The Upside of Downturns

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Earlier this week I shared about the struggles I have experienced and the downturns that my life has taken.  I stated that God is not required to give you the “good life” that you may have been expecting – in fact, often following God can result in hardship.  What we can expect from God is salvation, love, hope, peace, the fruits of the Spirit.  All else is simply out of the abundance of that.

This message may have seemed a bit harsh, so I wanted to share with you the positives as well.  I may not have looked for hardship or wanted difficulty, but as with so many things, there are still blessings in them.  No matter the circumstance, God can still use it for good.

More than anything, I am happy for the challenges because they were a proving point in my relationship.  Pat and I have not had any difficulties.  Our entire relationship has been easy going.  We have not even had a single argument (which is not to say that we don’t disagree at times because we do).  The problem with that?  Our relationship has never been tested and while I trust it completely, I have often feared what might happen after we get married and we do encounter challenges.  Would we just crumble?  Would our relationship be able to survive?

The answer is that I trust Pat and our relationship now more than ever.  He has been comforting and reassuring, helping me have patience when my house wouldn’t sell and promising that I wouldn’t have anything to worry about while I looked for a job.  Although I in some ways caused my job loss, he has never reproached me for it or made me feel guilty for potentially jeopardizing our financial future.  He has been my rock and the best part of these past few months.

I know that these are just small challenges in comparison to what we will face in the future – raising children, the loss of our parents, illness, etc.  We are just a few steps on the climb up the mountain of life.  But now I am even more sure of my partner and confident that we will be able to work together as a team to get to the top.

I hope one day that even if I cannot see it at the moment, that I will be able to look back in gratitude for these months and what they have built, just as I can now look with gratitude at my years as a single woman, even though it felt difficult at the time.  There are blessings even in the hard times.

What are some challenges that you have faced that have turned out to have benefits?

Photo credit to Death to the Stock Photo.

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