Wednesday, May 9, 2018

What Adversity Teaches Us


ad·ver·si·ty
ədˈvərsədē/
noun
noun: adversity; plural noun: adversities
difficulties; misfortune.
"resilience in the face of adversity"
synonyms:misfortune, ill luck, bad luck, trouble, difficulty, hardship, distress, disaster, suffering, affliction, sorrow, misery, tribulation, woe, pain, trauma...




Ben White, Unsplash
Oddly, the list ends with this single word:  "More..." And you can click on that four-letter word to find even more synonyms for this one single word.

Great. More adversity! Let's PARTY!!!! ;)

But here's the good side of this.

Adversity is universal.

It affects everyone.

No one is immune.

You're probably thinking "What the heck? What's the use? What's the point? WHY ME????"

Okay, before you go all "Eeyore" on me (and you probably have guessed I'm not a big Eeyore fan, I'd have shipped that critter off to the glue factory long ago but he's fictional and I can simply avoid him... and I do! In a house loaded with kids' books, you will not find whiny old Eeyore even though I think Classic Pooh kids bedding is adorable. I'm fickle that way)

Think roller coaster. Picture mountains. Sing "God Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts.

Andrew Neel, Unsplash.com




Broken roads happen.

Life kinda sucks sometimes. Grief lives among us. And it's heartbreaking and gut-wrenching... but it's also real and if nothing else, all stories should have a grain of real embedded in them. This crosses genre. Comedy without reality is usually weak and um... stupid.

Strife not rooted in reality has a weak cornerstone and readers will pick up on that pretty quick.

Courtesy of Samuel Martins, Unsplash.com

But this isn't about adversity in stories.

This is about adversity in life.

Our lives.

Ben White, Unsplash


If you're born with the "worry gene" is that a bad thing? Or does it help you to be more aware of potential disaster than your more devil-may-care counterparts?

I don't know. I don't know if this is better or worse for introverts because it shouldn't be a contest, right?

Ben White, Unsplash

People get sick. They die. Mortgages get defaulted on. Children leave. Children come back with children of their own. Parents age. Parents die. Businesses fail. Jobs are lost. New jobs might be a shadow of the old job's wages. People lose children. They lose babies. Babies are born with grave health issues. Mental health issues crop up. Children fail out of school. Fall in with a bad sort. Get hooked on drugs or crash a car or a motorcycle.

Kyle Broad, Unsplash

Life isn't a smooth plane. It's not a level playing field. It's not always fair and not always good and not always wholesome.

We write fictional stories and we fix things but the reality is that we can't wave a keyboard and fix those things in real life.

It doesn't happen.

In real life we slog through the good, the bad and the ugly.

We forge ahead with whatever wherewithal we can muster.

We put our shoulders to the wheel or the grindstone or whatever we're supposed to put our shoulders to.

We don't quit.

We don't whine.

We don't give up.


Believe me on this: All jobs are tough when you're stressed. All jobs are a drain on mind and time and substance when you're worried. But if you're working a time-clock job, you can't just take six months off and wallow in despair.

I don't honestly know if that's good or bad. 

I'd love to hear what you think because you've all suffered. You've all lost loved ones or been thwarted in careers or jobs or marriage or parenthood.

I think adversity teaches us to be stronger people. Better Christians. (Generally I compare my adversity to third-world countries and then realize I'm about the biggest whiner in the world. Perspective being a great teaching tool!)

Fischer Twins, Unsplash
But what do you think? Has climbing mountains and fording rivers helped you? Or left you broken?

I've got a fresh copy of "More Than a Promise" my newest re-release, and it's a book you're going to love because no one can read this book... and see the antics of these naughty boys.... and witness the pain the adults have gone through without outright cheering for a happy ending!

Before the boys blow themselves up, the little darlings! :)


Leave a comment below.... join in the dance!... and tell us what you think about adversity and how it's helped or hindered you.

No one here will judge you.

But we just might be able to help.



