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Lessons I've Learned: Part 7

I wrote a post last week about suffering being a gift and about choosing to fall on God's grace so that God may bring that gift to fulness as He desires it to be for us. I want to better spell a few things out in regards to this than I did last week.

Suffering is a gift in a few ways. For us personally, it is a gift in that it gives us reason to come to God, asking for His help and His Grace. It is too easy, when everything is going well, to set prayer aside and to let our relationship with God remain or become stagnant. Suffering can either be a reminder that we do indeed need God, or, for some, it can be a first step in a journey toward faith. Suffering is a vehicle by which God draws us, His beloved, to Himself.

Suffering is also a mode by which, after we ask for His help, God sends graces down upon us. Through suffering, He prepares our hearts, if we allow Him, to receive His graces: His love, peace, and joy and all that He desires to give us. It is through suffering that we a…

Lessons I've Learned on my Journey through Depression and Anxiety: Part 6

I want to expand on something I was writing in the first partof this series: the gift of suffering.

St. Teresa of Avila, it is said, complained to Jesus one day of multiple hardships she was suffering. To that, Jesus said to her, "Teresa, that's how I treat my friends." Teresa quickly answered, "No wonder You have so few friends."

God does allow us all to suffer hardships and challenges. It may not seem right that He does not protect those of us who are doing our best to follow in His Ways from such difficulties. It may not seem right that He does not treat His friends better or that He does allow "bad things to happen to good people." But there is a gift to be found through enduring hardships and challenges, a gift that God wants so very much to share with His friends. If life was always easy and we were able to just cruise through our days, we would miss out on that precious gift.

A friend of mine from college very recently lost her nearly-3-year-ol…

Lessons I've Learned in My Journey: Part 5

If you are new to reading these posts, you can find part 1 here.


A friend of mine, who also has anxiety, pointed out to me one day that she has noticed on many occasions that, just at the time that she thinks she is doing well, her anxiety returns full force. It was interesting to hear her say that because I had noticed that too with my anxiety, and, like her, I was frustrated with that fact. It gave me a sense that I was fighting a battle that could not be won. 

It was one of those things I had noticed but had not yet reflected on to any great degree. I had simply noticed that on occasions when I was praying with less intensity and with fewer expressions of my trust in God, the anxiety would begin to creep back in. In my prayers, I would express this frustration to God. "Why can't You just heal me?" I'd ask Him. "Why must I pray so intensely at all times in order for You to continue to give me this peace I long for? Why do You take it away so quickly if I let dow…

Lessons Learned on My Journey through Anxiety and Depression: Part 4