Dog tired of bad things happening

Let the Bad Days Come

The fall of 2019 marked a major turning point for me. I found myself submerged in an incredibly difficult situation regarding my schizophrenic brother. Several times I questioned why God would let bad things like this happen to our family.

Unfortunately, I over involved myself in his affairs, thinking I could control the uncontrollable. My deep concern for my brother’s safety and well-being became an obsession. I cried. I prayed. I toiled long hours to try to make things work better.

Eventually, I realized that I’d placed myself in the position of God in His life. Once I accepted that I wasn’t the one who could save him, I allowed God to move the way He wanted. As soon as I let go, He resolved the situation in a way I never could’ve imagined. 

Bad things can happen in a storm

A Dark Season Begins

Regrettably, the deep wounds and stress over his affairs had already done their damage. They unlocked something in my body that launched me into a mid-life health crisis at only 39 years old. 

The dark season ahead produced difficulty upon difficulty. On top of the 2020 Covid Pandemic, I suffered days, weeks and even whole months of exhaustion, pain and mental distress for which no one could find a source. I struggled to take care of myself and my family for many days at a time. My calendar, which usually marked out a pattern of occasional bad days, switched and now reflected the few good days I would have in any given month.

An unseen enemy in my body placed me in a helpless position. For the first time in my life, I found myself answering “I can’t” more often than not.  I had minimized visiting with friends and family and nearly given up my own hobbies and activities with my children.

God opened my eyes to some very crooked beliefs about Him.

Questioning My Identity

This vulnerable position made me question everything, but particularly my identity and faith. Finally, after about six months of fighting my symptoms and arguing with myself and God, I relented. No medication, supplement, diagnosis, diet or treatment had given me any relief. My spouse, nor my kids, nor my health providers could fix me. My only option remained that I either continue fighting my way or release it to God and seek Him on it. Once I stopped fighting my disease and accepted it from God (and not the devil) I had much peace.

Then through a variety of ways—church messages, conversations, prayers, Bible reading, etc.—God opened my eyes to some very crooked beliefs about Him hiding under my faith. 

In fact, when I realized where I had been wrong about God, I began to take joy in my renewed discovery of Him and even my illness.

Despite how lonely, hard and helpless the journey had been, I realized that God had used so much of it to tear down wrong beliefs and change me on the inside. But He had to shake my faith to the core and let me work through some discouragement and disappointment. As a result, He restructured some foundational ideas regarding my relationship with Him. Then my Heavenly Father rebuilt a solid, balanced faith upon which I could stand with confidence.

When God Lets Bad Things Happen

Sometimes God uses bad things to shake us in order to bring us into maturity.

Bad things happen during an earthquake

One huge result of my shaking was a big shift in my priorities. Because I physically could only do so much, God weeded out many extra things in my life and helped me reprioritize what really mattered. My biggest priority became spending time with Him in the Bible and prayer. Once I submitted everything to God, He not only changed my view of Him, but it seemed my entire world looked differently. No longer would I let my experiences define my faith or God’s character. I knew I’d still have moments of frustration and disappointment, but those occasions no longer keep me from clinging to my Father–my only hope.

When I finally cemented my priorities in place, God also began uncovering the unseen adversary I fought daily. I’ve heard it can take up to three years to diagnose autoimmune disease, but mercifully, He allowed us to find the source of my symptoms in just under two. That led to me finally receiving proper treatment and relief. Simply knowing the root cause of my health problems changed the game.

A New Perspective of Difficulty

If complete healing would make me forget about Him, I don’t want it

Thankfully, the bad days are fewer now but they do still come. I can better care for my family and enjoy life again because He’s blessing me with more good days than bad. Although I’m not completely healed, I’m not sure that’s what I want right now. You see, God has used my bad days and hardships to pull me closer to Him. If complete healing would make me forget about Him, I don’t want it.

Wait, What? H. R., you can’t be serious.

Yes, It’s true.

I cringe at the thought of going through this kind of terrible season again, but I’m so very grateful for it. God knew I needed solid truth instilled into my core beliefs more than I needed to feel well. He used hardship to get my attention and took me to a place of joy in Him I would have never found otherwise. In addition, He used my illness to shed things that had been preventing me from pursing His call on my life to write. In the middle of my health crisis, He told me it was time to step out. And even though I still struggle, I’ve never been better.

