Monday, July 25, 2011

My Suffering Was Not In Vain

We all experience trials in our lives that we wonder why we had to go through.  Having to be anxiety ridden for many years wasn't something I wanted, and during that time I certainly couldn't figure out why this had to be happening to me; However, now being on the other side of this and getting to be a blessing to others who deal with the same thing I went through, I can't help but be thankful and know that the suffering I dealt with day after day was not fruitless.  In my opinion, I had to go through those challenges in order to understand how to reach out to others.  It has always been my passion to help those in need.  In fact, as a small child around the age of 9, I can remember feeling an overwhelming sense of love and compassion in my heart for people. 

A little less than a month ago, I finished teaching a 6 week course at my church on anxiety.  The topic was how to understand and cope with anxiety and panic attacks.  I basically taught what I had learned through my own experiences.  It was such a privilege to meet those that came to my class, and to hear their stories.  I could relate to them, and it was awesome over this time to see how they could begin to open up and express their thoughts and feelings, pray with one another, and start to experience healing.  The last week, week 6, everyone had the opportunity to share any type of progress they had made throughout our time together.  There were several people who had great breakthroughs, and what a joy to hear them speak with hope and enthusiasm.  When the class was over, I began to thank God for the positive results the people had, and for the blessing of being able to teach the class.  It was in that moment, as I was praying, that I realized I was also thanking God for what I went through with anxiety and panic.  Had I not gone through that time in my life, when I dealt with anxiety and severe panic, I wouldn't of had a class to be thankful for. Then and there I understood that my suffering was not in vain.  After all, how could I influence and help others that deal with this condition, if I don't understand how they are feeling? I couldn't tell others that the coping techniques work, if I myself didn't ever need to use them. Explaining that God's Word can set us free would be difficult to do if I didn't experience it firsthand by daily reading and proclaiming what the scriptures say about fear, worry, panic and peace.  I may not fully understand why we have to face tough times, but I know that God took my hurt, healed it, and has placed me in the position to help others break the bondage of fear and worry.  For that I am grateful beyond words.

I want to encourage you if you are in the midst of any type of trial or tribulation to hang on, and keep pressing through.  Right now you may be going through a situation that looks hopeless.  I know how that feels, but what may look impossible in the natural (our point of view), is possible with God. He can take your situation and restore what you may feel is lost.  I know this to be true because I wouldn't have ever thought the adversity I went through would have opened doors to the blessings I have already received, and the exciting upcoming opportunities that I am going be a part of.

Have a great day everyone and remember to walk in love and speak in peace!


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