This week, I was able to reconnect with a friend from grad school that I hadn’t seen in over 4 years. As we laughed and caught up, she said, “Fran, you ALWAYS made the most out of whatever season you were in.”
That touched me to the core. Grad school was a hard time in my life. My scholarship program’s funding got cut (I went from having a full tuition scholarship with a stipend to NOTHING), I was pursuing my passion of working with kids only to have a gun drawn on me at work, and I worked 5 different jobs while being a student full time and pursuing two degrees.
Not many people know those parts of my story, but it’s sooooooooooooo AMAZING how God will use people in your life to remind you of everything you’ve overcome and to speak even the smallest words of encouragement at the right time.
I never thought that about myself, but I see how the description is fitting. It’s easy to lean to the flesh when times are hard. To become discouraged and feel overwhelmed. But when I stand in faith, I truly adopt a resolve that “if this is where God has me during this point in my life, this is where I’m supposed to be to learn/experience something for the next part of my journey.”
I’m by no means perfect, and sometimes I’m slow to take on that mindset, but it NEVER fails me.
I started this post because I saw this image and felt overwhelmingly thankful, but I pray it encourages you as well. Even in the darkest hours, God will send those small reminders. I pray that you press through, understanding that the dark hours are not meant to destroy you. Rather they are intended to strengthen you and accomplish a greater purpose.
I also encourage you to thank those people that have been lights in your life. I like that phrase, “Give people flowers while they are living.” You may have thanked them in your heart, but thank them with your words. Let them know they made a difference. Sometimes, that in itself is a light that can help to keep them going too.
Seeds of Faith:
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
(Emphasis on verses 18-19; 37-39)
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.