Bad things happen to make me stronger

When I am Weak, Then I Am Strong

God seems to move more mightily in our weakest moments. I finally understand what Paul meant when he said “For when I am weak, then I am strong” in regards to his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Although physically I am weaker than ever, my faith is stronger than ever. 

Think about this: If we never had trials, tests or hardships, why would we need God? Only in the most dark, discouraging or hopeless times were God’s moves extraordinary and appreciated. And he purposely used humble, imperfect people and touched those who were sick, weak or in need of deliverance. 

He’s always been and always will be a God of the underdogs.

Paul wrote the book of Philippians in what I imagine was a nasty, stinking, dark jail. In the epitome of his hardship, he wrote some of the most encouraging words for us. Things like “Rejoice in the Lord always” or “I can do all things through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4: 4-13)

God seems to move more mightily in our weakest moments.

Let the Bad Days Come, My Friend 

As believers, we oftentimes have difficulty associating our troubles with a loving Creator. Most of the time we blame the devil, not realizing that God might really be the author of our hard times.

I’d like to encourage you to stop fighting your bad days or difficulties when they come. Instead take them to the Lord and ask Him what He’s trying to teach you. Seek Him through prayer and His Word so that He can use the ugliness you face to mature you in your faith and pull you into your divine destiny.

Don’t despise God’s allowance of difficulty. The fact is that we won’t mature without those tests He sends our way (James 1: 2-4). No matter what kind of season we’re in, He’s always close waiting for us to run to Him. And it’s in His presence where we find everything we need.

Do you have a story about God using a difficult time to build your faith? How has God shown you His faithfulness in hardship? Share it below!  

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Published by

HR Hook

Lover of Jesus. Wife. Mother. Writer. Poet. Novelist. Teacher.

12 thoughts on “Let the Bad Days Come”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, Heather! I, too, went through a season of deep trials during which God revealed so many untruths I believed about Him. He drove me to His Word and I’ve never been the same. I’m excited to see His great work in you and to walk this journey with you! Love you!

  2. For the last 25 years, my mom, sister, and I have been through a myriad of strife. From an accident that ultimately took my brother’s life, to three evictions, to medical problems, a divorce, and homelessness….we persevered…and stuck together over all this time, and took these as tests from the Lord.

    It has been a rough time, but that has brought us closer to the Lord and my mom, sister, and I closer and closer as a family.

    With the COVID pandemic, humanity is being tested. We shall all get through this…if we just listen to his words….which are contained in written form….in The Bible.

    1. Thank you for sharing your heart Christopher! Isn’t it wonderful that we have Heaven to look forward to? No more suffering; no more pain. I’m so glad you see the value in His Word.

  3. Thank you for sharing this, Heather! It is such an encouragement to have a right mindset when we face the troubles in this life that are sure to come. I agree that the times I have grown the most spiritually have almost always been marked by trials that bring me to the realization of my utter helplessness and dependence on God. It’s in the good times that we are tempted to think we can do life in our own strength or when we elevate seemingly good things to the point of worshiping them instead. God, in his grace and mercy, uses trials to reveal and knock down the idols of our hearts and so we can face them with gratitude rather than trepidation.

    The whole time I was reading your post, James 1:2-4 was brought to mind:
    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    I love how you said you would not choose healing if it meant losing the closeness you have with Him now. The world cannot understand such a staggering claim. How can you give thanks for suffering in your life? But we know He is working all things together for the good of those that love Him, and now you are using those trials to encourage others. I’m praising Him with you 🙂

    1. I agree that most of the world does not understand how trials can be a blessing in disguise. Definitely blessed by this post too.

    2. Beautifully stated, Mandi! Thank you for expounding is such a eloquent way. I love that verse! In fact the whole book is awesome, right?? 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing your story about how God helped you during a difficult time in you r life. Through many hardships and trials, God strengthens our faith and draws us closer to Him in our lives. Always remember Paul’s words as he sat in a Roman prison,“I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” I used this verse during an extreme hardship in my own life many years ago. The darkest moments of our life will only last so long as is necessary for God to accomplish His will and purpose in us.

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