James 1:2-4 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing."

The past couple of months has been a bit hard on my family. My boyfriend's grandfather passed last night. He's taking it pretty hard, and the holiday season is already difficult for him. We have had to miss some days from work. He missed more, and as a man I know it bothers him to lack in any area. He is the best provider our kids and I could ask for. The struggle is definitely real. Even when we lack God supports us. He has sent people into our lives who comfort and support us. He is constantly providing. I used to wonder why he would allow us to go through things AND help us through it. It never really made sense to me. I know that we reap what we sow, and sometimes we may not reap for years down the road. I've also learned that suffering isn't always because of something we did wrong. God uses us just like he did Paul to be a living testimony to other. He uses us for his Glory and to save souls. Paul is a perfect example of this. Paul had what he called a thorn in his side. He referred to it as "a messenger of Satan to buffet" him. It wasn't a physical thorn as from a rose bush. It was his tribulations. Paul had been stoned and shipwrecked. There were periods where he couldn't sleep and he often went hungry. Paul went through a lot. He begged three times to God so that he may remove the thorn. God's response to him was, 2 Cor 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness". Basically, God will allow us to go through things and He is our strength to get through it. Trials will flip a person's life upside down. I'm trying to get closer to God, because sometimes I feel myself falling. The best part about going through something is knowing that God's grace and mercy will abound. Foolishly, I used to think that grace and mercy were a pardon for some of our sins. Well, of course you know I was WRONG! Numbers 14:18 "The LORD is long-suffering and abundant in mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression; but He by no means clears the guilty..." So basically, when we reap what we sow God is merciful in lessening the punishment. We actually don't get what we deserve. No matter what you go through or for how long, that mercy will allow you to get through whatever trial or test. It helps you to not give up. Some people don't have the faith or don't have a relationship with God and when things get to tough they commit or try to commit suicide. I've been there. I KNEW OF God but I didn't KNOW him. 

We are great parents and we have to stay strong in front of our kids. I accidentally cried the other day when I was playing with Braylin. The tears just fell. I'm far from having it all together, but I have a strong desire to be used by God. I also know that I have to go through some things to effectively help people through whatever my ministry is. My BF desires a deeper connection with Christ also. He has been growing in God and I am sooo proud of him. It's definitely not easy. He's been through so much. I try to support him as much as I possibly can. If you have a heart to pray PLEASE for my family. Pray that we stay connected in prayer and that we keep the desire to serve Christ.

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