“(God) allowed me to fulfill a promise I made to Him in July of 2007, publishing a book offering hope to those who are hurting from the loss of a child. I have been able to encourage and understand friends and even strangers who have lost not just a child but any family member with understanding I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t experienced it myself.” (Cheri Swalwell, Choosing Joy)
In a blog post published on January 29, 2015, I spoke the above words. Sometimes when we are going through a trial or challenge in our lives, God uses that very experience so that we can better help someone else going through a trial/challenge of their own.
While the above experience I was referring to above happened in 2006, and I wrote the above words in December 2014, only God knew what challenge was going to cross our family’s path in January 2015. I’ve been speaking about the challenge we are currently facing and also the excitement that I have knowing God has a wonderful ending already planned out, in His time. However, no matter how much faith a person has, the road traveled during the trial can sometimes get discouraging. God loves His children so much that He has allowed our family to benefit from others’ encouragement as they are facing similar challenges presently or still remember the trial God allowed in their lives to help encourage us when we start to focus on the trial instead of the finish line.
Within a week period, God took four people whom I have close relationships with and blessed them so abundantly which offered encouragement to my family’s situation. The first blessing they possess is peace. You can hear it in their voice, see it on their face, and practically feel it on their skin. Despite the fact that only one of the four has seen the other side of the trial (the others are still walking in it, one almost to the finish line), the peace and joy they possess is palpable.
Anyone can get their hopes up about an adventure or challenge if they think they can work hard enough, put out enough resumes, or persevere long enough to “get over the hump” into better circumstances. However, that strategy doesn’t bring me peace. Only when I completely surrendered my agenda to God’s will, allowing Him to decide what direction He wanted me to travel, then I was flooded with His peace. It is so deep and so lasting that it’s still present despite no income and a prospective job but no signed contract.
Second and lastly, God showed me through tangible means He provided to my friends, blessings that only He could provide. Monetary, ideas that would turn into careers and cash flow for years, and job opportunities that relocated them to a different state but provided an income three times what they were making currently. God doesn’t promise that the answer He gives to our family will look like the answer He gave to these others. However, I do have the promise that whatever God chooses to bless our family with, it will be perfect for us and our situation.
It definitely bears repeating. God uses the trials/challenges in our lives to bless others while they are experiencing similar journeys just as God uses the trials/challenges of others to encourage us while we travel down our own. One more way God takes something Satan meant for evil and allows good to be produced from it.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015