This is something I’ve often heard as a Christian, yet somehow found very hard to accept. What does it mean? I guess in my mind, overcoming has been reduced to merely surviving, to getting through and hopefully coming out in tact on the other side. It’s just a word. But I’ve been wondering lately, what if there’s more to it than that? What if in the midst of overcoming, I learn important lessons and have something more to offer the world? Would that make it worthwhile?
It is very difficult to think about overcoming suffering when you are in the middle of it. When it’s hard enough just to get out of bed. When every day feels like a struggle and it’s all you can do to put one foot in front of the other. When you can’t even imagine why this happened, or how God could possibly make anything good come from it. It is a desperate and lonely place, and also when we are most vulnerable to attack.
It is so easy to let ourselves become entangled in self-pity, and dare I say, blame. It is also the time that we are compelled to ask “why?” When we don’t understand what’s happening around us, we look for answers. Sometimes in the wrong places. We are overcome with guilt, fear and shame as we try to make sense of things that will never make sense to us this side of Heaven. Trusting God can seem an impossible task, and when we are beaten and broken, our faith can be challenged in ways we never thought possible.
Betrayal. I hate that word and everything it stands for, yet for most of us it’s something we will face at one time or another in our lives. For me and my family, it came out of the blue, and has had a devastating effect on us. We are still trying to put the pieces back together, and at times it has been impossible to see how anything good could possibly come out of it. In the midst of the anger, hurt and blame, it can be hard to see God at work. Yet I know He is. I just know.
Little by little He draws me closer. When I am at my lowest, He picks me up. When I continually cry out to Him, He answers. Though not always in the way I would like. It would be so easy to give up. To say I’ve had enough, I’m never trusting again, that I will just endure the rest of this life until I get to the next one. But that is no way to live, and not what Jesus came for. John 10:10 says – “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This is something I have had to continually remind myself of lately.
We are not meant to do this journey alone. I am an avid reader, and at first I turned to books for solace. I have read so many stories of amazing Christian women in the last 6 months that I’ve lost count. But in my efforts to hide from the world, God spoke to me through the words and pages of those books. He didn’t dessert me; He met me exactly where I was. And when I was ready, He led me to people that would help me start over again.
In tough times, God does not abandon us. When I needed a friend, He provided one. Someone who was able to laugh with me, cry with me, counsel me and most importantly speak truth back into my life. I call her a Godsend, because I truly believe that’s what she is. And she helped me to trust again. But I also realise that it was suffering that brought us together. So the question remains, was it worthwhile?
I may have come a long way, but I am far from the end of this journey. I have some wonderful friends that are walking this with me, and they have become all the more precious because of it. Would I have chosen this particular path for myself and my family? Honestly, no. But I am starting to see that God can bring something good out of this, even if it’s nothing more than a greater sense of compassion and kindness in me. In the meantime, I have to keep on trusting Him to show me the way.
“You might be down for a moment, feeling like its hopeless, that’s when He reminds you. You’re an Overcomer.” From the song “Overcomer”, by Mandisa.