What I Learned From the Worst Year of My Life

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.

After our family experienced a cancer diagnosis and unemployment … 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.

Jennifer Clarke
Jennifer Clarke
Loving child of Almighty God, adoring wife, and homeschooling mother of three, Jennifer Clarke is active in teaching and music ministries in her local church. She is passionate about encountering her Savior and about encouraging other women to do the same. She would be honored to have you visit her at A Divine Encounter and follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google +.

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