10 Truths This Trial Has Taught Me

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of deep reflecting and soul searching. I have begged God to show me what it is He wants me to learn in the MIDST of this hard affliction. This suffering is for my good not evil and having the right heart posture before God opens up opportunity for me to learn from His instructive word. There have been troubling times when God felt far away but really He wasn’t….it was me not Him. He faithfully kept me hanging on to His hand while walking alongside of me.

Here are 10 Truths God has slowly taught me over these past 4 years. That is to say, I’m still learning to grab hold of them firmly, so the process is ongoing (just like my brain injury).

1) Go to God first.

When I’m struggling with deep emotional or physical pain, my temptation is to tell my family and friends first before even thinking of praying. How foolish it is that I suppose anyone other than God can even understand or handle my problems. Most of the time, I find perfect comfort in talking to Him, instead of venting to others who are also hurt by the enormity of this trial. Psalm 71:19 “Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!”

2) Be thankful for every day, not just the good ones.

I have learned that life is a precious gift not to be taken for granted. Each day God gives me to love on my kids even if I am in hard pain, is a day for me to be amazed at the grace of God. He shows up on the hard days through thought and reflection on His word because in those hard days when I’m forced to rest more, there’s more time for fellowship with Him. Psalm 90:15 “Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil.”

3) This world is not my home.

A close friend battled stage 3 breast cancer years ago and after she beat it (by the grace of God) she told me that through it He showed her this world is not her home. I didn’t fully grasp her meaning until I broke years later. Now I can wholeheartedly say this world is not my home. I’m only here on a temporary basis. If this world was my home I’d be in trouble. God has used my suffering to look upward and not get so caught up in the things of this world. My life in eternity matters most and because of Jesus I am secure in knowing peace, joy, and hope in a new heaven and earth with Him. Colossians 3:2 “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”

4) Don’t worry about what others think.

I’ve wasted so much time and energy on this one. Really, it’s not something we can even begin to control. Why worry when a person’s opinion of me is very irrelevant in the light of eternity. I should only care what God thinks. He sees me struggling, trying, persevering, hoping, and living. If people think I’m lazy, wimpy, or whatever negative attributes they surmise, it doesn’t matter and I remind myself not to allow it to get to me because God sees my heart. 1 Samuel 16:7b “for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looked on the outward appearance, but the Lord looked on the heart.”

5) Hold everything in a loose hand.

Corrie Ten Boom puts it well when she says to keep everything in a loose hand or it deeply hurts when God has to pry our fingers open. I’ve learned that there are many ebbs and flows in life with money, health, people, and the like. Money will come and go. So will people…..Health is a very changing and uncertain thing. Roll it all onto Jesus and trust Him with it ALL. We carry nothing in this life to eternity but our souls. Keep an open hand and leave it all in His. Hebrews 12:27 (Bill Sweeney’s life verse) And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”

6) I can do nothing apart from Jesus.

The other day I was feeling excessively overwhelmed at the beginning of the week with schooling my youngest two. I sat there fretting about all the subjects and not feeling up to any of it, period. Then the Lord whispered to me Philippians 4:13 after seeking him in prayer. I begged Him for strength to carry on and He absolutely did! I was amazed and thrilled at how powerful His word is. It really is alive! “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

7) Keep your blinders on, and don’t compare!

Really, how many of us pretend on social media our lives are just peachy when we all know it isn’t. We all have trials. We all suffer. It’s hard and it’s messy. If I compare my shattered life of health with my footloose and fancy free friends, it only makes me miserable. I even find myself comparing my life with others who are also chronically infirmed! That’s even worse!! I’ve learned by God’s teaching, my trials were meant for me and I’m living the life God designed me to live. I am right where He has planted me. I know things are not fun or what I would have chosen but I know God knows best and He has written my story wisely. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”

8) Laugh it off.😂

Having a brain injury requires not taking yourself too seriously. Recently, I have been struggling to get my words out properly. For some reason I’m putting a W on the beginning of my R words. I sound like Elmer Fudd from Looney Tunes, or the “marriage” Priest from the Princess Bride. The kids laugh at me for the dumb sounds I make and you know what? I laugh too. I could choose to cry that I’m a blundering weirdo but it’s lots more fun laughing and actually quite healthier. Ecclesiastes 3: 4″…..and a time to laugh….”