 Multi-published, bestselling and award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne loves to share her opinions with anyone who'll listen, and she's willing to bribe them with giveaways to make that happen! Clearly her family has had enough of her loving lectures to last a good long while!

Find her on facebook where she loves to chat and pray with others, follow her on Amazon or Bookbub (which makes her editors SO HAPPY! or stop by her website ruthloganherne.com 

She loves to meet readers, writers and has a great love for small and sometimes naughty people! And dogs... and chocolate and coffee. All of which make her smile a lot!




60 comments:

  1. Well, now this is first...me being the first to comment. Of course there could be someone else commenting right now.

    Adversity in life is a given. It's not fun, but I have learned in all my years that it is like going through a refining fire and when I come out of the situation I am usually better for it. As most of you know, I lost my wonderful mother/best friend in February 2017. It was awful losing her yet wonderful knowing she's with the Lord and I'll see her again one day. It has taken me most of the last year to stop crying daily...now I'm living with the memories and it's wonderful when we see something and my husband or I say "Mom would love it." or we laugh about things that we shared with my Mom over the years. It has been hard and it has been a real test of my character dealing with her passing and all the 'drama' from my Sister's family afterward. But I have learned some valuable lessons and the biggest is the reassurance that God has never left me, nor will He.

    May you all be blessed.

    Blessings,
    Cindy W.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cindy, losing my dad, I still, after 16 years, see something and think, "I'd love to talk to Dad about that."
      He always had the best way of looking at the world. Talking to him was always fun.

      Delete
  2. Cindy, thank you for sharing that story. I know what you mean about the 'drama' aspects... and grief and anger can rise up during times of trouble... and then be healed in retrospect. And sometimes healing comes hand in hand with strife and grief in the most unexpected ways.

    Sending you blessings right back.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this post I needed it today. I was so discouraged last night and ready to quit. Yes I was in tears but not wallowing. I cried out to the Lord. He reminded me of the last words from my mom. Don't quit your writing. Then I had 2 friends contact me and encourage me. Adversity can make you stronger especially if you trust the Lord. Even if critics think that makes a character unbelievable.

    I will continue with my writing even if it means I am not popular because God is my strength.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wilani, I wholeheartedly agree! My first writings were so stiff and telling and not at all what I do now, but they were kind of an outpouring of my heart... so I still pour out my heart, but I've changed how I do it.

      I'm glad you didn't quit. This isn't an easy business, it's not feathers and fluff, and behind the scenes it gets rugged and tough but if there is joy in our words and our hearts, we can do amazing things!

      And you're always popular here.

      Now the other side of that is to embrace that change in writing is inevitable. I'm changing stories to meet editorial advice or guidelines all the time, so you don't want to dig your heels in too much... Sometimes I have to think of how to make that "change" sound more like me writing it, but then it comes.... and often for the better.

      I have found that being flexible is my best defense in a very competitive business!

      Delete
  4. I have always felt that I've led a blessed life but that isn't because my life has been trouble free. It doesn't mean that I haven't faced adversity. It is because I could find strenth in my faith. I trusted that there would be a light at the end if I just learned on Him. My dad died 12 years ago and my mother, who had always been very dependent on him, was now alone and unable to drive. I tried to help her as much as possible while working and caring for my own home. Last year she was diagnosed with colon cancer and died a short time later. I was thankful that she didn't face a lot of pain and suffering but guilt crept in because I doubted if I had done all that I could.. My son-in-law has an addictive personality and 3 years ago I was called upon to help my daughter in the care of my then 14 month old granddaughter. I know that God didn't plan for this addiction but I think that the timing was God-planned because I had just retired and I could care for this precious baby almost full time. There are so many hurting people who face adversity on a daily basis and I ache for them if they can't draw strength from knowing God. And, at the risk of sounding like I have my face buried in the sand, I have always found solace in books and reading so 'happy ever after" isn't a bad thing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Connie...

      You are a gift from God. First for being brave enough to post and share, but second, for admitting those feelings. When we lose someone, or when care is elongated (like Mom's) and you're called on to do the weekly or daily chores, it wears on us.... and then if we miss one here or there, guilt creeps in! Oh, that guilt!

