Rejoice In Your Sufferings

Who wants to suffer?

Becoming familiar with suffering is my number-one habit for filling my heart with hope.

Last summer was the time when I needed to pick a high school.  I could be homeschooled, go to public school, or choose one of the six magnet high schools Guilford County has to offer.

I had an extremely blessed summer, and I knew it.  I went to the beach twice, summer camp for a week, Piedras Negras, Mexico for a week, and spent a week in Baltimore and D.C. I also swam on the swim team with my best friend.

Even while fully acknowledging that I had thousands of blessings, last summer was a fierce battle to enjoy anything.  I dwelt in the confusing land of anxiety for awhile.  I knew that wherever I went to high school, I could flourish, but even after picking a wonderful high school, the nervousness hung around.

During last summer, I wept over things in the world that were wrong. I don’t like anxiety, but it opened my eyes to the universe in a new way.

I desperately wanted to ascend from my excruciating anxious rut, but not before dealing with my fear.  My mom and dad, a cognitive behavioral psychologist who has a daughter my exact age that plays the same sports, and my church family gave me open ears and priceless wisdom.

These little cards stuck in my antique family mirror were given to me by the Women’s Bible Study teacher at my church who dealt with anxiety and depression for decades.  She taught a Bible Study last year on suffering and the reasons we can rejoice in suffering.  These philosophies will be woven through this blog on filling my heart with hope.

Since last summer, my anxious heart has been greatly healed.  Doctors helped me figure out a few vitamin supplements I needed.  Joining the cross country team at my high school before school started was golden.  Mostly, though, I fixed my hope on solid things.

CHALLENGE:  Look up Romans 5:3-5.  What does it say that rejoicing in suffering produces? 3 things.

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