Our trials are designed for us to grow and blossom into what our final product in this life is intended to look like. I truly believe this, but I will admit that it is spiritual hope that allows me to.
I was reading a heart-wrenching and yet beautiful story in the newspaper over the last three days. It was about a young two year old girl, a big bundle of energy and joy, who was diagnosed with a form of cancer that has a mortality rate of 100%, usually within 3-6 months of the very first, tiniest symptom (hers was a small tremor in her hand.) As I read the courageous tale, really from her parents' point of view since she was too young to understand it all, I couldn't keep the feeling at bay that I could never, ever, handle such a trial. I will admit I am paralyzed by the notion of losing my husband or one of my children. I know in my mind that fear is the opposite of faith, but I am not at that point in my life journey to be there yet.
Perhaps that is not my trial to endure. I was conversing with a friend on the topic, and she noted that she was so grateful she hadn't had a big trial to endure yet in her life. I paused, and then countered her. Because our trials are tailor-made to us, somehow we come out on the other side, through the grace of God, stronger. Somehow the trial, though perhaps of great magnitude to others looking in, isn't undefeatable mountain to us. I mentioned about my own trial this past year - nine months of such illness that I could barely get out of bed, pain when I ate or moved or even breathed, nine months absent from raising my children, nine months of daily IV injections. It was long and dark. And yet somehow, now, it seems to very far away. In fact, it doesn't feel like it was that hard after all. At the time, of course, I felt like it would never end, never improve. But even this short passage of time, six months, has erased most of the darkness and left only the joyful feeling of conquering.
Then I turned the conversation on to my friend; she lost her father in a tragic accident when she was 12. That would be unimaginable for many people. Lots of teens might spiral out of control after such an event. But with God's love and grace she has grown into an amazing woman and married a good man who is a dedicated father to their children. She paused for a moment and said she had never considered how big that trial might seem to others.
And so it seems evident from these thoughts that while the idea of some trials might seem impossible, we know that our own messy life will be not just manageable, but conquerable.