the love of my life who was taken away from me by a life of loss and pain is like slowly carving out a piece of my heart and laying the rest of it open to the elements. But he was one of the topics of conversation, so I sit here with a throbbing mass of anguish that will take time for me to obtain relief from.

We spoke of my son that my father took from me when he was ten years old through a year of court challenges and I did not see him for eight years when I drove two thousand miles to watch him graduate. I got to spend about three hours with him and then my husband and I had to drive back so that we could both go to work. The horror of being without my son and missing out on all of the childhood milestones fills me with sadness even to this day, many years later. Because no one will be able to give me back all of the time that I lost with my son. My child will be thirty years old in November. It is hard on me trying to establish a relationship with him. It is like trying to get to know a stranger. Only that stranger came out of my belly. That adds an element to the equation that is problematic.

My sister and I talked about many things. Things that brings tears to my eyes as I relive those moments. But I am grateful for those times that I experienced. Because had it not been for the suffering, I would not be who I am today. I discovered as I endured yet one more circumstance that I was stronger than I had perceived. I learned valuable lessons about people and the Lord God. I am able to grasp life with both hands and hold on for all that I am worth.

There are times when I question why I struggled through life instead of having one of ease. But that is not for me to know. It is only for me to trust in the God Who loves me enough to let me go through trying tests. For they strengthen and build character, and character is not something that can be purchased. It must be forged through pain and difficulty.

I am grateful that I did not have an easy life. I would have missed out on so much if I had been handed everything on a silver platter. I would much rather have suffered and gained the glory of God in my life than to have had an existence in the lap of luxury. My sister, the pastor, says that suffering is the bridge to glory and I believe that with everything that I am worth. Because I have been a partaker of that glory and it has made my suffering so worth the price that I have had to pay. The bible says that the present suffering that we endure are not worthy to be compared to the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).

So much of life is a mystery. That is why I love it so. I love the paradoxes of life. Its uncertainties and its twists and turns. For that is what makes life worth living. It is in the various ups and downs that we go through that make us unique individuals. I guess you can say that that’s what makes this world go around. One thing is for certain. It surely isn’t boring!

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.