Until this year, I had not experienced much suffering in my life. I didn’t have to look for blessings in disguise; my blessings paraded themselves rather boldly.
I remember feeling on many occasions like I was living a “charmed” life. Inexplicably, I was spared any major trials at all. And I was lavished with numerous blessings.
It felt unfair. I saw people all around me experiencing trials; many of those people were walking through multiple fires at one time. But I was completely untouched. I didn’t know why.
It also felt scary. I knew everyone experienced trials. The Bible says that in this world His followers WILL have tribulation. Where was mine?
What was it going to look like?
How would I handle it?
How painful would it be, exactly?
I knew my turn was coming. I just didn’t know when. And I kind of felt like I deserved an extra dose or two because of my previously unscathed life. When that proverbial “other shoe dropped,” I was certain it would appear in the form of a huge steel-toed workboot … or maybe a 5-inch stiletto heel.
But after this year … I know.
Not all of it. But a small part of it. I’ve suffered this year. In many ways, it has been the hardest year of my life.
I can tell you with all truth and sincerity, it has also been the most joyful year of my life. There are so many reasons this is true … too many to list here, really. So I’ll start with one, and save the rest for another post or two … or two hundred.