Monday, June 23, 2014

GUEST BLOGGER FOR THE MONTH OF JUNE: Suffering = Endurance + Character * Hope + Shamelessness

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV):
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, 
because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Suffering = Endurance + Character * Hope + Shamelessness

My mother = Endurance + Character * Hope + Shamelessness

I substituted “suffering” with my mother because she is the product of that formula. Endurance.

Character. Hope. Shamelessness. Yes, I hate math too, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t come in handy

If you know me, you know my mother. I’ve been called her “mini-me” all of my life. I’ve always clung to
her, ran after her...heck, I even look like her! And I always always always wanted to be in her presence.
Her company wasn’t consistent, though. I can’t quite remember how old I was when she got sick, but
just know I was young (elementary school days). I’m the oldest of 4 so imagine that.

I won’t go into detail but my mom was in and out of the hospital majority of my life. (Here is the full story: ) She’s had over 7-8 unsuccessful surgeries that have caused her to be disabled. She can’t walk. She can’t work. And just last year, she had a stroke. So she can’t quite speak or think as well as eloquently as she used to either.

I’m not here to drone on and on of how difficult this is for my family. I’m not looking for pity but I’m
here to share with you the product of my pain.

Throughout all this, my mother has never once blamed God, cursed God, or turned her back on Him.
She THANKS Him. Isn’t that crazy? All these hospital bills., that never ending fight with her body, near
death experiences and yet she’s still implanting a mother figure and wife role and dependable friend for
children, a faithful husband and those around her. She still rejoices in the LORD! I know of many that are so quick to get angry at God when something goes wrong. But I also know someone who praises God when everything is wrong.

This woman has taught me to not question God’s motives. I see the many hearts touched by my mother’s
story. I mean, everyone loves stories. But it’s rare to receive a message that sticks. My mom’s encouraging, joyous and uplifting attitude is how she survives. She moans in pain, but doesn’t complain. She prays, reads, and she smiles because she knows her purpose and she has the strength to live because her joy is in sharing the love of our Father. She has endured immeasurable hardships. Yet her character has grown in complexity and depth. She has hope that she will be delivered - if not here, then when she is called Home. And her shamelessness of the Gospel is revealed every single time she opens her mouth. There is joy in suffering because there is purpose and it’s the same for whatever God helps you overcome, too. I may not have experienced these pains throughout my own body but through the piercing of my heart, I know that her pain is mine.

Now...imagine the pains Jesus underwent and still undergoes when we sin? When we hurt Him? When
we neglect our purpose? He died so that we can live. There’s joy in that, right?


1 comment:

  1. I'm so late, but forgot to comment before...THANKS, TARAH! Your mother's story is very touching. God Bless