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Embrace the Suck!

This is a commonly used phrase in our household. It may seem crass, yet it is a tried & true principle that even Navy Seals understand. Life is difficult. Challenges will come; in fact, the Bible assures us of this. Your mindset will determine whether you overcome or not. And this past year, I have had to embrace the suck daily. I’m so grateful I did!!

I recognize that this time of year brings about various gratitude posts asking you to count your blessings, to reflect on what went right, all that is good, and all that you have. And yes, I agree that doing that is so important. There are also wonderful blessings in counting all your failures, mishaps, mistakes, tough moments, and the junk you encounter, intentionally or accidentally.

There’s a delusion that once you give your life to Jesus, it’s all sunshine and rainbows. I’m not sure how this theory was started; I’m guessing it’s a very big stretch of the scripture in Romans where God promises to work all things together for good for those who are called in Christ Jesus. Yet, “all” things must happen first for something that needs reworking to exist.

And this year brought me ALL the things!! I’m not one to usually go looking for demons under every rock, but it sure felt like they were hiding everywhere I went. Everything I tried to get going in my business was an uphill battle that I lost. Not just the big things but those little annoyances that kept popping up. For example, my iPhone was not airdropping to my Macbook when I desperately needed it, even after I tried every solution possible. My blogs were lost in the cloud; my podcasts were not recording; my social media strategies were bombing; my calendars were not syncing; I had a few failed attempts at launching programs, confusing my audience, being ghosted by clients, rebranding, and rebranding again. The list can go on and on. This was on top of fumbling through daily life with teenagers and jam-packed schedules. I was being tested for sure, and it didn’t seem I was passing. There was only one hope, and it wasn’t Obi-Wan.

James 1: 2-4 NASB

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

God gave me the answer in a very difficult passage to live out! I did not consider anything joyful when I was in the moments of the trials. I certainly did not put 2 + 2 together that these trials were linked to my faith. I was very much in my feelings; I lost my temper, sulked and pouted, and finally, I surrendered; I cried out to God to seek His perspective on all the junk coming at me. Only then could I consider it joy, to be grateful, to strengthen my faith.

1. God reassured me that He was the gatekeeper to my life. Nothing, good or bad, comes into my life that does not first pass through His hands. If it was difficult, He knew how much I could stand. If it was a closed door, He shut it. If it was a no, He said it. Shifting my mindset to seeing God on the throne of my life was the beginning of understanding the purpose behind the trials. But there needed to be more. Knowing that God was allowing the trials into my life felt somewhat empty.

2. God reassured me that He was at work behind the scenes, turning what I deemed as “bad,” “unfair,” “difficult,” or “painful” into “good,” “just,” “easy,” and “joyous.” Remember the sunshine and rainbows verse. (Romans 8:28) In its proper context, there is tremendous power to transform your mindset and life! And yet, my overly emotional heart wanted more. I still felt confused.

3. God reassured me that He is Omniscient. He not only knows everything, but His knowledge is beyond my capacity to understand.

Isaiah 55:9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.

I am limited in my thinking simply because I am human. I have this curiosity that God gave me as a gift, yet I can never satisfy it on my own. There is so much that I do not have access to know or understand this side of heaven. This is where faith either strengthens itself or falls flat. Will I trust when I cannot understand? Will I stay the course without knowing the destination? Will I endure with no sight of relief? The hidden purpose of the trials.

My yesses did not come overnight. I wrestled. I negotiated. I tried to plead and bargain. I exhausted myself until I came to the simple acknowledgment that I believe the Lord was looking for all along:

I trust you, Lord.

Then came the peace. There was no significant turning of events other than my airdrop starting to work again; nothing else was resolved. I am still in the thick of it all, still having a few tantrums and crying out to God daily, but this time with a heart of love, surrender, and gratitude.

He is in control.

He is working on my behalf.

He is all-knowing.

Embrace the Suck with the Lord. You’ll be so grateful you did! If you need support, click below for a free Discovery session. Let's see what the Lord has in store for you!

cover image: Alex Green

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