You Can Have Joy While You Suffer
“I get to live an incredible, full life,” said Katherine, as she reflected on her journey. “The list of things that I can’t do in life is so small, in comparison to the endless things I get to do.” (1) Wow. That hit me. I sat there listening to Katherine Wolf’s interview in awe, as her perspective on life was not shaken by the gravity of her situation.
Katherine experienced a massive stroke in her twenties, resulting in a series of major surgeries. While the Lord allowed her to survive, she came through this fire with battle wounds. She lost her ability to walk, and her hearing and speech were significantly impaired. Not to mention that she was constantly in pain.
No one would have blamed Katherine if she carried a chip on her shoulder. In fact, many would have unintentionally contributed to a victim narrative in her mind by looking upon her with pity. Based on her physical challenges alone, she could have easily convinced herself that the best years of her life were over, and her latter days will be inconsequential because of her circumstances.
Katherine was not oblivious to the severity of her condition. She acknowledges that she had her fair share of bouts with hopelessness and depression. But her love and knowledge of Christ allowed her to reject the helpless, defeated, victim mentality that the devil tried to serve her and equipped her with the strength she needed to write a new narrative.
Katherine crafted a brand new narrative for her life, based on the divine promises of God, and you can too! When we fully embrace that our citizenship is in heaven, the narrative that we paint for our lives is cast upon a much bigger backdrop that is no longer limited to the confines of what we can see, think or do in our mortal bodies. That’s why Katherine doesn’t see herself as being confined by a wheelchair. She considers her wheelchair a blessing because it provides her with the mobility needed to live out her God-given purpose.
There is so much we can learn from Katherine’s story. Like Katherine, we all experience pain and suffering. We will face challenges that feel impossible to overcome and make mistakes that cause us to question who we are. In those moments, our goal is not to diminish the severity of our circumstances. That’s denial. Instead, we must seek to uncover the presence, strength, and faithfulness of God in our situation, so that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
Today, God is calling you to write a new narrative. Any remnants of a victim, powerless, self-defeated, self-consumed mindset have no place in your life after today. You must embrace God’s Word for yourself, believing that its power is not just available to someone else, but it’s available to you. Make a decision not to allow the world, your circumstances, or the lies of Satan to shape the narrative that you choose to embrace. The best of your story is yet to be written, and it’s up to you to take hold of it.
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(1) Interview: Rooted Conference. 1:27-1:28:15- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nho8w9XSMCc