9) Get busy doing and praying for others.

When in the school of suffering God has taught me to focus my attention towards helping others in prayer or reaching out to them in love. There are times when my heart hasn’t been in it because of my own issues, but God always brings a blessing by showing me how to forget about myself while praying for others. It’s not about me. It’s about agape love that flows from God to me, then to them. 1 John 4:7a “Beloved, let us love one another…”

10) Never give Satan an inch because he will certainly take a mile!

I truly believe that the worst posture I can have is a worried, fearful outlook on life while others see my claim to faith but notice my lack of it. So, do I go around with a defeated, scared, and ungodly attitude towards my trial, or do I stand strong in this fight. The worst witness we can have as believers is acting like our God is little and unable to help us through our struggles. Satan wants Christians to be chained by our fears because it goes against everything God says in 2 Timothy 1:7. No, God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear.👎We have power, love, and a sound mind through Jesus who is victorious over this world!💪We can and should show everyone how we grasp firmly to the promises of God. If we are His then we shouldn’t go around acting like our Father in heaven doesn’t love or help His beloved.

**This point has been the biggest challenge of my life and I’m still learning every day to apply it. Sometimes I say this verse out loud in moments of fear and it’s power is triumphant. It works friends….it really does!

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
After so long, I finally got to visit with my beloved Mama.

Much love,

Viv 💚

What has God been teaching you through your suffering? Which point 1-10 resonates with you the most? I’d love to hear your thoughts.💚🙏

My adorable parents!

Author: Viv

I'm a TBI warrior whose hope and strength comes from God.

73 thoughts on “10 Truths This Trial Has Taught Me”

    1. Oh yessssss!!!!! It had been way too long and we cherished every moment together. My husband and I hesitated to go by and visit before now until the threat of COVID passed over his job. Much love Dawn!💚

      Liked by 2 people

  1. What a blessing to get to see your mom 🙂 You have certainly outlined a great example of great “truths” here Vivian. Praying for others when we are in the valley works wonders for me. My best friend told me many, many years ago that we should always pray for others first THEN for ourselves. I had never really organized(if that is the right word lol) my prayers that way. But since always putting my request at the end of my prayers it has been a noticeable difference. LORD, thank You for continuing to bless Vivian.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Margaret!! How wonderful to hear from you dear friend! Oh yes, I am still so excited I could spend time with her! 🤗 I deeply appreciate what you said about praying for others. I love that you put your own requests last. Oh, how awesome is that!! I continue to pray for you dear one!! Many hugs!!💚🙏🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing these Vivian. I cannot just pick a couple of points that stood out to me because all of them are so true and important in helping us when we go through trials.
    Beautiful pictures with your parents. You and they must have been so thrilled to meet up.
    Blessings to you 😊💙.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome dear Manu. I’m thankful for your continued love and support. I am currently reading Isaiah 40:29, the verse you gave me a few weeks ago. It’s great to hold His words near our heart.

      Oh I love them!! I feel so blessed and so much joy!!
      Much love dear friend and sister! 💚🤗🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am so glad that verse is something that speaks to you whenever you need it. I was reminded of how beautifully God timed that verse to pop up in my daily verse for the day as I was about to reply to your post.
        I want to share just another portion of a verse with you 2 Timothy 4:17a “ But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength”.
        This was by Paul when he was lonely in going about His mission to teach the gospel.
        I hope that as for me these words reassure and comfort you that He is by your side on a good day and on a bad day, on days you feel surrounded by others and on days you feel you are struggling on your own. And His strength He will impart to handle whatever we have to.
        Paul says those words so he could continue to spread the word ( to live out His purpose). May God give you that too Vivian.
        Much love 💙.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh wow Manu! What a beautiful comment and truth of God’s strength as we journey through trials. I love 2 Timothy! I bet at times Paul’s lonliness didn’t even exist because of the deep fellowship he had with Jesus, even if physically he felt alone. You know, you are the second blogger to point out the apostle Paul to me and his sufferings….I’m so grateful!❤❤🤗

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Your parents are adorable!!!

