Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or months where nothing seems to go right and you are overwhelmed? I have had many of those days myself and so have those who are close to me. I have been thinking about my friend Lisa Louwsma. Lisa is my best friend and a more than a major blessing to me. Lisa is the one person who I can say would drop anything she was doing and go to my parents home which is like going to hell. Long story, but she has been through thick and thin with me and for me. Lisa has been struggling to stay afloat. Life has a way of turning things upside down. I have known this all to well, but I try hard to not let it get to me. Even though there are days when that is easier said than done. I think that people have this idea that just because a person is a Christian then they should be happy all the time no matter what happens in our lives and what the circumstances are.
My friend Lisa has had more than her share of struggles and “hiccups” in her life. I haven’t been given permission to discuss what is going on in her life so I hope she is OK that I share a bit about her. The reason why I want to cover my friends hardships is because I know that these struggles may be something that others are going through. There are days where she struggles to see God’s presence and goodness in her life. Don’t get me wrong, Lisa isn’t going to end her life, but there are times when life is too much to handle. I would like to add that Lisa has tremendous faith and a strength within her that I admire.
I don’t know about you, but there has been many times when I have asked myself why God allows us to go through trials and tribulations?
If a person thinks that a Christian is immune to life’s trials and tribulations, then they are delusional. There are many days when I look around me and ask God why would He allow us to go through horrible life changing events? Why would God allow an innocent child to die? Why would God allow disease when it comes to our loved ones and ourselves. I have asked this question myself since my whole life has been filled with health issues that could take my life in a moments notice. Why would God allow financial worries and fear. If God really loves us, why is it that He doesn’t take these things away from us? I can’t even count how many times people are confused about why God allows these things to happen. These are questions I would think we all have or have had in our lives.
My friend Lisa has had financial hardships, abused by her father and her ex husband. She also suffers from clinical depression. Recently she learned that her mother had Uterine Cancer and has to go through chemo and radiation. Her parents aren’t Christian and that is causing a great deal of pain for Lisa. I can understand where Lisa is coming from since I recently lost my mom to cancer. Her step-father has a whole lot of other issues as well. Lisa has had more than enough for more than a lifetime. So, what is it that I would say to my friend Lisa and those who are going through catastrophic events in their days.
I have had many conversations with Lisa. Since my life has been filled with “hiccups” as well, just in different ways. I can say with certainty that no matter how well I plan out my days, months, and life, “hiccups” can take over my life if I allow them to. There have been days when I have struggled with anger and have cried a great deal. I’ve struggled with what I would call the seasons in my life. When I first came down with Guillian Barre Syndrome I found myself struggling with anger, bitterness and exhaustion. I wanted to hide in the darkest closet and from the world. Of course that wasn’t possible in a physical sense, so I would hide from life by closing myself down to those in my life and to God. Eventually I found that while I had many trials and tribulations, I knew that there was a divine purpose.
There came a time in my life where I had to take time to seriously look at my relationship with Christ. I had all of this anger, bitterness and resentment in my life and I was having issues with reconciling the notion that I have to love them and forgive them. I also knew that I had to fully trust God. This has been a bit of a rollercoaster in my life from time to time. I trusted, but found I didn’t give 100 percent. Then there came the times when I was more than tired and all I wanted to do was sleep and shut the world out. I see these things in Lisa’s life.
When I have gone through difficult days and was feeling unhappy, I knew that I had to hold onto the hope that Jesus Christ has given me. I would say this to Lisa and anyone else when they are going through down times or days when they are struggling. Jesus Christ will never leave nor forsake us.
There have been many who have asked me how is it that I get through my difficult times. My favorite verse in the Bible is Psalms 46:1.” God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
I can’t say that my days are great. There has been a number of people who have thought that I never complain about my health, trials and tribulations. Those who live with me and those who are closest to me like Lisa knows differently. While I do complain and I have my moments, I am also truly thankful for the good and the bad experiences that comes with each day. When I read the verse Psalm 118:24, “The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.” I hope is that on the good and the bad days I will learn to be happy and rejoice no matter what the day brings.
Right now it is as if a hurricane or tornado has been brewing in Lisa’s life. She may think at times she is complaining and I don’t see it that way. I see Lisa as a person who has fully put her storms into the hands of God. While she isn’t rejoicing over her struggles she is going through, she knows that God will never leave nor forsake her. Nothing happens without purpose and our afflictions will work out for our good, even if we don’t understand it while we are going through the darkness.
Not everyone knows all things about me. Not everyone knows how critical my medical diagnosis and prognosis is. My friend Lisa knows most of what is going on in my life and I think I know many of Lisa’s darkest moments. I also know that God knows all things.
As I am going through my trials and tribulations, I have found that I have empathy towards those who are going through the same thing I have or am going through. I’m not angry that I ended up with the chronic form Guillian Barre Syndrome which means I have had it three times. Normally with Guillian Barre Syndrome it never comes back after strength is regained, that was and is not the case with me. I also have Myasthenia Gravis and all of the life changing obstacles that have come with it. According to my Dr’s, I should not be here now. My blood pressure is always by the end of the day around 260/130. I have been able to use my experiences and my faith in Christ because of my trials and tribulations. Trials and tribulations come with a purpose. I don’t know what tomorrow holds, nobody does. But I do know that various trials and tribulations produces results and a personal testimony.
- James 1:2-4,12, Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” .
While my friend Lisa is going through some really dark days, she is showing others by example that she has shown how beautiful she is. Her love for her family and the Lord is apparent in all things that she does. She has a heart that is bigger than the tallest mountain. I see this in her, even when she doesn’t see it. There are moments in her day when she feels like she is lost and doesn’t know where to turn. During those moments Lisa I just want to say that do what you know you must do and turn to Jesus Christ. Be that light to your mom and family. You have blessed my life and you are a light in my life. You are that same light to all who meet you. If they don’t know that, then they are delusional. You have a way of lifting others up, showing them the love of Christ while showing them how to seek God and to not feel lost and alone any longer.
If you have a moment to post a prayer for my friend Lisa and her mom who is going through cancer treatment, that would be awesome…
Dear Lord, I come to you to please heal my friend Lisa’s mom Helen. I pray for her health and her spiritual growth. She doesn’t know Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, so I come to You today to ask that You place the right people in her life so that she can learn about You. My prayer is for You to be with Lisa also. She is going through some pretty tough days herself. She has been on my heart for a long time and has such a huge heart herself and a greater love for You. You know what she is going through and you know what hurts she is having. I ask that you wrap Your loving arms around her and comfort her. My prayer is for You to protect her from harm and evil and to guide her family to the right path in their lives. Lisa is a very special person to me and I would so love to see her happy. I know without a doubt that all things are possible when we put our faith and hope in You alone. I petition you on behalf of Lisa and her family tonight to be there for her.
In Jesus’s name I pray, Amen