I am strong. Life is good. I am grateful. I am filled with joy. I am blessed. And I am embracing these moments because life can be uncertain, unpredictable, un-easy.
My prayer time has turned to those dear ones who are “In. It.” This short power-packed phrase refers to the trenches of life that are ugly and difficult. Those days which are filled with angst, suffering, trials, and hardships. We all have them. I have been brought to my knees on many occasions in my life circumstances and found myself flat on my face in darkness… I have been “there”. But for this moment, I stand tall and use my strength to serve others in both deeds and prayers.
It’s that circle and cycle of life for the ones we desperately care about as each takes their turn in the valley and the other triumphs on the mountaintop.
So as my world levels out and I stand on solid ground, I pray for all those who crawl over their crumbling cracks: A friend who seems to live in the boxing ring of life, taking blow after blow. Another friend bearing the burden of a horrible divorce and trying to comfort her aching children. Another friend trying to find answers for her medically fragile child. Another friend whose son has lost his soul to addiction. Another mom who is drowning in the depths of loss with her precious child’s untimely death…
When I was suffering greatly with my new baby having all sorts of medical issues, my husband would say in his secure, yet seemingly dismissive tone…
“You know-This too shall pass.”
I looked at him in despair and anger and screamed in my heart, “How dare you say that!!”
I always received his statement as a superficial cliché and was outraged. How could he say something so contrite and trivial at a time like this!! When our firstborn baby was in the hospital with RSV and we were hundreds of miles away from home and I was holding her as she struggled to put air in her lungs. “This too shall pass?” I just couldn’t hear it.
I seriously considered if our marriage would endure all these trials. I was face down in darkness and fear, and the one with whom I held those sacred vows: “In sickness and in health”… just seemed to throw out cliches with a nod and a shrug. It was almost worse than the nightmare of my child suffering. I was in pure shock and completely shaken.
Years later, having been through countless new nightmares, suffering, hardships, I now consider his phrase both profoundly motivating and cautiously inspiring.
As our lives continued through many valleys (and magnificent mountaintops too…but focusing on the valleys for now!), my husband’s words echoed through each turn, and I started to understand more clearly what this seemingly trivial and superficial phrase really revealed.
It developed into our “theme” for our family in finding strength and hope in confronting head-on, the monster trials we were facing. His words of wisdom that years ago were rejected and scorned…now lie in my heart and the heart of this home with an enduring light that often pulls us through.
“This too shall pass.”
What does this really mean?
Look at your life for the answer.
You have survived. There are faded memories of years gone by where you endured some of your most difficult days. And it passed…
You may have a permanent “limp” or a tender “scar”, but my guess is you are that much stronger for having survived. We all walk around with scars and limps. However, it’s those unique wounds planted in the fiber of our being that makes us all the wiser, stronger, victorious.
The people I find most heroic are the ones who have endured their dark days and rose to newer heights. It seems with our limps and scars, we still stand taller with each fall…slowly rising in triumph, having survived our hardest times.
How tall are you? How wise have you become? How mighty is your strength?
If you are “In. It.“, please take these words as a light to soak in and encouragement to carry on…
“This too shall pass…”
It may not feel like it now…but somehow it will. It may not pass in a way that is pleasing to you. It may stick around for years. But in some way, it will pass into something that transforms you. And the darkness will lighten into an acceptable, and adaptive new world.
You will walk a little taller.
You will limp a little harder.
You will shine a little brighter for having been through the darkness.
And if you let Him, God will strengthen you along the way. And guide you through each new corner you turn…
You can look back at all the winding roads of your life, and the darkness that drowned you, and remember, realize, and recognize you survived.
“This too shall pass” may be a whisper in your weary mind. A cliche that feels irritating and offensive. It did to me too. Yet in that phrase, may you truly understand the very depths of its meaning…
And may it empower you to go on.
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