      But you know there's always a tad of guilt or remorse. There is always a project unfinished... A song not sung.

      And life goes on.

      That timing with your granddaughter, what a blessing. Sometimes our plans for that spare time aren't what happens and that's okay... because maybe that timing worked out on God's timeline, not ours!

      AND I LOVE THAT YOU READ! Me, too. I've always read to remind myself that happy endings are not only a part of life, they should be the goal... to climb those hills and swing from those trees (TARZAN!!!) and cross those dusty plains and get to that oasis... because we all know an oasis doesn't last forever! But a good book is such a wonderful reminder and relaxation technique.

      Go you!

      Delete
  5. Such a good post, Ruthy, and so true!

    I always think of the Apostle Paul and what he wrote in Romans 5, suffering leads to endurance, character, and then hope. We grow through adversity and trials...and we work through them. Use them. Learn from them.

    Again, wonderful words. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Paul's work. I take such heart in his words. I have an affinity for him and Isaiah. Their words speak to my heart because who among us doesn't face adversity?

      No one.

      And sure we fall down! We mess up. We stumble.

      Jesus stumbled with that cross. And then he got up and walked on.

      Talk about the perfect example from the example of perfection!!! :)

      Delete
  6. Hey Ruthy, I sure identify with this post.
    We have all been through the hills and valleys of adversity, some much worse than others.
    When I take inventory of my own personal life I sometimes get down about those things that didn't turn out the way I expected or hoped for. (I'm also that introvert you were wondering about, and I do hold a lot of things in, I don't recommend that) but then I'm reminded of that one word you and I have both come to appreciate, and this quote helps me so much:
    "GRATITUDE helps us to see what is there instead of what is not."

    So instead of focusing on the losses I focus on all my blessings, even naming them one by one until my spirit is lifted and I can see all the good.

    I have been thinking on Genesis 35:3 a lot lately, "..He has been with me wherever I have gone." To know that God has walked through all those hills and valleys with me gives me such strength to go on because knowing He is walking this life with me makes all the difference.

    On another note, I love the cover on your reissue of More Than a Promise. (No need to include me in the drawing, I have the first issue :)
    I have Her Cowboy Reunion in your new Shepherd's Crossing series on my list for August. Are there any other books coming out this summer? I think book two in the Wishing Bridge series isn't out until fall, is that correct?
    Good visiting with you Ruthy and all the gang here at Seekerville!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracey, I should be getting my shipment of "Her Cowboy Reunion" soon and I'll be sending out copies to my influencing buddies! It's such a good story... and I love being back in the land of Stetsons and spurs and chaps and boots and horses and cattle and sheep! Sheep are so much fun!

      And yes, At Home in Wishing Bridge is an October release, but there should be a mystery by September!!!! "Catch of the Day" should be released then, my third Martha's Vineyard mystery!!!!

      Okay, commercial over, and here is my smile about your words... blessings...

      Bing Crosby singing to Rosemary Clooney in "White Christmas" about how he counts his blessings instead of sheep... and falls asleep counting his blessings.

      I LOVE THAT!!!!

      And then your words about hills and valleys... and I love this song by Tauren Wells your comment took me right to the beauty of that, Tracey!

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    3. Yes, His song says so much about adversity! All the lyrics, but especially these:
      When I'm standing on the mountain
      I didn't get there on my own
      When I'm walking through the valley
      I know I am not alone!

      You're God of the hills and valleys
      Hills and valleys
      God of the hills and valleys
      And I am not alone

      Delete
  7. Ruthy, this is such a great post. I've reacted to adversity in many ways. Sometimes it has just about buried me, and I've felt at the end of my rope. Other times it's made me throw my shoulders back and trudge on. Other times it takes me a while to overcome. But always, God is there, my Rock, the One who gives me hope.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Missy, I think your different reactions reflect most of us! Depending on the situation, it can bring us to our knees or make us spittin' mad... But that faith works wonders, even through the grief and pain.

