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How do you respond when suffering enters your world, changes the way you see everything and shows you just how completely out of control you are?
My story that I’m living is about suffering, complex questions and big prayers.
I was born with a neuromuscular atrophy disease. It has caused me to gradually lose every major physical ability I once had: walking, eating orally and swallowing, speaking with volume and clarity, breathing on my own.
It’s been a continual journey of mourning and discovery.
Doctors have never been able to specifically diagnose the disease that plagues my body. Because of that, there’s no roadmap to give me an idea of what’s ahead.
Some days, the unknown terrifies me, but most of the time I’m thankful for the mystery. I’m sitting in a space where I have no semblance of control, and because of that, the One who created the stars is my one and only refuge.
When you realize that the comforts you know as normal are not actually guaranteed, it’s jarring.
In our anger and pain, we have a choice: We can turn away from God because “God wouldn’t have allowed this if He is who He says He is.” Or we can walk toward Him, believing that His love isn’t dependent on our circumstances, understanding that He makes all things new, and realizing that even in the most difficult experiences, He has given us a beautiful and unique purpose.
This life we’ve been given was never promised to be an easy one.
Through our suffering, we can experience God even more intimately than if our lives were without pain.
Because God is a Redeemer, He restores and repurposes the broken parts of our stories. They become conduits to a deeper relationship with Him and to a fuller grasp of the gospel.
When we choose to trust God in the unknown, in the most difficult parts of our stories, we experience the truest form of joy. It’s a joy that isn’t dependent on our circumstances — a joy that begins to transform the way our eyes see the challenges around us. This joy, which is a result of depending on the Holy Spirit, allows us to understand a little more of Jesus’ immense sacrifice on the Cross and, therefore, to truly see how this life is a beautiful gift.
“Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Peter 1:8, English Standard Version).
About the Author: Jordan Stroman graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in digital media. She is a blogger and helped found the nonprofit Live Alive, which seeks to help people overcome fear and take steps toward their dreams. She is currently taking steps toward her own dreams of writing her first book and converting a bus into a wheelchair-accessible RV.
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