Today, I am excited to welcome my friend, Michelle Blomqvist as a guest post here on the website. I have known Michelle for about nine years and have served with her at the Dream Center in Los Angeles, CA. Michelle has a heart for ministry and sharing God’s word with others. Hope you enjoy her word of encouragement!
I have learned more from my struggles than I have from my successes. As a leader, a communicator, a wife, a mother, a friend and any other title I may have…I have learned that struggle is necessary because it holds the ability to reveal to me who I am, who I am not and who I am becoming.
One thing that I observe through speaking to others is that most people are hiding their struggles and hiding their secrets in fear of being judged for not having it all together. This in turn influences their identities. What’s worse, is that most of them are in our church pews. Many are our leaders and pastors, and we often wonder why people get hurt and offended in church…because we have broken people leading broken people. You know what? You are not perfect, and trying to be will always leave you with a reminder that you once again have not measured up. Let me ask you a question or maybe two.
Why do you hide what it is that you are struggling with? Does it help you at all?
If there is anything that pulls at my heart, it is when people hide what they wrestle with and don’t allow themselves to endure the process no matter how painful it might be. It pulls on me because these people are missing a moment or maybe a season to see the revealing of who they truly are created to be. People who hide their weaknesses and secrets carry the weight of the world, and never truly find rest for their weary hearts. Perhaps those who quietly struggle somehow think that it is simply something they are supposed to do?
No, my dear reader, I want to remind you that you were born, created and delegated to live from a place of freedom. I want to remind you that there is nothing more beautiful and more precious to God than your brokenness, your vulnerability and your bare, bleeding heart. The word of God says:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18
Why do you hide it? Do you see? He wants to be close to you in your struggle.
I have learned more from my struggles. I have learned that it is crucial to embrace and endure them so that I may overcome them, because what I struggle with in one season could potentially be my strength in the next. I have wrestled like Jacob did in Genesis 32:22. I have been touched in my hip and I limp, and I am grateful for it. I have struggled and I have not let God go. I have struggled and overcome and those things now strengthen me.
We all struggle, don’t we? In our minds, in our attitudes, in our hearts, in our relationships. For some of us our struggles are more public than we would like. For others, we tuck it away and hope no one will ever find out. It has been said that over 80% of diseases begin in the heart with issues like unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, anger, among many other things. These silent attitudes in our heart end up having physical impacts when left undealt with. I heard a story of someone from not so long ago from close to where I live. While on their deathbed they asked for the pastor. The person confessed to unforgiveness in their life and repented of it and came back to health. Why? Because silent struggles will always strangle us.
So how do we overcome struggles and allow them to strengthen us?
- We keep the cross before us. We bring our failures, our shame, our mistakes, our struggles to the feet of Jesus and we leave them there. We cry, we yell, we ask questions, we let it out and let it go. If we take the weight anytime in the day, we come back to the cross again. Without the cross we have no hope. Without hope we cannot heal.
- We speak it out loud for someone. Whether it’s confessing sin or simply telling a friend that we are struggling. We bring our struggle to the light so that darkness has no power over it. Whoever it is that we are transparent to, we assume holds no judgment over us and instead kneels with us.
- We stand in the word of God. Once we come to the cross and bring our struggles to the light, it’s actually easier to walk freely because secrecy and darkness no longer have leverage over us. We take the word, we read it and we write His word on our heart. Proverbs 4:23 says that out of our heart flow the issues of life. What we put in there will be what comes out.
When we overcome, we step out of one season into another, only this time armed with more strength.
As Christians, we become quite critical and skeptical and we tend to not face up to the issues in our life. May the world know us for our courage to face our struggles and fight from our knees to overcome them so that we may reflect our Father and represent His heart more accurately.