Can You Be Thankful For Your Trials?

thankful, trials

Often I wonder, ” Should I and Can I be thankful for my trials? There are 4 truths that have helped me to be thankful for my trials.

1-Realizing God is Persistent

2-Learning and Growing Through the Experience

3-Remaining Positive and Choosing Joy

4-Remembering

Realizing God Is Persistent

When I was wheeled into the cold, sterilized surgery room- fear overtook me. My body shook with fear, realizing I would be on life support for the next 6 to 8 hours with my chest sawed open. I had previously felt peace, waiting to have this tumor removed from my chest cavity. However, fear has over taken my entire body while be wheeled into the surgery room. Just me with no family now beside me, in a hospital gown, haven been marked by the surgeon with a black marker- feeling more alone than ever before. Finally, overcome by the quick onset of fear.

I had a blessing the night before my surgery and knew I would be alright. The surgeon who was performing the open heart surgery was the best of the best in the Cardio-Thoracic Heart center. I prayed and felt the surgery was what my body needed to move towards healing from Myasthenia Gravis. But once again, fear overtook me going into that surgery room. Why do I keep writing about my peace, assurances and then the overcome of fear?

I had received my confirmation this surgery was what I needed and decided to move forwarded. It took months and lots of preparation and research. Going into the hospital that morning did not change the fact that the surgery was necessary and right for me- even after the fear engulfed me! For me, the fear that overcame me, was perfectly normal and acceptable. It didn’t change the fact that I received a confirmation to have the surgery.

The fear I had was not based on un-faith or questioning my previously received answers. The fear I experienced was based on my mortal body. Realizing my fear was coming from the pains that my body were soon going to experience, I quickly remembered God’s persistence, love, hope and peace. Remembering God is persistent in his love, helped calm me. I knew God was with me and watching over me. It gave me a peaceful settled-ness and allowed me to endure and move forward.

Have you ever felt alone? All alone to face a trial? If so, Remember God is persistent. He will not leave you nor forsake you. Call upon the reassurance you previously received, focus on knowing God will not leave you. He will see you thru and comfort you in times of need. He is our great Heavenly Father, he awaits us to turn to him.

Through this trial in my life, my eyes were opened to God’s persistent love and guidance in my life. I am forever grateful for this truth. I have leaned on this truth many times.

Learning And Growing Through The Experience

Breaking down my experiences, “trials” has helped me to learn unique lessons. It is very easy to focus on the negative situation and create a pity party. Focusing on the bad situation would cause an even greater catastrophe. I call it the “doomsday thinking.” Have you ever been there? It is a one-way street that quickly goes downhill, beginning with one, ” all is lost, ” thought.

Understanding and believing things happen for a reason, has helped me look for lessons in each trial. Now, I journal through my trials. Writing has helped me to have a new perspective. Each night, I ponder on the day as whole. Looking at the whole picture allows you to see the situation in a new light. Going thru the day, minute by minute, hour by hour, can be hard.

Honestly, some minutes can be absolutely terrifying and heartbreaking.

When I received the phone call that my dad passed away, time stopped. I couldn’t breathe and my world stopped! The future was non-existent in my world. There was no, looking ahead to brighter things/days. There was no silver lining in this moment, day, future. I fell down the fast slope of, “doomsday thinking.”

Why did I bring up one of the worse moments/trials of my life? Looking back at each moment from that day has taught me many lessons. It wasn’t the easiest of schools to be in? It wasn’t the best of trials to endure and it wasn’t the top 10 moments of my life. However, the lessons learned during that trial will be forever cherished.

Like this poem suggest, I have learned to invite trials into my life. Up until this moment, most people would have described me as an- Avoider. I would avoid most situations that were un-comfortable. If someone didn’t like me, I would go out of my way to try and make them like me, so I can avoid their hatred. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but that was who I was. 100% avoider, at all cost. I learned to face trials and situations, good and bad. Facing the trials head on, has given me opportunities to learn. I learned that I can be a strength for someone, that I am a strong person. I learned to cherish time with loved ones. I learned to love my family and to tell them. I learned to put time above money.

Remaining Positive and Choosing Joy

“True Happiness is not getting something- True happiness is becoming something,” Marvin Ashton

I am talking about real joy, not fake joy!

