The first time hardship really hit me it was devastating. I wanted to escape the pain. So I put all of my energy into trying to avoid the pain. The pain was my focus. And the more that I focused on it, the more of it that I received.
At the time, I felt as if I was being pulled under the water—so to speak. Just as I made it to surface, another wave of pain and misery took me under. I fought all the heartaches for a while, and then I just wanted it to be over. I didn’t want to fight anymore. I remember asking my daddy, “When does it get easier?” His reply, “It doesn’t get easier, but you will get stronger.”
It was then that I realized, there is no easy button in life. We will all have hardships and problems to overcome. They often take us by surprise. Honestly, I don’t think that we are ever ready to endure pain or heartache. We can, however, prepare for them.
How do we prepare for the battles?
By allowing God to be the center of our lives. The closer that we walk with Him, the stronger that we will become. He is training us to fight a good fight. God wants us to have a good life, and He knows exactly what we need. We have to trust that He will provide it all for us; the love, mercy, strength, guidance, faith, courage, etc.
The more that we can focus on our Lord and living our lives for Him, the more peace we will have. It’s our nature to resist change, and to even fight against it. Our resistance, however, does not help us grow. When we learn to embrace it, and to become willing for God to use us according to His will—even if it means pain and heartache for us—then we are able to replace our suffering with joy.
The joy comes when we shift our attention from ourselves to a bigger purpose. Things are not always going to go the way that we want them to go. We are going to endure loss, hardships, and pain and some of them are going to bring us to our knees. It’s when we get knocked down that we can roll over and look up.
When I’m in my suffering state, if I can shift my focus to someone else who is having a hard time and put my energy into helping them, then I don’t think about my own problems. I have spoken at events, in so much pain that I could have just cried, but once I got connected with the audience, my pain disappeared. Because I was no longer focusing on me.
In my opinion, serving others is the key to overcoming our suffering. When Jesus was on the cross, paying for our sins, He was not focused on himself or his pain. It was His love for us that held Him on the cross.
Love and blessings,