The Gift of Suffering
This blog is dedicated to my husband, Philip. Babe, you have made this past year and a half incredibly amazing. You've led me closer to God then I have ever been. You have walked through every suffering with me. You have given me so much more JOY. Thank you for loving me with His love. There is nothing greater.
Nose bleeds, pregnancy rash, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, shortness of breath, back pain, restlessness, and the list goes on… Pregnancy has not been too fun lately or the entire time, to say the least, but it’s nothing I’m not familiar with. A dear friend and mentor once told me that I had the gift of suffering. Suffering, a gift? Really? As I continued to think about it and look back on my life, I realized just how right she was. I think we all go through suffering at least once in our lives, but I am sure that each and every one of you knows of someone who has suffered greatly in life (whether it be emotionally or physically), but yet there is this unfailing joy within them. I have been told time-and-time again by those who’ve heard my testimony that they would have never guessed that I had broken my back and had gone through everything I have. I didn’t come to truly know the Lord until I was 16 after breaking my back, and I am so thankful that I did break it. You see, without breaking literally, I don’t think I would have broken spiritually and let Him in.
Since then, I had a second back surgery to fix the rest from the first and remove a bone spur, I have gone through water therapy to learn how to walk and function all over again, had my gallbladder removed due to gaining too much weight and then losing it too quickly after my surgeries, went through therapy for an eating disorder I developed after my surgeries (bulimia – something only a handful of people in my life know about), had surgery for level 4 deep endometriosis which was supposed to make conceiving nearly impossible, and most recently have had to do more back therapy. The road since the age of 16 has taken me here to age 25, where I am now with child, with miracle.
This pregnancy has been hard and I have cried out at times for God to just help make it a little easier…but I don’t think I really mean it. You see, when you hold the gift of suffering, you actually endure through it so well because it brings you closer to Him. When I suffer physically, I feel so much closer to my Savior. It hurts, it hurts a lot, but I have never felt closer to my Healer.
Joy is so much more than just a middle name we picked out for Emarosa—it’s everything to us! His joy has kept me going this whole time. The joy I have acquired through suffering is true joy and is my medicine.
I know nothing that I have been through compares to what Jesus did for me on the cross or that it even compares to what some of you have been through, but it gives me even just a taste of it and I feel inexpressibly closer to Him. I also feel His comfort wrapped like a big warm blanket around me!
In this blog, I wanted to share what weeks 30 and 31 have been for me, and how excited I am for the upcoming times. How thankful I am for the recent baby shower given by my family and Grace Bible Church family in Georgetown. I wanted to share about our Baby Care Class and Child Birth Class. I also wanted to share about our recent beach trip getaway, and about a loss we've recently suffered in our family (thank you for everyone who's been praying for my husband and our family). But, God woke me up this morning, after a very rough night of having to sleep sitting up, to share just what I did. I think everything is tied up into this very topic. He reminded me that He’s never going to give me more than I can handle. In fact, He loves me so much that He wants me to continue in any and every suffering thrown my way because it’ll bring us that much closer.
You might think I am crazy, but next time you are going through your share of suffering, take the time to stop, look around, and realize just how much closer you feel to Him. Take note of the amazing comfort He gives. And give thanks for your suffering.
“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.” 2Corinthians 1:5-7 (NKJV)
Joyful partakers of suffering,
Erica and Emarosa Joy