Trials are a part of life
Although trials are a part of life they are still unpleasant. However, the Bible does give us the warning to be prepared for them. A few weeks ago in church, our pastor preached on the topic of trials.
He shared that if one is not going through a trial, one is coming up. As depressing as that was to hear, I knew it was true.
That reminder also gave me hope that trials will not last forever.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Our trial with pneumonia
About two weeks ago my hubby came home from work not feeling great. At first, I hoped it was nothing serious like the flu. Over the next couple of days, he went downhill. By the third day, he wasn’t leaving the bed, he had chills, a fever, a headache, and no appetite.
Since it was a weekend and the next day a holiday we couldn’t get in to see our doctor until Tuesday evening. By that time he had developed an ear infection. He was prescribed antiviral meds and antibiotics. Two days later after a chest x-ray, it was determined he also had pneumonia.
Feeling anger during trials
My husband is only 26. If he wasn’t better by the following Tuesday he’d have to go to the emergency room. We looked up statistics and 1 in 5 to 1 in 10 people die from pneumonia after being admitted to the hospital.
After learning about his diagnoses I felt a range of emotions. At first, I realized the gravity of the situation.
Next, I was sad because of how seriously ill he was. At the same time, I was angry.
Angry because he would have to miss more work which would hinder our finances even more. Angry because I just wanted him to feel better. Angry because caregiving was beginning to take a toll on me.
Although I only cared for my husband for a short time I have so much more empathy for those that are caregivers on a daily basis. It is extremely draining and not easy.
The toll of caregiving and asking for help
Every meal and medication depended on me to provide to him. While also taking care of our busy one-year-old daughter. I worried I wasn’t giving her enough attention and that she was sad her daddy couldn’t play with her even though he was home.
A few days prior when I realized Michael was very sick I realized we needed help. I am the type of person who prefers to act independently. Reaching out for me is a big deal. Thankfully his mom was available and close by. She was able to help take Michael to appointments and bring us some groceries.
I remember when I was very sick for months while pregnant how nice it was to have my own mom come over. Sometimes even as an adult you still just want your mom.
I also recalled how well Michael cared for me during my entire pregnancy. When I couldn’t cook or do dishes or barely eat. He was there for everything and took care of me so well. In a way, I felt like I was repaying him just a little for all he had done for me previously.
Trusting God with the outcome
The hardest part of this trial was not knowing whether Michael would make a full recovery. Pneumonia takes weeks to fully heal. Secondly, I wondered how we would be able to keep up with all of our bills.
I knew that whatever happened God would be with me and I didn’t need to worry about the outcomes. When going through I trial I try to remember the other hard times in my life that God has walked me through. In those moments He never left me, He always provided exactly what we needed.
Thankfully God provided just enough each week for us to pay our bills. I credit His provision to prayer and the prayers of others. Never underestimate the power of prayer.
Although I would encourage having an emergency to fund, which is something we are working towards.
5 Things to remember when going through a trial
1. Trials are temporary
1 Peter talks a lot about trials. A few things to note are that trials will not last forever, they have a purpose and we shouldn’t be surprised by trials (1 Peter 4:12)
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1: 6, 7
2. Pray in the midst of your trial
Often times prayer is a last resort. The more pressing matters of a trial take precedence. However, taking a moment to pray can have a big impact when facing a trial.
A few things I like to pray for during a trial are a strength to make it through and God’s provision for health or finances.
I’m also not afraid to ask others to pray for me. I reached out on Facebook to let our close friends and family know what was going on. I received a lot of support.
3. Ask for help
I know asking for help is not easy. People close to you or who offer to help, truly want to help you. Ask for what you need. Whether that’s groceries, babysitting or help with appointments.
4. Take care of yourself
To give you have to be filled. Caregiving is very draining, taking time to make sure you are healthy, fed and clean are important.
5. Reflect on the ways your trial grew your faith
Despite the unpleasantness of a trial, it does have a purpose. Taking some time to reflect on what you learned or what God taught you is important.