LYFE 365

Enduring Dark Times
Christine Norman

It will get better… 

God will work it out…

It’s working together for your good.

Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning…

Those words all sound good and are meant to bring comfort. However, when you are in the midst of the darkest time of your life, and those dark times have gone on longer than you would like for them to, words can seem a little empty. You want to believe them, but you believed them for the first half of your struggle all the while waiting for that breakthrough moment where your circumstances would change AND THEY DID NOT. As a matter of fact, things seem to be taking a turn for the worse. The harder you believed things will get better, the harder the situation got, and just when you figure the worst part is over, a new difficulty arises making you question whether it will ever end…

I know how it is because I have been there. But I can now tell you with great certainty that all of those words are indeed true. I can tell you because I am finally emerging from the darkest time of my life. Violence against my kids, financial challenges, and rejection experienced in trusted relationships all made me feel as though there was a dark cloud over my once sunny life. I wondered if I would ever get back to my former, happier self. It seemed that when I wasn’t in pain from what was done to me, I was in pain from what was done to my family. And when I was not suffering from what was done to us all, I was suffering from what I had done to myself. I can’t tell you how many times I wondered, “WILL THIS PAIN EVER END???”

However, I can gladly report that dark clouds eventually give way to blue skies. Through your pain, you learn just how much you can endure. You learn what you want in your life and what you can no long afford to tolerate. You learn that life is a tremendous gift—too precious to live on anyone’s terms but your own. You learn to dig deep and learn the lessons that adversity comes to teach you. In this season, you get fed up and decide to do something about the things that cause you pain—even when you find that you alone created some of the havoc in your life. You learn that blame, shame, and guilt are useless; and that “what now,” ‘what next,” and “how should I live in this face of this” are so much more helpful. You also learn that rain falls into every single life, but those who succeed wear rain boots and carry umbrellas, facing the rain instead of retreating. Most of all, you learn that God is for you, leading you and speaking to you in the midst of it all; working all of this pain together for your good. It will not seem good all of the time, but when you look back and see your growth–growth that comes from submitting to the process instead of resisting it, you can indeed conclude that purpose can emerge from pain.

Assuredly, after the darkest of nights, morning will come. I can’t tell you how long it takes, but it always comes. If you are like me, you would rather have the lessons some other way. However, if it takes some pain to get to this wonderful place that I have found, then I can endure the pain that life brings.

I write this today to encourage you to endure your rough season, and I pray that you learn what life is trying to teach you through your pain.

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