      And of course there are varying levels of grievousness... from slight to wretched, but we can overcome. Some things just take longer... and more patience and prayer... than others.

      I'm so glad you stopped by!

      Delete
  8. I love and needed your words today Ruthie! My husband’s going through a time of adversity and all I can do is pray and watch as he sees his glass is empty (in his eyes). So thank you too, Jan, for the reminder that adversity produces endurance because of not in him, hopefully it’ll produce it in me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laurie, such wisdom in those words. "If not in him, hopefully it'll produce it in me."

      Because we can't control or necessarily influence how another handles or views things... but we can handle how we see it and react to it. But it's hard when husbands or wives are out of sorts or depressed or angry about circumstances they can't control. Because there's a ripple in the pond aimed right at you!

      Ay yi yi, that's a tough one, isn't it?

      And that Jan is one smart cookie! :)

      Endurance is good.

      Stoicism is good, too.

      When it's really tough, I think of Mary raising Jesus. Carrying that baby. Going to Bethlehem with no place to stay. Fleeing to Egypt because a ruler wants her child dead. Living in obscurity with the Son of God... and then watching as people loved then hated him. And killed him.

      That's what I draw on when I feel the weakest.

      If that Jewish girl could become a woman who endured all of that, then I can withstand the dark moments of life by grabbing hold of that example.

      I'm glad this post spoke to you!

      Delete
  9. Hi Ruth:

    God could have created a perfect world with a happily ever before as well as a happily ever after. And He did!

    Then came ORIGINAL SIN!

    Find the original sin in your story and you have your conflict.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vince, that's so true. Generally the moral premise of the story comes back to some kind of sin.... or lack of forgiveness or self-forgiveness.

      So what do you do to work well when times are tough, my friend? How do you re-focus your energies to get things done when your heart is sore?

      Delete
  10. Ruthy, I have this (I'm SURE) awesome comment for this post and it's . . .gone. I'll try to remember what I wrote before. :) I was just reading in Psalm 126 this morning for my quiet time. I am always fascinated by the contrast of weeping and joy. What I saw is that weeping has seasons. A beginning and an ending. When we seek the Lord, we can sows seed that will eventually reap joy in our lives. But as the seeds grow, we are being changed as we walk through those hard seasons. Brokenness sometimes does remain after adversity, but it can remain in a way that draws us closer to Jesus and creates depth in our relationship with Him. Adversity changes us. Personally, I want that change to be one that draws me closer to my Savior and allows Him to be reflected through me to those in my world.

    GREAT post. And please put me in the drawing for you book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went to the spam folder and you weren't there! And Blogger did that to me Monday, I was like "WHAT????" and I should have copied it just in case... right????

      But then Blogger sucks me in by behaving for a while and I get complacent.

      Then: WHAMMO! Comment gone!

      But this is way better than old Blogger when it made it hard to write a post because it kept interrupting... and stopping!

      I love your thoughtful responses to this, Jeanne... that kind of warm integrity comes through in your writing, too. There's a beauty in the flow of your words, and it's lovely.

      And I'm putting you in the drawing!

      Delete
    2. You make me smile, Ruthy. Actually, I think it disappeared because I wrote the amazing comment, and then I went onto Google to update my profile picture (because I like my new one!), and Google wouldn't let it upload. Then, when I went back to post the comment, it had disappeared. Totally my fault. Sigh. Thank you for your kind words!

      Delete
  11. Thoughtful post, Ruthy. As an "almost always optimistic" person I'll admit I've been through times (like EVERYONE!) that were overwhelming. BUT---the Lord *ALWAYS* showed me that He was with me---whether through a friend's words or kind deeds, or a feeling of His peace washing over me. Because He knew I sure couldn't get through those times on my own!

    I also think that good can come from times of adversity, and I could write a blog post on experiences I've endured and later was able to offer help to someone going through very similar situations. I LOVE how He uses regular folks (like moi) to minister to others.

    I hope this makes sense---feel like I'm rambling, LOL (need coffee!!). ;)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, I love this SO MUCH!!!! because you turned this right around to helping others and that's my frame of mind!!!!

