No Pain, No Gain
In high school I had a basketball coach who used to say to our team, "No pain no gain" as he would make us run horses up and down the basketball court. I can remember the burning pain in my legs and my lungs as I pushed my body to keep going. At times I would be near collapsing while thinking "I just can't do this anymore!", while so desperately wanting to just sit down and give up. But, as the season would progress, the runs would get somewhat better as my body began growing stronger and my endurance strengthened. My emotional and mental state was built up with each winning game, giving me more determination to keep pressing on.
I must say that going through grief over the last 15 months has resembled many of those same similarities. In the beginning there were so many days that were excoriatingly painful and days that I thought I just can't do this anymore. But as the days went by they quickly turned into weeks. Before I knew it months had gone by and I had accomplished many small victories in my life. As I look over the last year I stand amazed at the working of God and how He has strengthened me in many aspects of my life. That phrase "No pain, no gain" has become more than just a remembrance of a high school coach and running horses, but it has now penetrated every area of my life.
Through the pain of losing Jon, I have gained a relationship with Christ I would have never imagined. I have had to become totally dependent upon Him. And, as I look over this last year, I have seen Him bless me, comfort me, and strengthen me in amazing ways. There are still days that I battle the pain of grief. The Holidays and the birth of my new grandson brought about some of that pain. But I now know, through experience, that if I let Him the Lord will work those moments into bettering my life for Him. Sometimes I envision Jon standing in Heaven cheering me on. I can hear his voice saying "Come on honey, you can do this! If you could glimpse some of what I know now, you would give it all you have." We all have choices we have to make every day, and making the choice to learn, grow, and gain from any of our pain is just one of them.
So my questions to you are: Are you gaining from all your pain? Are you giving God all you have? This life is short and our troubles are so temporary. Will you use them to allow the Lord to accomplish a greater good in you that has an eternal value? My prayer is that we will all let God do new things in our lives this year in 2022. That we will hear Jon's voice and give it all we have and we will allow God to direct our paths like streams in the wilderness. That we will be bold and strong as the day of the Lord approaches!
To all of you who have followed me over the last year, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Many of you have been so kind and gracious in the comments you have left. It is not easy for me to put my feelings and thoughts so vulnerably out there for the world to read, but your encouragement has kept me pressing on and continuing my blog post. I look forward to seeing what God has ahead for me in the upcoming year and how I can share with you what the Lord is doing in my life. Praying that it may strengthen and encourage you as well. May these two verses below embolden you as we enter 2022!
God Bless each of you!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corinthians 4:16-17
"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43: 18-19