Choosing to be sad and a victim is actually pretty easy. Its easy to get up everyday and be miserable because you are sick, tired, lacking, grieving and tormented with a past. I can say this, because I have woken up and spent many times with this mindset.

When my tumor was found, I was in the middle of training for a marathon. I had not eaten sugar in 2 years, drank half of my body weight a day, in water. I did not drink soda, coffee or alcohol. I did not smoke, do drugs or eat any high fructose sugar. I made my very own sprouts, weekly. I very confidently proclaimed, “I was healthy!”

When the emergency room doctor, told me I had a tumor, I believe I laughed. Like- out loud. It’s embarrassing to think about now. However, my point is, I fell into the trap of being a victim. I stayed in bed, started a weird addiction to Pop-tarts (my friends will understand this strange addiction better now). My prayers stopped being thankful and turned into, WHY and its not fair!”

I had my first biopsy and found the tumor was benign.  Thinking the worse was behind me, I immediately began training for my marathon.  And when I say, training, I really mean just trying to get back to a state to be able to start training. Finding out later, I have a rare nerve disorder.  According to my neurologist, I will never run again.  There I go again, down the slope of “Doomsday Thinking.”  I needed to have the tumor removed in hopes the effects of my Myasthenia Gravis would lessen.

After the surgery, thru my chest, a blood clot was discovered in my left arm over 24 hours after surgery.  It was confirmed my shoulder had been dislocated, thus causing the blood clot.  Due to the late discovery of it, came the diagnosis of Lymphedema in my left arm.   Currently to this day, my left arm is 3 whole inches bigger than my right arm.

I am not telling you this for pity or even sympathy.  I had spent lots of time giving myself pity and stayed at the bottom of that slippery slope of being a victim.  During that time, I rightly justified how I was indeed a victim.  I didn’t do this to myself, for some awful reason it happened to me.  And woe was me!

Have you ever felt like that?  I hope I am not the only one…….  Going thru that very long road of tribulation, forced me to look up and make a choice.  I needed to make a choice on how the rest of my life was going to go. 

  1. I could chose to be a victim.  Wallow in my terrible circumstances and wait for my life to be over
  2. I could chose Joy!  Choose to look up and be happy.  Remaining positive while finding try joy.

I chose #2.  Although, it wasn’t easy and sometimes still isn’t, I still choose #2. 

What is true joy? 

  • Contentment
  • Peace
  • Hope
  • Love
  • Charity
  • Freedom
  • Happiness
  • So much more.

Choosing joy and being positive does not mean you are avoiding trials, it means you have a different outlook on the,  Learning this one truth, has helped me many times over with the next opportunities that have come my way.

How can you choose joy?  I found this great article on 40 ways to find joy.  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/meimei-fox/happiness-tips_b_2405608.html, Mei Mei Fox, goes on to state, “ Joy is what makes life beautiful.”  I agree with her, choosing joy is very beautiful and life changing.  Read her list of 40 fantastic ideas. 

A couple of the ideas I use are: 

  • Play like a kid
  • Get out in nature
  • Count your blessings
  • Sing out loud
  • Help someone

Remembering

Jane McGononigal, ” I’ve learned an important trick: to develop foresight, you need to practice hindsight.”

I have gone through the refiner’s fire many times and often wondered, “Why?” What is the purpose of the heartache, misfortune and pain? Then I remembered how the Saviour suffered, for me. He suffered more than I can imagine. Perhaps my trials would be harder, if he didn’t suffer?

Remembering who’s child I was, had given me a great confidence in enduring. Making it through each trial with a eternal purpose and outlook.

Each time I am faced with a new trial, I wonder how I will be able to get through it. Then I look back and remember where I have come from and what I have already faced. I am stronger than I give myself credit for. I think we all are. We are able to endure more than we think, It can be easier to sell ourselves short and give up before the battle starts.

Remembering helps me to see trials in a new light. It helps me to understand that everything connects. There is a purpose for every person in our life, every trial we endure and every lesson we learn.

How can I be thankful for my trials?

Remembering God is persistent in his love for me. Remembering there are lessons to be learned and knowledge to gain. Remembering to remain positive and always choosing joy.

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