      Use your experiences to make life better for others... and not in a grumpy way! :)

      There is good in adversity and optimists like you and me fight to see it.... So that's a great genetic tendency to have.... And you and I both love to BAKE STUFF. :)

      So happy when you stop by!

      Delete
  12. Hi Ruthy!

    "No one is immune." How true that is. Some adversity helps me understand others better and ALL adversity has brought me closer to God!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen.

      I have found that sometimes I get whalloped with something that is like totally directed to show me to be more understanding or empathetic to a certain condition or position.

      Because I'm a work in progress.

      And yes, I think the joy of writing stories about adversity bringing us closer to God in the end... comes from the reality based in life.

      So good to see you, Jackie!

      Delete
  13. Ruthy I so agree with your thoughts that God puts adversity in our lives to strengthen us and our faith. I’ve struggled through some of those difficulties, but now I’m finding trust especially challenging when my adult children are facing hard issues.

    Last month, one of our daughter-in-laws had a health crisis...three days in ICU and a week in the hospital. I could do nothing to help! We prayed and called on friends and my Praying Sisters to offer prayers on her behalf. Thankfully, our DIL is doing much better!

    But even beyond this situation, I am in AWE of our Lord’s continuing blessings for this faithful couple! Because of the health issues, our son and DIL decided to give up jobs they loved...travel nursing. In a brief time, our son secured a permanent position in an ideal hospital., they tsafwly traveled across the country, finding a place to rent in the new location....and both have been accepted into a Nurse Practitioner program. This wasn’t their original plan, but God had something better planned. God wants us to trust Him through adversity!

    For me, the need to trust in our Lord’s plan has been reaffirmed. I just hope I remember this in the future. God is with us always, but especially during the tough times.

    Ruthy, this is a great deal for introverted me to share, but we praise our Lord for these abundant blessings and are grateful for faithful prayers. Thank you for your post and congratulations on the releases. You are a blessing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, introverted you, you amaze me! Because this is the description of one of those bends in the road that crop up out of the blue... and they zigged with the zag!!!

      GO THEM!!!!

      I need these reminders sometimes, too, that God's in charge and that everything happens for a reason.

      And I agree, when I can't help my kids through some awful trauma (again, the Mary analogy comes to mind) my heart breaks... not that I want life easy for them, they're strong. But some traumas are simply devastating and no mother likes seeing that.

      Totally on board with you. #fistbump

      Delete
  14. Yes. So true! I always think of Much Afraid in a favorite book of mine Hinds Feet On High Places. Basically she finds that the beautiful is born out of the ugly. There are no mountain tops without the valleys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A.M., I totally agree.... and I love valleys, I use them symbolically in several books because they're lush. But they can also be the downward side of an awful fall. :( So the valley analogy has so many options.

      Now I have to check out Hinds Feet On High Places!!!

      Delete
    2. One of my favorite books! It was such a blessing to me years ago when I read it, and I still remember bits & pieces of it in times of trial.

      Delete
    3. Yes, I remember it fondly, too! Now, I need to reread it! :)

      Delete
  15. One of the worst forms of adversity for me is when it's someone else's problem that I want to help with, but they aren't ready for help. Needing to hang back & wait until they want help.

    Another tough thing is when my adversity affects my ability to take care of others. If I'm in pain, it doesn't bother me so much as the fact that I can't take care of my kids because of the pain, or that I need to rely on others for help when I want to handle things on my own.

    Sometimes it's just about laying aside stubborn pride and accepting the fact that I can't control everything...even if I may want to.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stubborn pride?

      WHAT????

      Yes to all of this, it's so true. I can handle things that happen to me, but when it's my kids... or a loved one... I'm toast.

      Weak, wimpy toast. Unbuttered.

      Because I want to fix things. I want to help. And some things are only God-helpable. My pride takes a singe at that!!!!

      Delete
  16. This is a great post, Ruthy. Adversity is certainly when we need the Lord the most. My greatest time of adversity was losing my daughter 27 years ago. More recently, losing my mom was a difficult couple of weeks, but God was with us all then.

