Last night a younger couple came over to our house for some prayer time. They are newlyweds. When we were done praying the wife asked me how I was able to be so strong in the Lord when I’ve endured so many trials. I had to smile. Most people know I’ve dealt with a lot of debilitating health struggles, but she had no idea what I’d gone through that very day.
I’d spent almost the entire day alone at home. My spirit was in turmoil. I was beyond overwhelmed. I literally found myself ugly crying multiple times throughout the day. I screamed so loud in my anguish that I was afraid the neighbors would think I was being murdered and call the police. I screamed until my throat was raw. My body shuddered. Snot and tears and saliva gushed out of my face in a torrent of grief. To say that life lately has been a struggle wouldn’t begin to do it justice.
The enemy hates me. He hates us. He hates anyone who is actively seeking to serve the King of Kings. And the enemy doesn’t want to see us free. He wants to see us remain in bondage forever, torn apart by the deeds of our past, and the sins the world has committed against us. But I’m done with that. I decided that fighting through the pain and torment and fear and anguish were worth enduring for the sake of what lay beyond that.
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
If Jesus could walk out suffering for the sake of the world, I can walk out suffering for the sake of myself. Honestly, it’s the simplest concept, isn’t it? Endure the pain to receive the reward. And for me the reward is to finally be free of the haunting memories of past abuse and torment. I am working, through the help of a profoundly gifted Christian therapist, by prayer and by tenacity, to move beyond the scars of my past that bind me and into the life of freedom that Jesus gave me on the cross.
So, when my sweet young friend asked me how I manage to be strong and courageous in the Lord when I’ve endured so much, I had to smile. I looked right in her eyes and said, “Ugly cry.” She chuckled, maybe even a little awkwardly. And I continued, “Ugly cry through the pain and suffering, trusting that the promises of God are true. That in this world we will have trials. But they do indeed build our faith and strengthen us.” At that very moment I was shrouded in peace and endurance that only the Lord could provide me. I was a living testament to God’s ability to comfort through the trial and hold me up by His power. I’d say that’s worth a little bit of ugly crying…maybe even a lot of it.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.