Theme 3: Suffering

1 Peter 1:6-7

"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith- of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."

Let's talk about suffering.

It's weird to think back to September, to my first week. It's hard to imagine what I was feeling and thinking, the pain in my heart, the desperation for my needs to be filled. It feels like I was a different person in that time.

I was completely broken, lacking everything that was familiar, everything that was comfortable. There was not a day I did not cry a broken-hearted cry, one that left me tired, puffy eyed, and sorrowful. It was a difficult transition. I knew I would have a difficult time transitioning, yet I hadn't realized the sacrifice I was making to come to Honduras.

After being in Honduras for a week I sent out an email to some of my close friends. This is a little bit of what I wrote

"I have been in Honduras for 7 days now, and I have cried every single day. I miss home so much. I miss the comforts of air conditioning, of eating food in the morning without worrying about ants. I miss my kitchen in the morning where I make coffee, chat with Miss, and spend time with my God. I miss the easiness of calling Chris or any of my friends to get together for coffee or lunch. I miss the Mizzou campus, being there with everyone, and reaching out to people there for Christ. I miss not being bored and having the freedom to drive to the supermarket when I want. I miss Chris. I miss him so much. I can’t even put into words the pain I feel when I think of him. I miss our drives to the river, or walking to the park, having date night once a week, or just being able to hear his voice and see him everyday. I love Honduras, and I have wanted to come here since before I first came, but I didn’t realize it would be this difficult. Yet, last night I felt him say to me, give me these 13 weeks Aimee. Please Darling, give me these 13 weeks. I will provide for you. And then when I felt him ask me that, I felt so guilty for ever thinking of myself first and not Christ first. I know that I am here for a purpose, and that it is good that I am here, but it hurts so bad sometimes I feel like He wouldn’t possibly want me to feel this pain. Yet, I know that he doesn’t desire for me to feel pain, but he does want me to use this time when I am in pain to draw closer to him and become desperate for his help."

I was in a really difficult place. I was also in a really beautiful place. I was struggling. I was feeling a lot of pain. I was suffering. Yet, all of this drew me closer to God. I became desperate for Him. I was hurting so deeply, yet I knew that He was the only one that could fill me. When the power was out and I couldn't speak to Chris, I would talk to my God. When my heart was hurting I would read over and over verses I had written down about suffering. When I missed the comforts of home, I would ask God to make my heart content here. I began meeting with Him day after day, drawing closer and closer to Him. My day would feel incomplete without my morning coffee date with Him. It was beautiful. It was breathtaking. It was wonderful. He met me in my needs, strengthened me, and our relationship has grown because of this.

No, Christ does not desire for me to suffer. He does not like to see any of us suffer, yet there is something beautiful about going to Christ in our sufferings, because He is truly the only one that is able to satisfy. He is the best comforter in the world.

During this time, God drew me to a verse that captivated my heart.

Hebrews 2:10
"In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering."
"October 11th,
I am sharing in the suffering of Christ. I am being perfected through this suffering. God is making Himself more complete in me through trials. And for this I greatly rejoice. It is hard here. It hurts. Somedays the pain and homesickness is so great. But you are doing something in me through this suffering that is far greater than gold. You are working in me through the suffering and I am clinging to you in that there is a purpose for these trials. I will find joy in my suffering."

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