Occasionally in life, a moment comes along that makes you stop and think about what you really believe, who you really are and where you will end up in the future. Those are the moments that define us, deep down inside, and give us the strength to make it through the most difficult trials of our lives. Those moments don’t happen often, but when one comes along, it is hard to forget.
My life has been building toward one of those moments. I think it is safe to say that I have experienced nearly all of my worst fears in the past two years. I was diagnosed with cancer. The abuse of my childhood reared it’s ugly head in the form of PTSD. Family relationships became strained because of my decision to bring past secrets out of the dark and into the light. My son announced that he is gay. I discovered that my husband was not the person I thought I had married. My testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ was shaken and there were days I even questioned the reality of God. The life I dreamed about having disappeared and I was left with a reality that I never could have imagined. During the past month, my emotions have been running really high. I have felt as if I might burst from anxiety but I haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason for this high level of energy.
Today was the day. Today, I had one of those rare defining moments. It wasn’t a big deal. It came while I was at work going through my everyday routine. But the impact it had could change me forever.
For most of my life, I have been waiting for THE BIG ONE…that one trial that would prove to the Lord that I was “worthy”. Each time I’ve been presented with a major struggle, I have thought to myself, “This is it! This is the one that is going to prove my strength. If I can just get through this, I will finally have peace!” And so, I have faced the challenges of life with the hope that it would get easier if I could just be faithful one more time.
Through a series of events and conversations that have taken place this past week, I came to the realization today that my life is never going to get easier. That BIG ONE is never going to come. Instead, my life is constantly going to be full of adversity, to the very end. And while that could be a rather depressing reality, today, it brings me peace.
I once heard Sheri Dew say that she hates talking about “enduring to the end” because it makes life sound like sheer drudgery. For me, most days do feel like drudgery! Finding enjoyment amidst the difficulties of my life can be challenging. As Sheri herself has said, “If life were easy, it wouldn’t be hard!” Life is hard…but today, that recognition has made things a little bit easier, or at least more manageable. If I look at life as an opportunity for growth, then ‘enduring to the end’ takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes the prize, rather than the punishment, and it is a prize worth fighting for!