Monday, January 30, 2012

Behind The Scenes Of A "Better View"

Do you ever feel like your strength, your spirit, your energy and your faith are completely on empty? I have. In fact, that is how I feel right this moment. Due to a multitude of stressors, disappointments and unknowns I find myself feeling desperate and weak. I knew coming into this overseas move that we would encounter tough times and have to endure difficult challenges. I did not have a fairy tale outlook about coming to Switzerland as many of my friends and loved ones did for me. I understood that this was going to be a tough 2 years. If you were to simply look at our photos it would appear dreamlike to most. Sure we may have what some call a "better view" but life is not a snapshot and the everyday challenges that are mounting up are part of the behind the scenes that often escape the highlight reel. This is not to be misinterpreted as ungratefulness...I realize I am blessed in so many ways, but I want to be real with you today and attempt to encourage others who may be struggling right now too.

My life is not perfect. I am not perfect.

In the year and a half we have lived overseas I have mourned the loss of several family members, I have gone nearly two years without being able to see and hug some of the family I love most not knowing if and when we may be reunited, I have endured isolation, financial stress, culture shock, depression, loss of friendships, life-threatening sickness, tests of my faith, living outside my comfort zone, countless disappointments and daily struggles, homesickness... you name it, I've experienced it. This is not to arouse sympathy but for others to understand life isn't always going to be picture perfect...not on this side of Heaven anyway.

We are going to face hardships that will force us to keep or abandon our faith because with every opportunity to believe God there is also an opportunity to disbelieve God. We can choose to give in to our doubts, our fears and our bitterness or we can trust that God has the power to do what He has promised. Jesus promises the He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. I know it can sometimes feel like we're facing these difficult situations on our own. We often find ourselves asking God to rescue us from our situation but we must remember...He already has! Salvation through Jesus Christ is available to anyone who believes in Him. He already completed His rescue mission and the Bible tells us that "Our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." (2 Corinthians 4:17) Keeping our thoughts on Him and His promises is the only way we will successfully get through these difficult times. Reminding ourselves of His blessing and mercy in the midst of heartache and pain keeps us hopeful, keeps us going.

Talking to God through prayer and being openly honest with Him about what's on our heart keeps us close to Him and we can draw from His strength especially in our weakest moments. I am in the midst of some serious challenges right now, many of which are completely out of my control. If you can relate, then I hope you find comfort in knowing that you are not alone. God cares about each of us and His plan for us is always perfect, always purposeful and always good. It's our role to find that good and pursue our purpose. Don't lose faith.

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