Hello everyone! My name is Lisa. I am 57 years old and married to the hardest working man alive, Chris. Together, we are proud parents to 9 wonderful children who the Lord has blessed with their own, making me the grandmother to 12 grandchildren. I live a very blessed life but like most of you, I have faced and still face fear, doubt, worry, anxiety, depression, and the simple woes of life. 

I don’t know who coined the phrase, "God won’t put on us more than we can bear," but right before COVID began, I started experiencing that "more than I could bear feeling."  In February 2020, I became sick with Pneumonia only to follow up in March with shingles. Right after that, I could hardly open my mouth because of tremendous jaw pain. I have never really been sick other than the normal cold or allergy, but these 3 things were painful to walk through.

Soon after going through these things, all 6 of my grown children, one right after another, went through major life events; miscarriage, divorce, and PTSD. Each of those life-changing events caused many more confusing events but I think you get the picture. It was literally one thing after another and my emotions were raw. The grief through all of this was huge. As their mother, it was so hard to watch them go through all of this.
At the same time, my marriage was struggling. I don’t think Chris even knew how to begin to help  me, although he tried. It seemed like one of those things I had to walk through alone. I couldn’t even express how I was feeling because it seemed like so much to deal with.
Spiritually, I tried  to make sense of everything but it seemed I was about as low as I had ever been; sadness, grief, anger, and depression once again surrounded me. I felt empty. It was a dark place. 

All during these dark months, physically, spiritually, and emotionally I asked God for His Truth! I shut myself off from all of the voices I knew and asked to hear HIS VOICE and His alone. I began to journal and put all my thoughts on paper. I started writing my prayers and scriptures down. I had done this often in the past and it seemed I had to come back with what I knew. Slowly, I started seeing new life again. I started seeing the sunset, the birds singing. I began to realize that it was okay to smile. I even began to want to get up in the morning.
I can’t say that I don’t still have moments from time to time but I remember asking God for hope and joy.

I’ve known God since I was 9 years old but the things I have experienced with God during these times have brought me to a different place with Him. For that, I am grateful for the hard things; for the dark places.

I Peter 4:12-13 says, "Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trails you are going through as if something strange were happening to you, instead, be very glad for these trials that make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His Glory when it is revealed to all the world."
Our pain is never wasted. Sometimes when we are broken we see what Jesus went through for us. His pain purchased my hope, my peace, my joy; no matter what goes on in my life. I don’t get to choose sometimes what happens in this life but I get to choose to let Him use even the hard things to show me He’s my hope and He’s with me in the valley as well as on the mountain top!

If you find yourself going through some of the things I mentioned here or if you see yourself responding to life’s trials the way I did, I would say to you:

--hold on to your faith in God
--seek the truth of God instead of just letting your feelings spiral out of control

When you are overwhelmed, it’s okay to allow God to uncover those places of fear, insecurity, and even depression in your heart so He can heal you.

--take baby steps if you have to
--say to yourself, "He is with me, He is faithful."

Pretty soon, you will come out of it a little at a time. I had to give myself time too. I had to not worry what everyone expected of me and I had to put myself first. I had to find out what healing looked like for me.  
It probably won’t be instant, or easy at first, but if you’re willing to not stay stuck and if you’re willing to trust God to see you through, He will and you will be better for having gone through your trial.

I'm praying for you.