This is a continuation of a series every Friday where I will be highlighting the growth and healing of one of my readers, a new reader each week. These, my sweet ones, are their brave and vulnerable stories. Take heart…you are not alone. -Elisabeth
I want to KNOW God. Really know Him. Know His voice, His presence, His character, His heart, all of Him. I have wanted to know God intimately for most of my life, but the journey has been particularly intense and intentional in the past number of years. Several years ago, the verse fragment: “I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection,” floated through my mind frequently and it became something I incorporated into my regular prayers. YES! I want to know God and “yes” to His resurrection power too! That all sounds fantastic.
Some time later, I looked up the full verse: Philippians 3:10. As I eagerly lapped up the easily-recalled first part, my heart stopped a little at the second part: “…and the fellowship of His sufferings, becoming like Him in death.” Yeesh. This was not exactly what I had been thinking I was praying for, but reminded of the reality that the two- knowing Him and His resurrection power AND participating in his suffering even unto death- go hand in hand, I surrendered and accepted it was a most worthwhile endeavor. As it is, life brings with it many trials, and why not allow those to draw me even closer to a KNOWING of my Savior rather than fighting things I couldn’t control anyway.
And over the course of my life, and particularly in recent times, I have learned something of the fellowship with Him in His sufferings. How many of these sound familiar to you? Rejection, abandonment, misjudgments, unfair and even false accusations, heartbreak, loneliness, the falling away of friends and loved ones in the face of hard times and confusing developments, the desire to FIGHT, but trying to remember that the real battle is not of flesh and blood, the unenviable experience of my motivations and intentions being picked apart and made suspect, scrutiny of my experiences and convictions to see if they measure up, the constant distraction of pain that requires a constant refocusing of my mind and heart… Have I suffered as Jesus did? Nope. He was perfect in every part of His being and utterly undeserving of any of it; I am decidedly far from it. But, I think I can safely say I have *tasted* of the sufferings and let there be no mistake: I do not like it one bit.
BUT…here is the good news for my heart and yours: I bet this pain is going to bear the fruit of the powerful resurrection someday… and not just in the someday, but even in the today. I can already see glimmers of it, I’ve even tasted some of the fruit along life’s way already… but there’s so much more; resurrection power is no joke. That, I can’t wait for and will persevere in hopes of. God is so very good, and today, I fellowship in His sufferings and grow in my knowing of Him who knows me completely and loves me beyond my wildest imagination.
If this sweet woman’s post resonated with your heart, please know that you are not alone. Here are a few resources for you:
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If in a difficult marriage: Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage is available as a PDF/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books
If separated/divorced: Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage is available in paperback/e-book: http://tinyurl.com/phowp95
If a single mom: Moving on as a Christian Single Mom is available in paperback/e-book: www.elisabethklein.com/books