Strength in the struggle

We decorated our home for autumn this past weekend. One of my daughters wanted to do it weeks ago, as if decorating for fall would hurry 2020 along.

I am no stranger to wanting to rush through certain seasons of my life. I am convinced the last month of my husband’s deployment lasted 5,429 days. I really wanted to rush THAT season.

And yet…

I did not want to rush through the time I had with my children that year. I wanted to soak in and capture the memories of who they were at that exact point in time. Well, most of them. I could have done without the discovery that one child was keeping a collection of band aids. On her wall. They were used.

I went through some difficult times that year. As a person. As a wife. As a parent. As a military spouse. I needed that year to last an entire year so I could embrace the struggle and learn from it. I needed to grow, and apparently my variety of seed took a year to reach germination.

I used to be a first-grade teacher, and one year we had classroom caterpillars. We watched in fascination and delight as they emerged from their chrysalides as butterflies. One butterfly seemed to struggle more than the others to break free. Not knowing any better (shame on me!) I helped it along with a tweezers during my lunch break. When it finally shed all the chrysalis remnants, its wings were crumpled. I had robbed it of the struggle, which would have required it to pump its wings and gain strength.

James 1:2-4 encourages us to embrace the struggle. “Consider it all joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Sometimes this verse can make an already overwhelmed person feel discouraged and judged because do not feel this joy James mentions. What is wrong with me that I can’t access this joy right now? I love how this verse does not say we have to feel joyful about trials, but we should consider that joy connects to perseverance in trials.

Are you in a chrysalis season right now? Do you need some help pumping your wings? Therapists at Sanctuary Christian Counseling are here to offer security and support in the struggle. We want to help you find your strength so you can take flight, with joy.

For more information about me, check out my page on the Sanctuary website.

Contact us at or 717-200-3158. We'd love to hear from you.

Sanctuary Christian Counseling

9974 Molly Pitcher Highway, Suite 4

Shippensburg, PA 17257

Online and limited face-to-face therapy


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