Today’s Truth

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 (James 1:2-4 NIV)

Friend to Friend

I watched my friend, Patricia, struggle through more than twenty years of a difficult marriage. Her husband left three times during the two decades—once before their three children were born, and twice after. They lived through nineteen different homes in multiple cities, revolving jobs, rumored affairs, cycles of financial plenty followed by financial deficiency. Eventually, after twenty-three years, Rodney packed his bags for the last time and left. The divorce was final the following year. That long chapter was over.

I don’t like to struggle, and I don’t like to see my friends struggle. I like for life to be easy. I want all my friends to love me all the time, I want my husband to agree with my every decision, I want my bosses to think every idea is brilliant, and I want God to answer my every prayer with a check mark.

But in truth, deep down I know that an easy life will never produce a strong woman who trusts in God with all her heart…and that’s who I really want to be.

One night Jesus was praying on a mountain while His disciples were in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. He looked down and saw that the disciples were straining with the oars, struggling with the wind, and bailing water over the edge. But He wasn’t worried.

Jesus calmly walked on the water, got in the boat, and commanded the winds and the waves to settle down. And they obeyed. And the disciples were amazed.

Jesus could have simply spoken to the wind and waves from the mountaintop. After all, He was already talking with His Father. But He didn’t. He allowed the disciples to struggle. More important than relieving their straining was strengthening their faith. They needed to know who He was, not just what He did. If He had stopped the struggle while they were in the middle of it, they might have never known that He was the One who controls it all. A different perspective. A different point of view.

James wrote: 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 (James 1:2-4 NIV). I wonder what life would be like if I truly did consider trials pure joy?

One day I asked Patricia if she regretted marrying her ex-husband, and her answer was stunningly beautiful. “If I had not married him, I would not have the strong faith that I have today. If life had been easy, I think I would have a flabby faith that could maybe quote Scripture but not necessarily believe it. I would have grown spiritually sloppy rather than spiritually strong.

“Because I had to depend on God to provide for me and my children, especially emotionally, I know God as my Provider. Because I had to depend on God’s love for me when I didn’t get it from my husband, I know the depths of His love for me. Because I had to stand on God’s Word when the world around me was falling apart, I know the Rock on which my feet are planted. Had I not gone through those difficult years, I would not have the trust in God that I have today. He gives me life. He is my life.”

We’ve all been hurt by life and struggled in some form or fashion; no one is immune to suffering. But rather than view the pain as our burden to bear, what if we considered it a gift for growing? Healing on the other side of heartbreak is not simply returning to how we were before but becoming better than we would have been without it—someone stronger, someone wiser, someone gentler. And that’s something we all want.

Let’s Pray

Father, thank You for the struggles that have made me stronger. I know there are so many lessons I would have never learned in comfort and ease. Help me to look for the lessons in the hardships of life and grow in the grace You give.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Look up and read 1 Peter 4:12-13. Even though trials are no fun, what does this passage say is the upside? What is one struggle you’ve experienced that has made you stronger? Leave a comment and let’s share.

More from the Girlfriends

We’ve all got parts of our stories that we’d like to tear out or mark out of the narrative. I’ve got them. You’ve got them. But what if your worst chapters could become your greatest victories? What if the worst parts could become the most powerful tools that God uses in the life of others? I know that they can. Check out my book, When You Don’t Like Your Story, and let’s learn how together!

© 2022 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

19 Responses to “Healing on the Other Side of Heartbreak”

  1. The death of my husband

  2. JJ Koeske says:

    In early 2020 it was time for my dad to go to a nursing home. I wanted him in one that was close to me (10 minutes away) as I had been caring for him in my home for 20 years and wanted to continue to care for him as much as I could. Covid hit, his dementia worsened and the nursing home he was in couldn’t handle him. It was hard to get people into a nursing home during Covid so he had to move to one 45 minutes away from me in another state. It was the only one available to take him. I was so angry. I had to apply for Medicaid for him again in this new system, I couldn’t see him, there was so much red tape and customer service has a whole new meaning these days. I was numb, paralyzed with fear and frustration that I couldn’t fix this.
    Then God hit me right in the face with a story told of why I needed to go struggles.
    Turns out this new nursing home is the best place for him. The staff is amazing & so helpful. I’m far away but it’s teaching me that I need to have a life on my own. I visit when I can, send meals and groceries. I’ve learned to trust God again. Sometimes we forget

  3. Charyl says:

    This brought me to tears especially as I read the response from your friend who had endured a painful marriage. God has been trying to show me this truth and I have had difficulty receiving it. When I read her response it struck deep in my heart and I felt like God was saying to me, “See this is what I’ve been trying to show you. You’re faith is stronger and has a foundation that will not crumble because of the challenges you have faced and continue to even now.”

