By no means should the title of this post suggest to you that we have arrived. But, as I mentioned in a previous post titled Our Story: Reflecting on Reality, we have seen much good come from the suffering we have endured and even found our pain to be worthwhile. In fact, from a certain point of view, we have seen miracles. So, I’ll just take this entry to share with you some triumphs that were birthed in the midst of tragedies. I hope you find encouragement, hope, and an extra measure of faith, so you too may persevere through life’s trials!
Romans 8:28 states, “For we know, that God causes all things to work together for good, to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Really? I’m supposed to believe this when, at a young age, Kels and I both made the difficult choice to wait until marriage for sex–only to be “rewarded” with an ailment that inhibited that very part of our marriage. And I’m supposed to believe this when our relationship becomes so stressed because of circumstances out of our control that we can’t do anything else but cry. Sure, it’s a nice saying, but is it really true?
Yes! It is true. And I don’t say this because my life has been peachy; I say this because, when you look in the right place, you find what you truly need and desire. Kels and I thought we needed physical and emotional intimacy. Don’t get me wrong. We did need intimacy, but we first needed something else that was of greater value.
One of the first lessons I learned as Kels and I were being challenged was patience. As I held Kelsey for what seemed like hours while tears flowed down, sometimes without even an awareness as to why, I began to understand patience. As I waited day after day after day for Kels to begin to understand what I was feeling and going through, I began to know patience. As Kelsey prayed and prayed without a definite answer and waited for me to begin to understand what she was going through, she began to learn patience. Please realize that I’m not saying patience is better than intimacy, but I do wonder if Kels and I would have ever learned patience without the trials we suffered. God only knows.
Another major triumph for Kels and I was forgiveness. To seek to understand one another’s heart and begin to empathize with each other and finally to forgive was, to me, a miracle. It has been said that forgiveness is divine. I truly believe it is. Throughout the trials we have faced, our selfishness was exposed, and the need for forgiveness arose. She wanted her needs met and her heart understood, and likewise, so did I. When we realized that there is a bigger picture to life than getting our own personal needs met, we began to have a more selfless perspective that led us down the divine path of forgiveness. Why divine? Because it certainly wasn’t anything we were able to do of ourselves.
There is one more triumph I must share with you today, which is intimacy. “But I thought this was our trouble area,” you may ask? “How could you have intimacy when sex is inhibited?” Good questions. Let me give you perspective. With a lack of physical intimacy, Kels and I began to go deeper into our hearts. I started to discover who I really am at the core of my being, and Kelsey did the same in her own heart and life. Then, once we knew ourselves more intimately, we were able to come together and be emotionally intimate with each other. When you find your true identity you gain an ability to be authentic and vulnerable, and these qualities only lead to greater intimacy with those closest to you.
So a lack of intimacy actually led to greater intimacy, plus a deepening of our character that we could not have had otherwise. These are only some of the blessings we have found through our trials. While there is a part of me that wished we didn’t go through such pain, there is a deeper part of me that is thankful. Thankful for the miracles of patience, forgiveness, intimacy, character, and more still to come. So I leave you with this: Triumph can come from tragedy. Hold on to hope. Don’t let go of faith. Persevere!
It is worth it.