7. Just Keep Swimming
Perseverance. Perseverance. PERSEVERANCE. This is going to be a short practical because it’s very straight forward.
Don’t stop praying. Don’t stop reading your Bible. Don’t isolate yourself from those who love you and can help you. Don’t give up on the progress you’re making as you face yourself and choose to grow. I know it’s so hard and at times can feel like you haven’t made any improvement, but you have!!
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I’ll be real, the past week was terribly discouraging and I was wondering if I’d ever see get on the other side, but I didn’t give up. I was slowly crawling to God asking for His strength, encouragement, and peace and He provided. At the time I wasn’t so sure, but looking back on the week, it’s clear that He definitely provided. God gave me recovering time with Him to cry, pray, and be strengthened through His Word and Spirit. He also sent a few peeps my way who inspired me to hang in there and remind me of how much God has already transformed me in the last few months. Christianity is not meant to be lived out alone.
“Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.”
8. Share Because You Care
If you’re making the most of your self-inflicted suffering, you’re probably learning heaps right now. I know I am. DON’T KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!! I firmly believe that the things we go through in life are meant to not only shape us personally, but to help those we encounter. In the past couple of months, I’ve caught myself saying so many times to people around me, “Don’t be like me!!! Don’t make the mistakes I’ve made!! Be wise!!” Here’s a couple of accurate depictions of what those interactions look like:
Maybe don’t approach them so unhinged, but you get the picture.
Your experience can totally teach and protect someone else, testimonies are quite powerful. Especially the ones where you have messed up and it exploded in your face! It’s relatable and gives hope to those who know all too well the darkness within their own hearts.
Grace, mercy, love, and so many other virtues, grow out of these difficult times and everyone needs more of that! For some reason it’s way easier to listen to someone who has laid bare their imperfections than someone who’s trying to keep up appearances.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.“
God wants us to be beneficial to each other, but there’s a way He recommends on how to carry it out. We need to look honestly at ourselves and humbly allow wise people to tell us what’s going on in our blind spots. Next, we get to work on cleaning out what’s been festering behind the scenes in our hearts and minds. Then, we can see clear enough to begin expressing to others what God has taught us in that time. You won’t be perfect, but you will have healed enough in some ways to extend a helping hand to those stumbling onto a rough path. In the next verse, Jesus warns us to be wise in who we give these golden nuggets of wisdom and insight to.
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
Have you ever tried to tell someone something and they were just not ready to hear it? It goes bad, real bad. Sometimes they give you the cold shoulder or maybe you get yelled at or receive the infamous death stare. It’s not fun. But haven’t we all been this person probably multiple times in our lives? #AnUncomfortableTruth
Wisdom gained through repentance is described by Jesus as sacred and equivalent to the worldly value of pearls. Speak about what you’ve learned! It’s loving and life saving for someone out there. Deliver it with tact and choose wisely who you share these new revelations with. You have a magnificent treasure that is not meant to be hoarded.
Many people in my life have expressed how grateful they are that I have chosen to pass on what I’ve gleaned in my suffering. It has safeguarded them in their own lives and kept them from making unwise choices. It’s vulnerable for me to share, but worth it to see how it has benefitted others.
9. Find the Silver Lining
Ah, the last directive that has personally aided me in this suffering journey 😭 Hope. Hope will keep you going. I’ve decided to set my hope in God and not the outcome of this time. I may never have certain things restored to me once I learn the lessons God wanted to teach me, but I will still have Him. I will still have these new treasures of wisdom, encouragement of knowing I’ve helped others, new insights about myself, and a renewed mind and heart.
Can’t stand him, but President Snow has a point.
Fear of making another mistake, never growing, or missing out on wonderful things can be paralyzing. But hope in the right thing, or should I say right One, will keep you moving forward.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
The wise turtle I mentioned in the first part of this series brought this scripture to my attention a month ago and asked me, “Do you think this proverb is describing two different women?” To which I quickly responded yes.
What do you think? I’ll give you a moment to let it simmer. Take your time. It’s a judgement-free zone.
Got your final answer ready? Okay, so this turtle BLEW MY MIND and told me it’s the SAME. WOMAN.
“Anijah, how can a foolish woman tear down her house that was never built?”
YAAAAAALLLLLL!!!!!!! I was shook. SHOOKETH. Afterwards, I was so comforted and inspired because that means I can be wise too and build my own house up again after all of the tearing down I’ve done due to my folly. HOW BEAUTIFUL.
As mentioned in part two, wisdom comes from God and He is more than happy to provide it to each of us if we humbly ask. He will give us whatever we need to rebuild what we have demolished, beginning first in our very soul. Not only that, but He will do the majority of the work because He has the power to do so and deep love for us. That really excites me to keep persevering to see what my new house will look like. Trusting God’s heart is essential to allowing Him to mold us in times of suffering and repentance.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”-Romans 5:2-6
I hope this guide to savvy suffering has given you some encouragement and guidance for your own trials. God has blessed me with so much understanding in this crazy season I’m in, what kind of person would I be to not share it with others? A selfish one. Thanks so much to everyone who has prayed for me and shared their wisdom with me!!
If any readers have some wise nuggets that you didn’t see in this list PLEASE POST IN THE COMMENTS!!! Let’s help each other succeed! ♥️ Until next time friends…
Moore Awaits ♥️