Some days I feel confident in who I am in Christ, in who I am as a wife and mom, and who I am as a person. I wake up refreshed and determined, ready to tackle the day.

But let me be honest. That is NOT my daily life. A lot of days, like today, I wake up to another headache, my daughter screaming for breakfast, a list of things I wish I had done yesterday but didn’t, and the stress and anxiety of a global pandemic and political unrest beating at my brain.

I’m not going to sugarcoat it. This has been a freaking rough year. Mentally, spiritually, financially, physically, you name it. And I know I’m not the only one feeling the pressure and the fear. I know so many of us are stretched super thin, anxious and worried about what the next few months could possibly hold at this point.

Part of me just wants to run away and get away from everything. I want to pretend, to be ignorant of all the pain in the world, because at least I’d hurt less. I want to just plow forward mindlessly, like a drone.

I know the fire licking at my heels isn’t the fire of hell, though. It isn’t an attack from the enemy, but the refining fire of the Lord, shaping me and molding me into who I am meant to be. And though it hurts a LOT, though my heart and mind ache, I know that I am meant to grow and change right now. I am meant to wait on God’s timing. I am meant to hurt, not for the sake of pain, but so that the pain can reveal places in my heart and mind that still need to be healed and made whole.

Sounds rough, doesn’t it? I’m not a fan of it myself, but it’s like cleaning out a wound before you can stitch it closed— you have to get all that infection out before you seal the wound. Otherwise, your wound will be worse than before.

Job 13:15a says, “Though He slays me, yet I will trust in Him.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 says, We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”

Sometimes being a Christ follower means walking with Him on smooth roads in the sun, but so much more often it’s experiencing the dark realities of life with Him, clinging to His side and allowing Him to whisper love and truth into the hurt.

Even in this tumultuous time, Jesus is not caught unawares. He is by our side, offering grace for each day.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

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