  4. D Marie says:

    I guess my last comment was too long, I could write a faith filled story about our journey. I will try to shorten it up. We received a phone call from USAF our son had been gravely injured, amputated at the scene, it was ‘minute, by minute, hour, by hour’ after 9 h0ur drive to get by his side, I never left his side for over a year. I left the life I knew of 50 years, left everyone I ever knew, loved or cared about beside him, to live in a very unfamiliar military world, the hospital was in the largest city in America,where all the traumatically injured, battle injuries, and fatal illness of the military went. I was from a very, very rural town. It was not and still is not always easy and have found myself alone on this journey frequently, but our Lord and Savior never leaves my side.
    I really could write so much more and would love to share my faith filled story some day. I just am sharing some hope for those who think they are alone. He never leaves our side.
    My prayer life has always been more of a gratitude one, have always found it hard to ask for anything. Grateful for all he has givin me and all he has taken away.
    With Strength,Comfort,Peace and Love to all,
    God Bless each and everyone of you!

  5. yvette says:

    as in this story, I also was married for 34 years when my husband left me for a “younger model”…but as with this story, the Lord has used it to bring me back to Him, after 10 years of backsliding. So even tho he hates divorce, He allowed it for my walk in Him to grow and mature. I cannot imagine living my life without my Lord, He has supplied ALL of my needs in the last 8 years as a “single”. and He has taught me to totally lean on Him and trust in Him for every area in my life. My circumstances might never change but my heart towards them has…Thank you Lord for loving me and NEVER giving up on me !!!

  6. Debbie says:

    My divorce.My marriage was very similar to the woman in today’s message. After 12 years of marriage and two children my vision of “happily ever after” diminished and my new reality of raising two small children and learning to live a single life began. I learned to trust and have faith like I had never known! I cannot say the path was easy because it was certainly not! I can say God became my strength, my husband, my provider. I was able to put a roof over our head,and food on the table.I worked multiple jobs at one time, I cried,had pity parties,and felt overwhelmed and tired.God always picked me up, reminded me of how much I am loved and encouraged me to keep going.

    33 years later my now adult children have families of their own, and understand the struggles we faced in the past,and they also understand the provisions God gave us to live independently.

    I did not remarry, I did earn a degree which secured a position with a large company, I have a secure retirement, and enjoy the blessings of my grandchildren. When my ex husband passed away god sent me to his deathbed to ask for and receive forgiveness. This was and is today one of the most challenging but relevant steps God instructed me to do. Praise God for loving me,challenging me,and allowing this sinner to trust and be faithful in all circumstances.

  7. Monica says:

    I have had a lengthy career in the criminal justice system and more recently working with Veterans. It’s hard to hear people’s difficult stories and see them continue to suffer and struggle. There is so much you want to do for them to make their lives better, but I have now realized you can provide the opportunities to help them empower and help themselves, but they get to choose their healing path, not me, and it happens in their time, not mine. It is so much like our relationship with Christ. Our struggles don’t necessarily get easier, but faith in God helps us manage them and provides us with an assurance that something good will come out of our trials, but you need to have faith to not only know that, but truly believe it. We don’t have to look to far back in our histories to know this to be true.

  8. Jeanne says:

    We have a mentally handicapped son who has so many times brought us to our knees before our Lord Jesus. He is also bipolar. He is now 40 years old. We would not be the believers we are today if not for Josh. God has brought us through each and every trial. We are in a moment of peace right now but we know he will get us through anything that is to come. He is faithful and we are blessed beyond anything we could have planned for ourselves. My other 3 children are also blessed! Jeanne

  9. Alisa Sisk says:

    I have and am still going through a period of estrangement with my daughter, my sister, and somewhat my mother. My son recently ended his estrangement with us. During this time, I became angry with God because I knew that he could end the estrangement and reunite my family,but He didn’t. I gave up my anger and found comfort along with my son. I now know that I needed to know God and be a more mature Christian.
    I pray that the rest of my family will return and that I can also learn to cope with feelings that are difficult. I know that with God all things are possible!

  10. Dawn says:

    Wow, your words certainly hit alot of us. Divorce after 23 years of marriage – after years of lifting my husband up, praying for him, and trying to be a Proverbs woman – he left me an empty nester & alone at 50. But guess what? He and that chapter were a blessing from God! I have found my calling – being a mom to 726 kids at a high school – while loving my own adulting kids from provinces (and countries away). My life is very different – quiet, peaceful, and plenty of time to think about the mysterious ways God brings us exactly what we need — even though we pray pray pray and pray more to escape the mud and scars — that might be exactly what God has planned for us to recognize the gift he has given us. I am at peace, and pray for the same for you lovely women going through a challenge.

  11. Pamela says:

    Wow. Such a beautiful devotional that lit a light bulb in my thoughts. I had terrible things happen to me when I was young. And some terrible things that happen to me now as an adult. Sometimes I would wonder why God allows terrible things to happen to his children. But it is all in his plan to give us strength and a deeper relationship with Him (if that makes sense). I am not weak. I am strong with God in my heart.

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