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You’ve felt it. The sinking feeling. Or maybe it’s a dark sensation that radiates your soul and tries to suffocate your spirit. Hurt. Shame. Disappointment. Anger. Fear. Doubt. Despair. All words associated with pain. Sometimes words cannot even begin to express the hurt that feels almost physical. And so many reasons can bring it on: a break-up, a loss of a loved one, a betrayal, or an endless wave of trials–all give way to feelings of helplessness. But as I’ve begun to see time’s telescope pull away from days of the past, purpose and reason have been revealed. I was more weak and selfish and afraid then I’d realised at the time. My back needed to be a little straighter, my stance a little more sure. I needed to build up more courage, more tolerance and patience to deal with the challenges to come. If the muscles of our faith are never exercised, how can we be ready for the trials that are sure to come just as the sun rises and sets?

I took care of my mom for a number of years, and if I’d not built up enough emotional and mental strength, I would not have been able to be there for my mother when she needed me the most. And then there were others who were watching me, observing my conduct through the hardest times of my life. I know it was only the Lord who brought me through it all. Every experience was carefully prepared, leading up to so many moments in my life that I would need to stand tall and walk through the storm. Now there are some moments on my life that I still wonder, “What was all THAT for?” And all I can say is that maybe I won’t know for right now, and it’s still working out for my good. As long as we are breathing, there is an intention, a grand design for each moment that sometimes masquerades as “chance” or “luck.” Each day I live, I see the design of my life unfolding and witness the beauty of it taking shape, growing in trust that the hands of He that forms my days knows the best thing for me.