    My takeaways
    •Most of the time, I find perfect comfort in talking to Him, instead of venting to others who are also hurt by the enormity of this trial.
    • My trials were meant for me and I’m living the life God designed me to live. I am right where He has planted me.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vivian, what a concise synopsis of crucial life lessons. I’m saving this one. Really, it’s stuff we know already, but you give us reminders in edifying and loving words.
    Thank you for this blessing.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Reading through your list was both encouraging and discouraging. Encouraging to know that God is strengthening and teaching you through your trials. Discouraging to feel like I so often fail in every single area you listed. Lately, I’ve been especially overwhelmed with life’s trials. I’m tired, I’m lonely, and I feel hopeless and helpless. I don’t feel like I’m growing; I feel like I’m shriveling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry it discouraged you Rebekah, truly, I never thought it may come across that way. 😔 I am still learning too, as I mentioned in the beginning….God’s still teaching me and my journey has been full of shortcomings and severe deficits. Only by God’s grace have I learned any of this after much prayer and study of His word but that isn’t to say I have finally finished learning. I don’t think ANY of us are ever finished until glory. Thank you for expressing how you feel. I just hope I didn’t come across like a know it all because I know nothing most days. But God….He is our only hope in all this. ❤

      Like

      1. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. You didn’t sound like a know-it-all at all. You sounded like someone who is learning and growing, and it sounded like such a wonderful thing that I guess I just felt jealous and insufficient to do that same. I’m sorry. I’m having a bad week. I should have kept my mouth shut.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s okay Rebekah, really, I just want my blog to bless people, especially those who suffer chronically like you and many others. There’s so much bad and negative stuff out there in the world, I hope to cause people to feel safe on my space in cyberspace.🙏❤
        I’ve been praying for you…..did you get to your appointment and I’m so sorry you’re having a rough week.

        Like

      3. I actually did not make it until my appointment. Several days prior, I woke up to find that the area was oozing and bleeding. With no idea of what was going on, I had my mother take me to urgent care. It turns out, my lump was actually a growing abscess — and it finally burst. Tests revealed it was infected with staph. My wound was tended to (the hole was large enough that it had to be packed) and bandaged, and then I was prescribed an antibiotic. It has mostly healed now.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh wow Rebekah. I’m thrilled it was an abscess and not the other issue we feared! I hope it didn’t hurt too much and glad it mended up quickly. Praise God your body just decided to let it out and I’m thankful for the update. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      5. It was very painful prior to bursting, but once it did, the pain completely went away. And, yes, I was sooo relieved to learn it was something that would heal up and not be another long-term issue.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. So needed these reminders. You’re amazing. Yes, I know it’s by the grace of God, but still…. 😀 Loved your post and you. I especially love… “This is not my home.” Yeah, it’s easy to get too comfortable thinking this is it… and then start to sink. Gotta think higher and remember that the best is still to come. Love youuuuuu. And thank you. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Boy these are great!! Awesome reminders!! I definitely DEFINITELY need to get better about laughing things off!! Just yesterday I was ranting and raving about cleaning a dog puddle in the house, I complained so much that my daughter went outdoors 😬😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Alicia, I’ve gone off the deep end over dog puddles so many times. Molly actually used to squat and let loose on my bed for revenge.😣😂😲 I thought I’d go nuts…..I suppose I meant to laugh at myself more and not be so upset about my weird brain and it’s funky ways….but I am not sure if I elaborated properly on each subject and I hope my post made sense. 🤔Thank you so much for your love and support dear lady!❤🤗

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the post is fantastic and brings up great points!!
        We have a dog that likes to potty on the bed as well!! Grrrr!
        But I need you to know that your post was such an inspiration to me this morning… I was out watering the flowers and my water sprayer nozzle got stuck, in effort to “fix” it I ended up getting soaked, rather than being annoyed I laughed it off as I thought of your post❤️

