Trials are one of the most difficult parts of life. When we’re in thick of them, it feels impossible to see our way out. But trials are what shape us into the people we’re meant to be. And that’s something to be grateful for.

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Trials. Not the most fun topic out there (understatement of the year), so I’ll get right to the point. We all have trials–some may be more visible than others–but we all have them. They’re a part of life. And one that I’m actually really grateful for.

Say what???!

I know that sounds crazy, but hear me out. Even if we aren’t grateful for the trial itself, we can find something to be grateful for from our trials. Like losing a loved one–I don’t see how anyone could ever be grateful for that, and nobody should have to be. But maybe you can try to find a silver lining, a small glimmer of something to hold on to that pulls you through.

Trials can be a blessing. A very hard blessing, but a beautiful one, if we choose to switch up our mindset.

Switching My Mindset

When we’re in the depths of our trials, it can be hard to see anything else. We can’t see past the pain or the hurt or the exhaustion or the “why me?”

I know when I’m dealing with trials, I tend to feel sorry for myself. I don’t want to, but I’m only human. And feeling sorry for myself is the easiest response to trials.

But lately I’ve been trying to focus on gratitude. And, when I stop and think about it, I really am grateful for my trials. I look at the trials other people have and I’m glad I have mine.

Don’t get me wrong, my trials haven’t been easy. In fact, they sometimes feel like an impossible burden to bear. Over the past few years, my biggest trial has been my mental health, and sometimes I wonder how I’ll even get through the next few minutes, let alone the rest of my life. Sometimes I worry about how my anxiety affects my kids and how it’s shaping the kind of adults they’ll become. Sometimes I fear I won’t ever get past it.

But at the same time, I know my trials are meant for me.

Lessons from Trials

Think about your past trials for a minute, and pick one that was especially difficult. When you came out of it did you feel stronger? Did you gain a friendship? Did you learn something about yourself or the world? Did you find strength you didn’t know you had? Was there some sort of silver lining?

More likely than not, the answer to one of the questions is yes. And if it isn’t, don’t give up hope. Sometimes the benefits of our trials take a long time to manifest. Maybe you went through a specific trial because your child is going to go through that same trial when they grow up and they’re going to need you to help them through it because you know what they’re going through. You’ve been there.

And maybe you’ll never get to see the benefit. Maybe your trial helped someone else, but you’ll never know it.

Your Trials Were Meant for You

I honestly believe that our trials are personalized for us. We’re given the trials we need to push us, teach us, and strengthen us. Our trials shape us into the people we need to be.

God won’t give us a trial we cannot bear. When we’re at the peak of our trials, that doesn’t feel like truth, but it is. Besides, He never meant for us to bear our trials alone. He gave us friends and family and neighbors to lean on, but most importantly, He gave us Himself. He felt all our pains and our sins and our hurts and our fears and our loneliness and our sicknesses and our hopelessness and our despair and our regret and our guilt. He felt it all, so we wouldn’t have to endure it alone.

Keep Going

So if your life feels heavy, if you’re dealing with a trial that feels dark and scary and lonely, take a deep breath and keep putting one foot in front of the other. It may seem impossible right now, but it’s going to lead you to where you’re meant to be.

You’ve got this!

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