The Small Trials Hurt Too

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There is a lot going on in my family. In the last six years, we have faced seven surgeries between four of our children, an epilepsy diagnosis, two different seizures that wouldn’t stop, enough ambulance rides that I’d need more than one hand to count them, two autism diagnoses, and I’ve lost track of the hospital admissions. That doesn’t even count the day to day stuff that comes with having to set up therapies, specialist visits, and all the normal stuff that families are supposed to do like sports and regular check ups at the dentist. Throw homeschooling in the mix and three kids still in diapers (because they are 2 years old and under) and you can imagine why my brain doesn’t even come close to functioning at the same caliber it once did.

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Despite all of this, I see God’s blessings in our lives daily, and that’s why I still have the desire to serve my friends and family outside of my home. One way we serve and nurture those relationships is to bear with one another. Ephesians 4:2 tells us, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” This is one way I can give back to those who shower me with love – to listen to their struggles, to hug them when they are at their wits end, to encourage them when they are losing hope, to feel their losses with them.

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But, oftentimes when I’m listening, I hear comments like this: “This is nothing compared to what you are going through. I really have nothing to complain about.”

Here’s my response to friends who have said that or been tempted to say that:

Does it make you hurt less knowing that my burden is heavy right now? No, I’m sure it doesn’t. God allows trials in our lives to strengthen us. Just like a good workout hurts but does us good at the end, hardships work in the same way. Even the seemingly small ones can be burdensome. Allowing me the privilege to grieve with you and to encourage you is oftentimes one of the joys that helps me face another day in my own trials.

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There are other families who’s trials are far greater than ours. I think it’s okay that I look at their burdens and allow their situation to give me perspective and see my blessings even clearer. But, it doesn’t erase my hurt, it just helps me grow. I hope my own trials can be fruitful and help others grow. So, let’s lean on each other. We don’t have to compare our hurts; we can give each other the joy of bearing them together. My workout might be a little more intense at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that your calves don’t burn from the workout routine you’re in right now.

Hi, I’m Corrine! My loves in life are God, my husband, six kids, and church family, homeschooling, friends, and coffee (with chocolate!). I’ve been blessed to be a mother to a special needs child which has grown me in ways I never imagined. I hope I can encourage you today!
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