Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Stay Strong; Stay Happy; and Keep Moving Forward!


I had a good friend call me the other day and tell me I have received the spiritual blessing of long-suffering.

What? A blessing of long-suffering?

At first, I wondered if her brain had slipped a cog. Long-suffering certainly didn’t feel or sound like a blessing to me, especially when you were living it. It felt more like a punishment; a curse. I thought of all the physical pain I had suffered since being diagnosed with chronic health issues at the age of seventeen. I thought of struggling through college never knowing when a seizure would hit; always needing a bathroom or the side of the road to be sick; feeling endless pain; and my mind being constantly riddled with brain fog. And, that was only the beginning.

An extremely difficult marriage, a miscarriage, and two high-risk pregnancies (that lead to two special needs children) added to that long-suffering. The loss of my parents and my closest brother early in their lives had been distressing and challenging at best.

No. I couldn’t see that God had given me a special blessing. My road felt devastatingly hard, and I could only wonder what I had done to displease Him that He would shoulder me with this much tribulation.

I said nothing to my friend as all of this raced through my mind. She told me her daughter was preparing a lesson for church and together they were researching spiritual blessings. She had never explored the blessing of long-suffering before and when discussing it with her daughter, she immediately thought of me.

God had given me a special blessing—not one that many could withstand—she said. She told me I must have been very close to Him on the other side to receive such a spiritual blessing. I still scoffed. My mind associated long-suffering with hardship and punishment—not a blessing. Maybe my friend’s brain had slipped two cogs.

But as she continued to explain this special blessing, an overwhelming sense of love and gratitude filled me. She told me that despite my trials, I was living my life with a smile on my face and always doing for others during the most difficult of times. She said I was truly “enduring to the end” with grace.

It took time, days really, for the meaning of her words to sink in and to accept the blessing I have been given. I want to thank my friend for sharing this with me so that I can share it with all of you.

I know that I am not the only one here who has been given this special blessing. I know many who are dealing with much strife in their lives. May you now look upon it as a special spiritual gift and feel His loving arms around you as you journey through this mortal life filled with long-suffering. Stay strong; stay happy; and keep moving forward.

Cindy A. Christiansen
Sweet Romance, Humor, Suspense...and Dogs! 
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