In the Face of Adversity

“What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” I don’t know about you, but it really irritates me when someone says this to me in the middle of a trial, even if it is said with good intentions. The last thing I want to hear is that my hardship is somehow good for me. But the truth is, sometimes this is correct. Sometimes, the very thing I resent most in my life is the very thing that makes me a better version of myself. My son, who just completed his freshman year of high school, shared with me his assertion statement that he used and supported on his English final. It really struck a chord with me.

“I suggest true identity is revealed during one’s response to the challenges that he faces.” – Brett Landmon

True identity. Hmmm. His claim suggests that a person’s identity isn’t fully realized until he has been challenged. In other words, you really don’t become you until you have endured and reacted to life’s difficult moments. This makes trials an integral part in one’s development.

I know I am getting philosophical here, but bear with me. God is a God of love. And like a parent, He wants us to become the best us we can be. With that being said, He allows us to undergo difficulties and trials so that we emerge into strong, faith-filled people. The result is an identity found in Him, and Him alone.

Let’s look at the life of Joseph. There is no better example in the Bible regarding this truth. Joseph had a dream from the Lord, showing him that one day he would be ruling over his brothers. Like a normal teenage boy, he was excited about what the future held. Naively, Joseph didn’t comprehend the road ahead. It was a road that would be marked with difficulty and hardship – betrayal, slavery, seduction, and prison.

I’m guessing that young Joseph may not have been so excited about his future if he had seen what he had to go through in order to get there. However, all these challenging circumstances were necessary to develop his identity. It grew his faith, confirmed his commitment to God, and ultimately prepared him to lead a country and save it and his entire family from famine.

Some of you have seen glimpses of your future, maybe even through a dream or prophetic word like Joseph. Yet, your current situation doesn’t line up with what you thought your future held. You feel defeated, and the dreams once inside of you are starting to fade away.

Please don’t let today’s trial prevent you from embracing your future. Life may be hard. It may not make sense. But, if you are truly submitted to God and His ways, one day it will come to be. You are in the process of building your identity. As you go through each trial, God is preparing you for the next step, building spiritual muscle and leaving a trail of His faithfulness in your path.

Remember, God didn’t change his mind about Joseph. And, God hasn’t changed his mind about you. God knows what it required to prepare you for your destiny. So ladies, follow Joseph’s example. Don’t become bitter. Let your trials and hardships help you become better.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:2-4

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Standing Strong


March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Well, in Connecticut, we are definitely still in the lion phase, as evidenced by the strong winds and snowstorm we just experienced. One morning last week, I had a rare opportunity to just sit. Snow was still blanketing my backyard and the winds were howling fiercely, but the sun was shining. So I decided to take a few moments out of my busy day and just enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.

I stared out my back window and was mesmerized by the trees in the woods swaying from side to side. They moved in perfect harmony as the wind blew around them. Interestingly, as much as they bent and swayed, these trees were in no danger of falling. These particular trees are mature trees, deeply rooted in the ground. A branch may fall off from time to time, but these trees stand strong.

As I watched this seemingly insignificant nature moment, my mind drew a parallel from what was happening with the trees to the life of a Christian. You see, everyone experiences howling winds from time to time. They are unavoidable. In fact, scripture says we are to expect them. But, those whose foundation is deeply rooted in Christ will not fall.

I personally have experienced these types of winds many times throughout my life. Even though I wished I could have stopped them while they were blowing, I look back and recognize that the Lord was with me through the storms. He never left my side. My faith and my trust were deeply rooted in Him, and Him alone.

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

So, how do we grow deep roots? How do we become women of God that aren’t going to cower at the storms that come our way? First, we need to study the scriptures and all His glorious promises. We need to get these scriptures from our mouth, to our head, and to our hearts so that we can remain steadfast.

Second, we need to spend time with Him in prayer so that He can build us up and strengthen us. We need to be building our faith muscles during the moments of calm. This is only accomplished through uninterrupted time with Him.

Lastly, we truly need to comprehend the depth and intensity of God’s love for us. Once we wrap our heads around that, we can endure any storm that comes our way knowing that our Heavenly Father is in control of our lives.

Ladies, when the winds begin to blow – and I promise you they will – remember you will not fall over if you are deeply rooted in Him. As long as you make God number one in your life, He has got you. You may bend, you may sway, you may even lose a branch, but you will endure the storm and stand strong.

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught. – Colossians 2:6-7

Nobody Likes a Test


Certain words in the English language have the ability to trigger a strong emotional response. One of those words is TEST. Walk into an eighth grade Algebra classroom and announce that there is going to be a test on Friday, and watch the various reactions. No matter how knowledgeable you are, a test creates a level of anxiety because what you’ve learned is going to be challenged. According to, a common definition for test is “a set of questions, problems, or the like, used as a means of evaluating the abilities, aptitudes, skills, or performance of an individual or group.” Another definition, however, states that a test is “the means by which the presence, quality, or genuineness of anything is determined; a means of trial.” Unfortunately, Christians are all too familiar with this last definition.

“God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart.” 2 Chronicles 32:31

God is greatly interested in the condition of our hearts. Often, the only way God can determine the genuineness of our heart is to allow us to go through trials or testing. It is in the moments of pressing and squeezing that our true character and the authenticity of our faith shine through. This process is used to strengthen our beliefs and build a trail of God’s faithfulness in our life.

I love David’s prayer in Psalm 129 verses 23 and 24.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.”

This prayer made me reflect on what comes out of my own heart when I’m tested. Anyone could have a good attitude when things are going well. What offensive ways come out of me when things are tough or when life seems unfair?

When the trials come, and I promise you they will, what does your heart look like? Is it steadfast, trusting in the promises of God? Or do fear, bitterness, impatience, and anger flow out? Our desire should be to have a pure heart, one that is sold out to God. It should be full of love overflowing, not envy, strife, jealousy, pride, worry or insecurity. If that is what comes out, then it is time to do a heart examination.

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10