Thriving in Hard Times

Contributed By: Leigh Anne Rufener, mother of three sons

Change.  Challenges. Motherhood.  All words that incite possible fear, trepidation and stress.  Yet might it be possible that we could use the word GRACE to explain them all?  Ann Voskamp writes about eucharisteo – the Greek word that essentially combines Thanksgiving, Grace and Joy into one awe-struck word.  Can this truth be lived out in the midst of trials and the daily grind?  As our family has walked through this past year, I am finding that the answer is yes – only by and through God’s amazing grace.

At this moment, our family is walking through some God-sized challenges.  Job change, child injuries, loss of family members, relational hardship and exhaustion to name a few.  How on earth does a woman thrive in the midst of motherhood and life with this type of list?  My heart has been desperate for the grace and truth of God through much of this time.  By no means am I a perfect picture of faith, but the Lord has stirred my heart to desire Him and His truth.

As I have battled in my faith this past year, God has made the following truths clear and has used them to lead my life:

  1. There are STILL blessings abounding all over. Even though I might not “feel” it, God is still in the process of making all things new, so amazing things are to be seen everywhere.  He is still the giver of ALL good things; let’s thank Him for that!  This truth actually caused me to change one of my social media sites to “Thankful for Each Moment.”
  2. While listening to the radio, a famous preacher reminded me that I am a bigger sinner than I could ever know. But, my Lord loves me more than I could ever know!  Yes, He loves us, despite us; I am His and He is mine.
  3. God’s grace is deeper than the sea, and He longs to pour it out upon us. And His grace is not just for everyone else, but me too!  Why do we so often push away this amazing grace and all His amazing truths?
  4. As we keep seeking HIS face, He WILL be faithful. God has answered prayers that I didn’t even know I had – even to some of my “Why’s?”
  5. Do I really need to know the WHY? With deep soul searching, I am finding that answer to be “No.”  My heart screams, “But, YES I DO!”  The Lord in His kindness says “Trust Me.” and reminds me that His ways are NOT our ways, but His ways are BEST.  Therefore, I must do the next best thing in love and obedience to my Lord.
  6. I must seek FIRST His Kingdom & His righteousness. The Lord is so faithful to remind and reveal truths in Scripture that we need desperately.  Although, we live in a fallen world, we serve an amazing God!

Today, may I ask you, might you seek to live a life that encompasses eucharisteo – a life of thanksgiving, joy, & grace through each moment?  Above all, might you seek Christ first to give you the strength, hope, and grace you need for each moment?  Today, may you find that Jesus is the answer for all you need to thrive in the midst of your challenges in life and motherhood.

All because of Him ~ Leigh Anne

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