When I was younger, I worried about our house catching fire. As I got a little older, my fears shifted to tests and bad grades. Then I grew up. I graduated from college and got married. Still, anxiety tormented me. Troubles with infertility added fuel to the fire until one day I finally became pregnant.
From the outside, it looked like I lived a blessed life. I even conceived again and gave birth to our second son. But on the inside I was struggling to cope with all my anxiety. I lived in constant fear that something horrible would happen to the people I held dear.
And then, one day, it did.
On a cold afternoon in February of 2012, our youngest son, Cooper, was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of two. Suddenly, I was plunged into a world of my worst nightmares. Everywhere I looked, fear and anxiety threatened to take me under. There was no way out. I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t control the situation. And I couldn’t figure out how to cope.
It felt like I was in military boot camp and life was stripping me right down to my very base. Everything I knew, everything familiar, no longer brought me comfort. There was only pain and fear.
But that’s when God stepped in.
He started small, teaching me to be grateful and enjoy the small moments in life. Then He moved onto bigger things like teaching me to trust him when the odds seemed stacked against us. Finally he showed me that I could lean on Him through prayer in a way I never knew possible. And with infinite patience and wisdom, he built me back up, forming me into the person He had created me to be.
Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. Isaiah 64:8
And somehow, through the most terrifying experience of my life, God taught me that I didn’t have to be so afraid. Bad things would happen. But He would be there to help me through them all.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
Hard things will always try to drag us down in life. They will claw at the eyes of our faith and try to rip us to shreds. But if we can persevere in faith, by the grace of God, then God will redeem our suffering for good.
And there is nothing I love more than when a situation the devil meant to harm us gets turned around to bring glory to God. It’s an amazing victory.
I know you have troubles in your life. You’ve struggled and felt like there was no way it could ever be redeemed. But hang in there, sister. God redeems. God consoles. And your joy is not very far away.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. Psalm 94:19
Jenni DeWitt is a fun-loving, loud-laughing contemplative who is discovering the value of rest and silent prayer in the midst of this rushed society. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? Jenni lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons. Her youngest son has been battling cancer since the age of two. Jenni loves to find Jesus in the everyday and writes about rejecting fear and choosing trust in God at Genuflected.com.
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