Ella's swim numbers from last night.  Today I have been praising God for the gift of hospital free summers and the opportunity I have to watch my other children enjoy life.  

These trials have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:7-9

I have been suffering.  I've been suffering for a long time.  The pain and anguish I have felt over the past two years is more than I could ever put into words.  As a Christian, I have continually looked to God for strength, peace and mercy.  It hasn't always been easy though.  Many days I have been angry and scared.  Some days my heart hurts so badly that I can barely get out of bed.  Suffering.

My friend Kristie, who lost her son Justin more than a year ago, sent me the scripture above.  I love it and find myself relating to it so closely.  Through our suffering our faith is made genuine.  Do you understand what that means?  It's taken me some time to digest and I am still working on it.  Through our suffering we are receiving our salvation.  This is so huge.  

Our pastor spoke recently on the topic of suffering.  A visiting pastor also spoke this past Sunday about suffering as well.  One of the things that they both mentioned is that God brings us closer to him through suffering because it is then that we have a small, tiny, glimpse of what Christ did for us on the cross.  When we ache and groan and mourn we can feel, in the most infinitesimal moment, what God felt as His son was crucified.  

I truly believe that God has brought me closer to Him through the trials I have faced over the past two years.  I no longer have sympathy for people, but rather empathy.  When my grandfather passed away last week I ached not for his passing, but rather for my grandmother.  As a mother who has almost lost a child, I could feel the hurt that she was suffering for the loss of her husband.  I remember wondering how int eh world I would ever go on living with Lucy.  I stopped breathing when I thought about never holding her again, never touching or smelling her again.  As I think about my grandmother now I know she must miss my grandfather so much.  They were together for 65 years.  I pray for her so many times during the day.  

Everyday I am learning more about God, myself and our relationship.  I am so thankful for His saving grace and His love for me, even when I doubt the most.  Praise God we have so much more than this Earth for which to long.  

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