I personally have also learned to stop depending on my own achievements, because I haven’t been achieving much lately! I’m normally great at doing lots of things, checking off my to-do list and then finding value in everything I’ve accomplished that day/week/month. Lately however, my to-do list has consisted more of making it through the day and not much else. I’ve learned to remember my worth is in God, not in what I do or what people think of me. When you are zapped of energy from suffering, you stop putting on a mask to pretend to be someone you are not because you simply can't anymore. As a result, you are the real you, and that is what God can work best with!

When You Are Suffering, God Can Give You a New and Refreshed Perspective

If you take the time to listen and seek God while you are going through your trial, he can show you a lot! I know this is hard to do because often the last thing you want to do is go to God when you feel so low. I’ll admit, it was hard for me to do, but once I started praying about what I was going through and how I could grow through it, God showed me everything I’m writing right here!

He reminded me what is really important in life and that is him, my family and the people in my life. Money and things can seem so important sometimes, but in the midst of suffering, they just don’t seem as important anymore, because they aren’t. Your family and those around you, and most importantly your relationship with God are what is really most important in your life. “’Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:36-39). In the end, it is all about God and people.

During your most difficult trying times, you will also often learn just how amazing the people in your life truly are. If you are often a person who tries to help and support others (like I am) it can be especially difficult to ask for and accept help when you need it. Just as you are blessed when you help others, there comes a time for others to be blessed by helping you! When I was feeling especially sick and stressed for a few weeks, I had multiple friends step in and bring us meals for dinners so I didn’t have to worry about cooking for my family and so my husband could come home from work and spend quality time with our son. Even though it was hard to ask for and accept help, it was a huge blessing for my family and it really reminded me of the wonderful people God has brought into my life!

A season of suffering isn’t the most fun or the easiest to go through, but I believe we truly can rejoice if we keep focused on the right things. It can be difficult to do, but perhaps writing them down and posting them somewhere where you will see them daily will help. Or putting a note in your phone or even just praying every day that God reminds you of the things you can really rejoice about in this season. Most importantly, remember that it is a season. You won’t be suffering forever. It will be over eventually and you will look back and think about how much you’ve grown closer to God, what a more stable and mature person you are and you will see how it really was possible to rejoice through it.

Cortni Marrazzo currently resides in Spokane, Washington with her husband Jason and 3 year old son. She has a Degree in Biblical Discipleship and has a passion for ministry and encouraging the body of Christ. She and her husband currently serve as small group directors at their local church. You can contact her at Cortni.Marrazzo@gmail.com or on Facebook.

Publication date: February 25, 2014