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandy, losing those we love is so difficult. Especially losing a child.

      Delete
    2. Sandy, I loved when you posted your daughter's picture on facebook... such a precious child. And a mother's heart might move on by necessity, but it never forgets.

      Again... Mary, beneath that cross...

      Mother love is one tough row to hoe sometimes.

      Delete
  17. Hi Ruth:

    You asked:

    "So what do you do to work well when times are tough, my friend? How do you re-focus your energies to get things done when your heart is sore?"

    I like to practice 'Reality Therapy' which holds that "…while we cannot control how we feel, we can control how we think and behave."

    Consider this:

    Without friction (adversity) nothing at rest could ever move and nothing moving could ever come to rest.

    For example:

    Event "A" happens. It's bad. It makes you feel bad. However event "A" has another part and that is how you choose to frame that event. For example you can say that fate is against you, that nothing is worth the effort, and go out and get drunk. Doing all the above was your choice. It was not the event's choice. The event itself did not make you do those things.

    Another person could have framed the same event as just the way the world is and look for what ever advantage can be salvaged from the consequences of that event. Behind every cloud is a silver lining.

    I always try to remain in control and decide for myself how I am going to react to bad events. I also always try to look for ways to turn any lemons that come my way into lemonade.

    Adversity always creates opportunity. The trick is being the one who benefits from that opportunity.

    Vince

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vince, you went all physics on us!! My physicist son would love that. :)

      I love what you said: "Adversity always creates opportunity."

      Delete
    2. This makes absolute sense. I think this is harder for some than others, but I like the action/reaction "it's my choice" idea, too.

      I do know, too, that being me has some advantages. I'm a fighter. I like to pave my own way. And I have great courage of conviction with my faith...

      But I know so many nice people who aren't built that way. Of course, that helps ignite stories. If everyone were a Ruthy or a Vince, then we'd appeal to a very narrow band of readers...

      I'm so glad you came back to chat about that!

      Delete
    3. Hi Missy:

      Physics is now so profound that at a faculty party it's almost impossible to tell the philosophers from the physicists. That is, the really good ones. Indeed, theoretical physicists are philosophers who deal in facts and run experiments. There is talk of subatomic particles that seemingly go backwards in time and other particles that spring into existence without cause from nothingness. This is not odd talk at all to philosophers.

      Delete
  18. When we were between jobs. I prayed...sort of... Then we got desperate and I REALLY prayed. God heard. I grew. We found the place where we belonged.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bettie, I can imagine how desperate you must've felt. I'm glad you prayed about it!

      Delete
    2. I love the degree of prayer, LOL! God hears the lament of the night, doesn't he? Even louder than the song of the choir....

      He's that kind and good!

      Delete
  19. Love your post, Ruthy….you are always such a blessing to me!
    I believe adversity brings us closer to God….but sometimes it gets very tough! I told God 2 days ago I would NOT dwell on past loss but would focus on opportunities right in front of me! Well, after 2 days of emergencies with 2 relatives, (one mental, one physical) I cried out Lord, I change my mind! But HE is stronger than me so HE helped me adjust my attitude! Scriptures, Christian books, friends help me so much….I am always blessed by your books! Seeker friends are nice to have, also!

    Don’t enter me for your book…read and loved it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, family emergencies definitely require God's strength for handling! I've been there a lot during the last couple of years.

      Delete
    2. Oh, that attitude adjustment is so me!!! I have to remind myself to stop being a jerk and forge ahead... to plant that smile and trust in God, even when I'm pretty sure he's not listening because things don't happen on my timeline....

      Or that his answer might not be what I want to hear.

      And yes, faith, friends, family.... what a huge blessing. And I'm so glad you love my books, that just made my day, dear Jackie!

