Pain vs Suffering: One Enables Growth During Hardship (Part 2)

adversity choices divorce faith pain vs suffering positive growth
A strong faith strengthens resiliency.

My Christian Faith

Over the years, my Christian faith has grown stronger with each hardship I endured. I can't imagine going through my darkest times without the Holy Spirit interceding on my behalf when I was unable to turn my groans into words of prayer. I remember during one hardship in 2000, I went into my closet feeling so hopeless and crying to Jesus Christ to relieve my pain. I felt this wonderful peace come over me and I knew things were going to be alright. I haven't had that experience again but I know my Heavenly Father hears my prayers. You can read about My Story here.

During my divorce process, I went on a quest to find a bible study that would keep me focused on God's promise of being my Rock and my Refuge in times of trouble.

There's a Bible Study For Divorce?

Yes, there is. After researching bible studies online, I decided on Kay Arthur's Finding Hope After Divorce (40-Minute Bible Studies). Click here for the Amazon link. This 6-week study was just what I needed to be in God's Word daily.

I felt like such an emotional mess and a failure with this divorce. Over the past few years, I wasn't seen as a wife and mother. I was seen as the accountant and business partner who ran my husband's business.

For some spouses, it's easier to run away from life's problems by having fun with someone outside the marriage than to face responsibilities and accountability by working with their marriage partner. Some marriage partners choose to stay committed to their wedding vows, especially "for better or for worse, until death do us part".

The Fruit of the Holy Spirit Fills That Empty Feeling

God is the God of hope in times of trouble. Studying the bible reminds me why God loves me so much and provides everything I need to feel worthy, to feel loved, and to trust His promises. God can bring good out of every situation, even an unexpected divorce.

When one is stuck on the emotional rollercoaster and in the anger stage, it is so hard not to lash out at the one who hurt or betrayed them. Sin hides in the dark but truth shines in the light.

As Christians, we have a choice as to who we let control us: the Holy Spirit or the flesh (sin). The Holy Spirit fills that empty place inside us so we have power over sin. The Holy Spirit gives us love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23).

Sin keeps one constantly searching for some thing to fill that empty space inside but they find is never satisfying. The sin causes deceit, betrayal, and secrecy. Examples are drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, eating, gambling, shopping, etc. Sin is a vicious cycle. As I said before, sin hides in the dark but truth shines in the light.

The only way that emptiness can be healed is with the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. God wants the sinner to repent, feel remorse for their sin, confess with their heart that Jesus is their Lord and Savior, and live their life according to God's purpose for them.  Mark 12:30-31 (NIV) says to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength...love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. 

When the Teacher becomes the Student

It's been nine months since my ex-husband chose to end our 27-year marriage. Over the past four months, I've had more better days than bad. However, I'm go through another hardship from my divorce.  Time to practice my coping skills and trust God to use this frustrating situation for good.

Currently, I'm fighting to get my military health insurance reinstated under my social security number since I've been verified as a 20/20/20 unremarried former spouse. The facts of my situation aren't difficult but no one with the military seems to want to understand my situation. I won't go into details here but I finally had to get my Congressman's office involved. I was able to get a staffer to understand my situation so they are in the process of relaying my message to the military again. 

Due to this insurance debacle, I haven't had my heart transplant nor breast cancer follow up appointments for the past four months. April 26th will be the one year anniversary of my heart transplant. My heart doctors are upset with my insurance company for not allowing me to follow their first year heart transplant recovery protocol. If my Congressman's office is unsuccessful in helping me get the military to reinstate my health insurance then I have one last option to try that is within my control. 

Positive Growth After My Divorce

 With each major adversity I've experienced, I asked God to give me wisdom and guidance to get through my hardship and He did. Let me clarify, God gave me wisdom and guidance according to His timing, not mine. God's timing is always perfect.

While I'm waiting for my military health insurance to be reinstated, I continue to practice my coping skills. I'm writing in my Growth Journal, following my daily bible reading plan, staying positive, finding the humor in my day, and being grateful for friends and family. 

God gave me a problem-free heart transplant so I could trust Him to provide what I needed when going through my divorce. God knew I would have a bumpy ride so He reminded me of my purpose. He gave me a new heart and a new business with opportunities to help others transform their hardship into hope.

It is possible to transform hardship into hope and experience positive growth during adversity. My daily mantra is hunt the good stuff, find the humor, keep positive, and focus on your blessings. God can bring good out of every situation.

What is your daily mantra?

This is a two-part series. To read Part 1, click here.

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