Suffering Leads to Hope

   If you've been around here for a while, or if you go searching through old posts then you know (or will know) that I have suffered for years with anxiety and depression. About sixteen years ago I hit a really dark time in which my struggles felt like too much weight to bear. Thoughts of suicide flooded my mind almost daily. I got through that time, and many times since, only by clinging to hope.

   Hope that things wouldn't always feel so crushing. Hope that better days and better things were ahead. Hope that I would see my children grow to be better, stronger, more capable people than I. And more than anything, a hope that there is something more. More than me and more than anyone else on this earth. I held onto the hope that I could get through the darkness and that I would come out better, stronger and more capable.

   I did make it through and I am so much more than I was. And I've seen my kids become the kind of people I am proud of. And I have found that there is indeed something more. Something and someone who is more than any of us could ever be on our own. It took years to find Him, even after that dark time. But those days sent me taking the first hesitant down the path toward God, even though I didn't know it at the time. (I wouldn't truly find Him until I started the journey to add my 3rd child to my family and we suffered through an adoption process from hell. But that's a post for another day.)

   I still struggle with anxiety and depression. God is not some magical wizard who casts a spell and makes it all go away. But he has given us the tools to use to get ourselves through. His love is in us and if we tap into that love, and if we cling to it, then it can hold us afloat as we work our way through those dark times. We must remember to hold onto hope and to get through our suffering with pride and dignity because we know, WE KNOW, that we are going to come out stronger on the other side.

And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. - Romans 5:2-6