      Delete
  20. Ah words of wisdom from Ruthy! I love this. Not the adversity, but talking about how we all bear the load of trouble on our shoulders. I feel like I've been very blessed in life.
    And, in fact, I feel like I've got an inner core of strength that takes most everything and rolls with it.
    But then I've never had terrible tests and so many have.
    My sister's husband just lost his nephew in a car accident, 25 year old. The whole huge family is devastated. My sister too.
    And there's no way to go back and do it different, do it again.
    Life makes no sense without God. And sometimes, even with God, it makes no sense. But we have God there and holding on to him and saying, "I know who holds the future..." gets us through.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mary, I hear you. And that inner core of strength is such a blessing, isn't it? But then I see a friend who lost two sons to accidents and a daughter-in-law to cancer.... and she forges on.

      And a friend who has struggled with multiple physical ailments, so many that you wonder if there's a root cause? But not one they've found and yet she's filled with faith and humor.

      Those accidents... We know our children are on loan, but we get complacent, like every day is a given... until it isn't and the wake up call happens. :(

      Life's got broken roads, twists and turns... and we do the Toby Mac thing.... Soldier... Keep Movin' On"

      I love Toby Mac. "I know your heart been broke again... I know your prayers ain't been answered yet.... "

      Love it.

      Delete
  21. The one thing I've noticed about devastating loss, someone who dies too young, is...people are so profoundly affected by it, there is never a time when they are more open to faith, open to God. Those huge funerals you sometimes go to, most often when a young person dies, you can see and feel the waves of grief and the longing in everyone's heart to make life mean more than just the years we spend here on earth. IN that longing, you can find God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true. And so hard. But those glimmers of faith between the questions are sometimes the tiny roots, stretching into soft, sweet soil.

      Delete
  22. Ruthy, I was over here yesterday and thought I posted, but I guess I didn't. Adversity is. indeed, a given. And it's rarely pleasant. However, as you said, it can stretch us and make us grow. Adversity shapes us into the people we are today. Just like our characters are shaped by the adversity in their lives.

    Great post, my friend. Very thought provoking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly, Mindy. I would like to be able to type away pain and anxiety and stress for people... Real people!

      And yet... their adversity, that I deplore, builds them... just like it built us.

      But it's not easy and I hate feeling helpless.

      But then... Oh, yeah, right... GOD!

      Strength in numbers, strength in the cross, strength in that pure goodness. :)

      I do remind myself of that fairly often, Mindy!

      That's it's not me...

      It's God.

      Delete
  23. Note: The book Hinds Feet OHP..mentioned above...is available on kindle for $1.12.......just sayin....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish we could 'like' comments on here like we can on Facebook. I like this! :)

      Delete
  24. I have been loving Romans 5:3-4 and 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 lately. They give hope to those suffering. And as someone who has suffered in various ways, I can look back on it now and appreciate the truth of these verses. It's funny, though. You wrote that we give our characters their problems and then fix them, but I actually found I couldn't completely fix everything in one of my stories. I was going through infertility treatments when I wrote it, and one of my characters miscarries in the story. Several people have told me they wanted me to have her pregnant again in the epilogue, but I couldn't write it that way. I leave it with the hope of the possibility, but not the actual fact, because that's what was true in my life at that time. Two kids later, I still think that was the best thing. Yes. We can fix some things, but we also need to be able to show how people can cope when things aren't an easy fix, right?

    ReplyDelete
  25. Ruthy, you have a way with words. This is a very thought-provoking post. I hate adversity when I'm going through it, but sometimes looking back on whose times, I can see that it has made me stronger and increased my faith. A few years ago, I lost my mom, my dad, and my twin sisters all within 18 months. Talk about adversity! I don't think I would have made it through that time if I didn't have faith that I would see them again in the afterlife.

    Thanks for your words of wisdom.

    I really can't believe how fast you can churn out all those amazing books. You're a superwoman, for sure! Hugs, sweet friend!!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I have learned a lot about adversity by reading a Jesus Calling devotional every morning. If you don't have it, get it. It is awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Ruth, thank you for the reminder that everyone experiences adversary. It's what we do with it that makes or breaks us. God's blessings as walk His journey on the road filled with His grace in the midst of adversity. Donna Wichleman

    ReplyDelete