encouragement for tough days

Encouragement For The Tough Days

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I used to be a huge planner. I often had words, Scripture verses and goals set out for my year, or a specific season of life. And I owned those plans like a boss. But several years ago, there came a point where I stopped making plans and went into survival mode. The dreaded C word had become part of my life.

What started out as a normal doctor’s visit quickly turned into pure crazy. Several specialists, biopsies and a series of intense weeks later, I was in an OR room being prepped for surgery.

Cancer came into my life so quickly that I barely had time to breathe, let alone process what was going on.

I was extremely blessed! My thyroid cancer was 100% contained in the mass removed, my margins were clear and the doctors didn’t feel I needed the chemo or radiation that often comes after surgery. What a relief.

However, one of my vocal chords was severed during my surgery and the others were traumatized, so the following months I communicated by dry erase board and silent prayers as I healed.

I was alive to live another day for Jesus! That’s what my heart kept focusing on, no matter how hard it was to live in silence.

I’ve now lived more than five years cancer free, praise the Lord! I still have the visible scars to prove it.  Plus my vocal chords have recovered and I can talk again. I’m even able to sort of sing again. Singing is something I never thought I’d be able to do again on this earth.

Has your life ever been turned upside down?

We often have the full 12-months of a calendar year scheduled out, down to the minute-by-minute itinerary of our summer vacation. We can even develop five-year plans for our family, business or ministry.

But circumstances will still come along that throw the best laid plans right out the window.

Life is so much more than our disappointments.

Life is filled with disappointments, that’s why I am so glad we have Jesus. We can learn to cling to hope in our tough spots.  That hope allows our faith to grow deeper roots. And with those deeper roots comes a peace and a joy that surpasses all understanding.

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” – James 1:2-4

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

The above Scripture verses helped me get through some of the hardest parts of my life, including the cancer.

We need to keep leaning on Jesus.

When sucky things happen, I cling to the truth that God works all our crazy stuff out in a way that ultimately gives Him the glory, if we lean on Him.

I believe we can find hope and peace and a sense of joy in the middle of our darkest days, when we lean on Him.

I’m glad I don’t have to understand why all the crazy stuff happens, I just need to trust in the One who does and lean on Him.

We all face bumps in the road of life.

Maybe your “bump” right now is divorce, or the loss of a child. Or maybe you or someone you love is facing cancer or another unforeseen health crisis.

Maybe you are just fed up with life. Or your kiddos or spouse are falling short of your expectations. Maybe you’re dealing with infidelity or another betrayal. Or maybe you wish you made different choices in life.

The good news is that we are never alone in our struggles. Even though we are not in control, we can place our trust and our hope in the God who is.

The Lord will never leave us or forsake us, no matter how hard life gets.

Sometimes it takes all our strength just to make it through those tough days, but we never have to do it alone.

In the dark seasons of our lives we need to remember to cling to the Light. Click To Tweet

Face the good days, the bad days and the in-between days with Jesus.

Each day is a fresh start.

Every day is another chance to get up and say, “Jesus, let your light shine through me, no matter how dark or crazy my day seems.”

I love the reminder found in Matthew 5: 14-15 – “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.”

Endless opportunities await us each day to be the light in a dark, fallen world, even during our own seasons of disappointment.

Will the tough circumstances in your life drive you closer to Jesus, or further away from Him? It’s ultimately your choice.

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