Abuse, addiction, rape, abandonment, attempted suicide. The scenarios were different, but the pain was the same. My heart broke a little with each story.
Meeting with aspiring authors at a writers' conference gives me the unique opportunity to hear their stories first-hand. I'm always amazed as I listen intently to the testimonies of how God protected, provided, and delivered them from their own personal hell. It excites me to watch them eagerly share everything God has done for them and how He brought them into complete freedom. Each story is inspiring and encouraging.
As I think about each person and their individual struggle, it humbles me and gives me a fresh perspective on my own life and how God has blessed me in so many wonderful ways. It brings me to repentance for all the times I've been discontent, whining and complaining over trivial circumstances and situations. It makes me realize the importance of having a heart full of thanksgiving and praise.
If you're in the middle of a struggle today and you feel as if the waves are taking you under for the last time, look around you for someone to touch with God's love that is going through something more devastating than you ever thought possible. Then...look to the One who can "work all things together for good." He will never let you down.