Friday, November 18, 2016

Words of Faith: Sandy's story about how to trust God in difficult times

A Lesson from a Difficult Time
A Words of Faith story by Sandra Barela

One day, I was talking to a friend of mine and she asked me some difficult questions. At the end of our conversation, she said I should share my thoughts with others. I immediately put up a wall. There were things that I shared with her that I would be more than happy to keep in my closet. I could share with her because she has known me for nearly 29 years and loved me through all the ugly parts of it, but to share with others? No way! Doesn't pride have a way of doing this to us? When Alexis asked me to share, I decided to share my heart and how God has changed it through a difficult time in my life. It is my prayer that these thoughts encourage you; that they lead you to the Cross and the Truth of the Gospel.

Beginning in April of 2011, I started to have some health issues. In the beginning it was an old ailment acting up. However, that changed at the beginning of May, when I had what was to be the first of many "episodes." At first, these episodes were thought to be seizures but now having a pre-diagnosis of atypical migraines with seizure like activity. These episodes come on at any time, day or night. After these episodes, I have a severe headache and lose most of a day to sleep and fatigue. Many days, I don't have the energy to move from the couch. Since the episodes come on so quickly, my driver's license had to be suspended. The episodes also wreak havoc with my mind. I cannot think straight. I will mix up my words for days, even weeks, and sometimes stutter because I cannot form simple words. I knew it would be detrimental to the school I worked for to continue working so I went out on personal leave. I am unable to make definite plans.

So back to the questions my friend asked me: "How are you dealing with it all? Are you getting depressed?" She was concerned because I have struggled with depression and it is very easy to spiral down that road. However, this time was very different for me. This time I know that God is sovereign – nothing happens outside of his sovereignty. All that happens is for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28-30). This caused me to be thankful. 


I am thankful that God in His providence has shown me the truth of the Gospel. I am thankful that God in His providence has put wonderful people in my life that bring me closer to him. I am thankful that this disability has allowed me to minister to others. I am thankful that God in His Providence, gave me a husband who seeks Him with all his heart; who was patient and shared the Gospel with me even when I didn't want to hear. I am thankful for God's mercy and His grace. Each day that I have is a gift from Him. He could have, and rightly so, judged me on the day I first sinned. I am thankful that God has given us His Word  (The Holy Bible) to learn more about Him. Now I have been given the time to read His Word and do so. God. Thankfulness. His Plan. His Providence.

Before this ailment, I was on what I thought was the high of my life. I had been promoted at work, had a great school year and was beginning to start the next one. My kids were all healthy and doing well in school. My husband and I had a great relationship and even got to get a way by ourselves a few times. By the world’s standards, I was successful. However, I was doing nothing that was for God’s kingdom – nothing that would last eternally. I am thankful that God has shown me that I had put my work before all else, allowing it to become an idol. God has used this illness greatly in my life to bring me closer to Him.

If there is something you are struggling with in your own life – something you don’t understand. Can I encourage you to cling to the Gospel? Cling to the knowledge that God has planned your steps and knows what is best for you. May God bless you richly!

~*~
Author bio: 
Sandra Barela, wife and the mom of three teenagers, received her bachelor’s and master’s degree in Education at the National University and will soon be awarded her master’s in English with a focus on Creative Fiction from Southern New Hampshire University.

During her program there, she took a publishing class and fell in love with the industry.
That infatuation sparked Celebrate Lit Publicity Group! The avid Christian fiction reader and author enjoys helping other great Christian authors succeed, one book at a time.

She lives with her family in beautiful sunny Southern California.
For more information on Celebrate Lit Publicity Group, visit celebratelit.com.

~*~
Connect with Sandy:
https://www.facebook.com/CelebrateLit/, https://twitter.com/Celebrate_Lit

Join the Celebrate Lit Community Forum to meet great authors, learn about wonderful books, post reviews, and hear about giveaways: https://www.facebook.com/groups/441946782665904/

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for your willingness to share your story Sandy. Praying for you as always, my friend!

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    1. Thank you dear friend. I am so grateful for you. I hope you were encouraged. Love you 😘

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  2. Thank you Sandy for sharing this. You are an exceptional lady and I am blessed to have you as my friend. I am sure your struggle with health issues and witness to how it has changed your life will impact on a lot of people. You are a wonderful, brave lover of Christ and may you be blessed forever.

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    1. You are such an encouragement to me my dear friend. Thank you for listening to me, encouraging me, and supporting me. God has blessed me richly with your friendship ❤️

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    2. Thank you my lovely friend. <3

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  3. Thank you for sharing this. I know how difficult it is to open up about personal issues, especially health issues. I am trying to get back into TV scriptwriting, but my health issues, among a few other things, have made it a very slow process. It's not easy to be creative and to write when a person is in pain or sick. I have felt as if I should just give up many times and prayed God would take the desire to write away from me. It's very rare for a person to break into the TV scriptwriting under the best conditions. I was blessed to have some success in my twenties; but since I have many days I cannot write because of my health and my age, 55, I think why even try to write. However, the Lord has not taken away that desire yet, so I just keep plugging along as fast as I can. He might take away that desire anytime, and I will know it is from Him! Reading about what you have gone through helps me realize that I am not alone in my struggles. I am so happy that He is there for you and allows you to bring glory to Him through your writing and the support you give other writers.

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    1. Dear Connie, I am so very sorry about your health issues. It could be quite a challenge to write when you are in pain. I am glad my testimony encouraged you. One thing I have learned is all things are in God's time - writing included. I am glad you have not given up on your writing and are trusting the Lord in these difficult times. I will be praying for you. If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to ask.

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  4. Thank you for sharing your story Sandy. I suffered from seizures as a child. I can recall all the testing and being in the hospital for it. I am still taking medicine to this day for it. I have been told that I could try coming off of it. I haven't had the faith to do that yet. The thought of one happening scares me.
    Blessings and Hugs, Cheryl

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    1. Dear friend, I am so sorry you had seizures. What a blessing that you are not having them now. I understand your fear. It is scary when they happen and they impact so much - driving included! I am thankful for you and your friendship!

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