At age 22 while living in Mongolia I developed a severe chronic pain condition that effects every aspect of my life. Continuing this blog reminds me that life's challenges are stepping stones meant to lift us, not roadblocks meant to defeat us.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A poem, for when you hit rock bottom.

"The Bottom of the Well" - by Ashley Mansfield

It's a beautiful and sunny day, the sky is bright and blue.
This is how life looks when things go good for you.
You are so grateful for the many blessings you have now,
happiness, joy, and laughter are easy to be found.
But this alone is not all that life was meant to be,
God said that there must be opposition in all things.

It is like we are standing next to a deep empty well,
when we are at the top things are going swell.
Then we slide down the rope a little when a hard time hits,
how far down we go can depend on our faith and the strength of our grip.
But there are times when God has more that He wants us to know,
deeper compassion, empathy, a test of faith, so deep down the well we go...

Down suffering in the darkness it is easier to forget,
that there is a sun above, and a purpose to this test.
It can be hard to understand why the illness, pain, or loss you feel
is not simply taken away, forgiven, fixed or healed.
When we first experience rock bottom it can be more than we can stand,
it may seem we are forgotten, that God surely doesn't understand.

But in your hands you hold the rope that can lead you out again,
if you don't have strength to climb out now, just cling to it as hard as you can.
For this rope is your faith and the gospel, and all the truths you know,
if you forsake it you are stuck down deep and have only darker places to go.
Cling to the rope with all your might when doubt and fear set in,
hold on until you are pulled out or have strength to climb again.

Though we may feel forsaken we are never beyond reach,
no matter how dark it is, no matter how deep.
We are not meant to suffer but we are meant to learn,
our understanding must be deepened for we have and a royal crown to earn.
He knows how much we can take and will pull us out in time,
but sometimes we need strengthening, so He gives us the strength to climb.

And oh how sweet it is when we again reach the top,
with renewed appreciation for what happiness is, and what it is not.
The sun is brighter, moments sweeter, blessings more divine,
you will think to rejoice everyday that you hung on and made the climb.
And if you are ever faced with such deep trials again,
you have been down there before, and will know how to get out again.

When horrible horrible things happen, I have seen people doubt God's love. I do know that sometimes it can be hard to trust and love God when He lets us suffer so much (sometimes for a long time), but I also know that if we turn away from Him we are turning away from our one true chance for real happiness. If we can summon the strength to keep hanging on, even if we don't have strength for much else, we will be blessed and in time we will feel the warmth of sunshine and His love and peace again. I don't know why things must be so hard but I do know this, and it has helped me to look forward to the future with hope.

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