Part Fourteen: Because Those Who Have Suffered Can Identify the Suffering

*Please note this is a series – to read from the beginning, click the “Life Story” tab under the header and read away!

And so it goes. We got married.

I birthed that baby on a bitterly-cold but sunny afternoon in February (2005) – two weeks early. She was a hot colic mess and I was an even bigger hot colic mess.

We grew-up together, the three of us.

Two years after her birth, we added another. Then fifteen months after that second baby boy, we added another one. We’re all still growing up together – nothing boils your stuff up to the surface faster than having your own children.

Since the birth of that first baby almost nine (!) years ago, we’ve survived a move to a place I didn’t want to go but have grown to love. We made it through another colicky baby and had another one just 15 months later. Somehow we lived through having three children ages three and a half and younger. I think it was good coffee and good wine.

We’ve weathered the storms of relational hurts and walked through our first-ever conflict with the church. We learned to differentiate between a head relationship with Jesus and a heart one and have landed on the heart. It’s all He wants anyway.

There have been sleepless nights and too much wine and arguments over silly stuff and exhausted mama outbursts more often than I care to admit and years spent looking for lost items. We’ve been angry with one another and cry together when it’s sad and we’ve had child-led dance parties that rock the house. I’ve felt certain at times this marriage would end in divorce and moments later, find myself lamenting over what I would ever do without him.

It’s called life.

And it’s never easy and it rarely goes as planned but, of course, that’s the point.

For if it were easy and followed our agenda we would have no need for the One who created us in the first place.

It’s not supposed to be easy or go as we planned. It’s supposed to be real.

And real is not easy or planned.

Ever.

When you’re an overcomer, one who has weathered a life storm or two, you can spot the others weathering their own storms across a crowded room.

Those who have suffered can identify the suffering. Our broken-but-healed hearts become a detector for other broken hearts.

God takes those ashes and lifts them right on up out of the pit of darkness and transforms them into something beautiful in a way only God can.

But there have to be others who have gone before us to tell their stories, to share the beauty that has become His masterpiece, His greatest work.

It’s the words of an overcomer’s testimony that offers hope. Hope to those rowing the same, or similar boat, you rowed a few years ago.

Triumph is the song we sing but He writes the lyrics. We follow the melody and wait for the next measure, knowing full-well the symphony is not yet complete.

And in the meantime, we dance.

Thank you for taking the time to walk this journey with me. There is power in your story, friend. Tell it.