Have you ever found yourself in a troubled relationship? One where there just seemed no worldly way of making it through?
If you’re anything like me you’ve had your share of difficult ones. Whether in the family we were given or the ones that we choose, relationships are hard. They’re tangled and messy and full of both joy and pain.
The best things are.
I’m a big believer that God has a calling for every one of us and it necessitates us walking through hardship in that particular area.
I think it’s why most of us would rather choose somebody else’s gift.
Because if we got to choose where we were called we might pick something that didn’t hurt so bad. One that didn’t put us in the position of wanting to defend or explain ourselves because we’re so imperfect and messy and flawed and don’t have a great track record.
But we don’t get to choose. Because out of our greatest weakness will come His greatest strength. Because clearly, we cannot do it on our own.
I want to encourage you, whatever heartache you’re going through that seems to repeat itself time after time after time in your life? The thing that keeps you up at night or plays in the shadows of your deepest fears? That, my friend, is likely your ministry. That is your gift.
We don’t often choose to see our hardships as our blessings, but I believe that they are. As much as our lives seem to happen to us, we have the power at any moment to say this is not how the story will end. You see, I believe each experience can be seen as blessing or burden. We choose.
When I look back in the rearview mirror, the greatest blessings of my life bloomed in the cracks of a broken road.
Friendships as old as I am, one or two from every stage of life that not only tested and tried me but have stood beside me. Ones that even though our lives don’t intersect in the daily rhythm of life, our hearts still beat the same. Ones that gradually faded, or swirled or stormed away, have carved character and truth and brought life lessons I could have never learned another way.
Out of the bondage of relationship I have learned the amazing freedom and gift of grace.
So often we’re tempted to cast our nets wide and catch as many supporters and friends as we can. We want to play the odds and put numbers in our favor. We want to chase after those who walk away and fix things by our own skill or strength. We want to question our motives, our actions and failures, our character and who we truly are. Because this – whatever this is for you – may be happening again.
I want to encourage you to stop.
Stop acting, reacting, questioning, blaming, fixing, chasing. Stop.
Pause for a moment, long enough to breathe. This is your gift.
When people walk away, when life takes a turn, when prayers remain unanswered, or life seems derailed. Gift.
Gift, gift, gift.
What man means for harm, God always means for good.
I believe this. I put my hope and faith and trust in this even when I don’t want to. Especially when I cannot see. Because I believe in a God who is faithful, and I’m counting it grace that He would love me this much. This much…to teach me this. My this.
He loves you this much too. What is this? For you?