In the Darkest Nights, He is...
Guest Writer: Brooke Glazner
Bio: Brooke is a mother of two beautiful daughters who has suffered with debilitating, sometimes life-threatening GI issues. After years of suffering she recovered in 2019, got pregnant, and then lost the baby and her health went downhill shortly after with a new struggle with mild to severe joint pain.
At the beginning of each year, I pray for God to give me a word to focus on. The word that God gave me for 2020 was steadfast. I wish I lived up to that ideal. My joint pain started in May. Out of the blue, my body started falling apart again in a whole new way. I’ve become reacquainted with pain and limitation, and I haven’t handled it well. I’ve been angry. I’ve been discouraged. I’ve panicked in terror over what my life might become. I’ve wanted to throw fit like a two-year-old in the corner (still do sometimes). I’ve wrestled. The war in my heart and mind between steadfast faith, and abject despair, has been very real. I’ve pulled away from God when I should’ve pulled closer.
Throughout all of this mess, there’s been a solid core of faith, a taproot sinking deep in my heart, that proclaims - God is my EVERYTHING. As much as I have thrashed and flailed, feeling like I’ve been drowning, God is my constant. I have not been steadfast this year, but He has ️.
There was a moment a couple of months ago when I reached a level of pain I didn’t know existed before. It felt like each of my joints were being pulled apart, creating a burning aching bonfire of pain. I couldn’t stop crying, and all I could think of was how to somehow escape. I was on my knees in the bathroom, praying from the bottom of my heart for relief when one thought pierced through the pain. I prayed “Lord, more than anything, please let this make me more beautiful to you.”
God spoke to my heart that day. He gave me a vision for how the pain and suffering I experience, can create something valuable in me. These verses from 1 Peter chapter 1 describe it perfectly. “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
For me 2020 has been a furnace. When the heat cranked up all of my impurities rose to the surface. ALL OF THEM! But I have a choice in how I respond to the flames. Fire can warp us or it can refine us. I choose to be refined! I choose faith over fear. I choose hope over despair. I choose kindness over bitterness. And I know, that every second of this journey God is with me, loving me and helping me grow more beautiful to Him.
2020 has been a hard year for all of us - individually and communally, across our country and our world. I don’t know what kind of trials you are facing as you walk into this new year, but I want to encourage you that there is hope! You are not alone. There is purpose in this pain. God is with you, and he can use this difficult time to forge a deep strength and beautiful faith in your soul.
- Brooke Glazner
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