Life as a Christian is not always easy and certainly doesn’t make you popular most of the time, but I have found that being a Christian I have real peace, a clear conscience, and a deep joy. Am I happy? Probably not in the world’s view, but yes, for the most part I am a contended and happy person. To me that is the reward of being a Christian.
Through out my life I have had times when I really struggled in knowing what was right to do. When I was in high school most of my classmates and peers were going to parties where there was an abundance of drugs and alcohol. Now not all my classmates used or abused drugs and alcohol. I made the decision not to go to parties and that decision made my life miserable in some ways. I never got asked on dates and I never knew if it was because of my faith or because of my size (I am a plus sized girl) or because of my big brother who was overly protective of me. It was miserable to always be on the sidelines of high school life. However, for the most part, I have never regretted that decision. Why? Because my memories of high school are good memories and not ones where I wished I would have made a better choice.
When faced with ill-health and wanting to die because my body was wracked by pain I struggled with how a loving God could make me suffer so greatly. This happened to me not just once, not just twice, but many times. I learned that there was a purpose and felt assured that life was God’s plan for me but Proverbs 3:5 was my mainstay…..Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, (New International Version, NIV).
There were two serious struggles with my faith that caused me to question how God works in our lives. The first was when my brother died a few days shy of his twenty-third birthday and a few days before Christmas. He was so young, newly married, and had so much promise ahead of him yet God called him home. The grief nearly killed me and my family. But in time and as my Mom always said, “with time, talk, and tears” God saw me through the hell of grief to the valley of peace.
The second time was when my thirty-four year marriage was ended. I thought I would die for sure. But again, God had a different plan. When I understood the parable of the wise man who built his house upon the rock and the foolish man who built his house upon the sand found in Matthew 7:24-27, I realized that my part of our home was built on the rock and therefore it withstood the storm of divorce. Again God was faithful to me and I survived and perhaps have even thrived.
Walk the walk don’t just talk the talk and life is manageable, bearable and perhaps even wonderful! That is my advice.
Until next time…Katherine