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh Alicia, I get what you meant now. Yes, we definitely need to laugh off those stressful situations, it helps. Sorry my brain’s smoking and I think I need a nap. 😂🤗 hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I loved reading your wonderful lessons you’ve learned through your trials. I think one of the hardest for me is to be thankful for every day, but I’m definitely getting there. Every morning I wake up and thank God for another day.
    I hope you’re doing well! You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Michelle, it’s perfect you brought this point up since today started off all wrong it seems but I am reminded of my own words (and yours) to be thankful regardless because that posture is exactly how God reaches our hearts. Thank you for this dear neighbor, and for your prayers. I’m ok, lots of pain but I’ve come to accept it as my new normal. 🤗 love ya!❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Vivian, thank you for sharing your personal witness. All of us gain so much with individual moments of self-reflection. As I have matured and entered the final third of my life, I am thankful for every precious day (my Mom reminds me of this). I have given more sincere thought to eternity and it really matters. On the outside of my writing notebook, I frequently read Philippians 4:13. I appreciate your encouragement, and you and your family have a home in my thoughts and prayers. God’s peace!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Richard, I cherish this comment! Your mom is very wise! Every day God gives is a gift to treasure.

      My beautiful Mama just had a Stroke right after I blogged this. She is ok BUT needs therapy. I’ve been battling my emotions……but I see God’s goodness in all of this. He is in control. I’m so thankful she’s still here.

      Thank you for reminding me of this verse. Truly, your prayers mean so much to me!! God bless you always dear friend and brother.

      Like

  10. Vivian I am so glad you get to see your mom finally! This whole post is so wonderful, and I know it’s going to help so many people out they are going through the same thing. I know it spoke to my heart! 💜🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Renee, seeing mama was so wonderful. This happened one week before her stroke. She encouraged me in the Lord, with my health, my teenagers, life, and I am glad we could talk. I pray it helped others, honestly, so many of these lessons were learned the hard way after much grief but I am grateful. I’m so glad for you Renee, and your support during this time means the world. ❤❣❤❣🙏

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There is nothing in this world that can’t be made better by a living mother’s visit! I am totally convinced of this! Something tells me that you have inherited your mother’s wonderful personality! 💜
        I’m glad to help, if nothing but through prayers. And you have always done the same my sweet friend! 💜🤗

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Bill, God is wonderful!! I am so thankful for you checking on me. Honestly, it means so much. If this world was our home, it would feel so hopeless. My hope for me, you, mama, and so many others is for what awaits for us in glory. And it’s not so far away, we just hang on, clinging to our Lord. I’m praying for you too Bill and you’re always in my thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Champion (of HOPE) Writer and commented:

    My other blogs in this area are at

    http://www.facebook.com/livingwithheadinjury

    http://www.headbraininjury.wordpress.com

    http://www.traumaticbraininjurytbi.wordpress.com

    https://headinjurytbi.wordpress.com/

    https://livingwithheadinjury.wordpress.com/

    http://www.livingwithheadbraininjury.wordpress.com

    https://thenurseanewbook.wordpress.com

    and

    https://anoneextraordinarylife.wordpress.com/

    “We share what we know, so that we all may grow.”

    “Knowledge is the gateway to understanding…and understanding is the gateway to a better life.”

    Shining a light of hope in the darkest corners

    Helping promote better understanding and awareness of what is often termed “The Silent Epidemic” (and/or “The Hidden Handicap”)

    “Inform, educate, uplift and (perhaps even) inspire”

    from https://craigsbooks.wordpress.com/2019/12/02/thoughts-from-an-injured-brain-timothy-giles/

    from a Google search (to rescue me from “sheer utter chaos”). Thanks “BIG G”
    and by that, I mean God… rather than Google! https://craigsbooks.wordpress.com/2019/12/02/thoughts-from-an-injured-brain-timothy-giles/

    Share, encourage, uplift and help spread hope, love and light
    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is brilliantlight111312121-1-2.jpg

    Liked by 1 person

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