Hardship Series: A Mother's Journey Through Grief


Today, we are launching a new podcast series on the stories of those who have walked through seasons of hardship. 

Hardship will take different forms, last for different intervals, and differ in degree and depth, but the pain and loss they insert into our lives will share some definite similarities.

While it is not hard to choose a posture of faith before the storm waves surge …once the bottom drops out… it is very hard to see straight, let alone navigate those moments that leave us vulnerable, hurt, dazed and afraid.

It is at this juncture of pain and loss that the comforts of life melt away and we're left with the raw, unfiltered, unvarnished reality of our lives. 

Nothing seems to get to the core of who we really are than pain and hardship. 

This was true for Claudia's college roommate, Jen.

Jen's story is full of devastating loss after devastating loss. From the deaths of her children to numerous health issues, her life has held tremendous hardship. However, Jen's faith has remained unwavering.

"Somewhere along the journey my hope changed from hoping for an outcome… to hoping in God," Claudia remembers Jen sharing, "I still had hope, but it looked different… it wasn’t in what I thought should be, but my hope was in who I knew God to be…so I had to come to a place peace and an acceptance.”

When reflecting on Jen's journey, Claudia shared the following powerful observation:

"While Jen would have most certainly chosen peace, healing and joy in place of hardship, " Claudia said, "She looked upward…time and time and time again. She made a commitment early in this process that she would choose God. She would choose faith…and she would choose to become better and not bitter even though her circumstances were incredibly bitter."

If you look at Jen’s Facebook page right now, you will see the image of a broken mirror reflecting a beautiful sunset. Jen would tell you that this image reflects her life. She will not deny the scars and breaks and wounds of this life that have accompanied her journey. But, in the image of her life you will see the glorious depiction of the Son… setting over the life of a faithful woman.  I told her It’s an image that just stops me in my tracks.

While some could take up a defense for Jen (or themselves…or others who have been called to an unusually difficult journey) or challenge a “good” God for allowing this measure of pain and loss in her life. Jen is an example to us all as she:

  • Models faith in a God she does not always see or understand.
  • Models submission to a God whose ways are not her ways.
  • Models love in the way that she seeks to serve others who, like herself, have experienced great hardship
  • And models hope through her unwavering faith in a God who is good…even when our circumstances are not.

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