Adversity washes over me, morning and evening, day to day. It often comes on the heels of one another, bringing with it tidings of heartache and joy. Yes, joy. Nehemiah 8:10 states, “The joy of the LORD is your strength.” People ask me how I do it, how I endure in the face of affliction. My answer? Christ. I merely breathe the breath He has given me and go on.
This side of eternity, I may never see beyond the frayed knotting of the Weaver. I can’t see the whole picture. But I can trust. I trust Christ more than anything. The pain, oh the pain in my heart is unrelenting. But I hold in my heart a comforting truth as written in Revelation 21:1-4:
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I can’t imagine a more beautiful passage. When things are dire, when I’m so overcome I can hardly catch my breath, I meditate on this Scripture. One day, my son will run to Christ. His eyes will light up; his beautiful smile will adorn his innocent face. And he will run into the arms of the Savior.
The past five years have been incredibly difficult for our family. My son of whom I speak of, Joshua, is not the only one to struggle physically. We’ve faced many trials, sometimes a trickling, and at other times a downpour. Things go wrong. Things break down. We’ve suffered loss, setbacks, and have experienced the hand of Providence in our lives.
For two and a half years, I’ve been working on my first novel. I’ve written three chapters twice only to scrap it and start over. And at this juncture of my life, I become paralyzed every time I sit down to write. And so this blog post is my attempt to begin to break free of this block, to make a crack in the wall of fear and self-doubt.
I truly believe God has called me to write. I have a lot to say about His goodness, about His sovereignty. I can’t express in words how beautiful Christ is to me. If adversity has taught me anything, it is that it brings with it bountiful blessings. That everything around me fades, that I seek His face in the darkness, that I place my trust in Him fully. The world needs the light of Christ, and if, through affliction, He moves me to write His truth across the page, weaving stories and dispelling the shadows, I welcome it.
Some days the pain in my heart overwhelms me, and as I’ve made a habit of it, I push it back, refusing to deal with it. But affliction is the ink I write with. It is the melody in my soul. And so I must learn to let the words flow. I have many stories to tell. But most of all, I want to tell His story and shout to the world how He has changed my life.
When God lays men upon their backs, then they look up to heaven. God’s smiting His people is like the musician’s striking upon the violin, which makes it put forth melodious sound. How much good comes to the saints by affliction! When they are pounded they send forth their sweetest smell. Affliction is a bitter root, but it bears sweet fruit.
– Thomas Watson
C. L. Stansberry is a Christian speculative fiction writer and blogger with a desire to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ and make Him beautiful and glorious in the eyes of the people.