This week God has been teaching me something so fundamental, it’s almost embarrassing.
I’ve been wrestling with distance and being so far from where my heart wants to be. The aching is so hard
some days every day. I’m incredibly eager to go, to jump up and say, “God where do you want me next,” that I have the most difficult time staying here and being here and serving God where I am.
There are many good things about being here — many, many good things that should be treasured. But there are so many things that my heart is missing about Costa Rica that being here makes my heart ache in ways I didn’t know were possible. My heart is stretched over 3,500 miles and is constantly being pulled south toward my Ticos and the country that I love.
And the fundamental truth God is teaching me: trials are hard.
Trials are hard. That’s why they are called trials. They aren’t easy. They hurt. They make our hearts ache. They make us kick and scream and ask God, “Why?”
But I’m also learning how necessary they are. Trials grow us toward Christ. While my heart is being stretched, so is my character. It is being stretched and shaped it into the likeness of Christ. Trials teach us things that are many times so painful to learn: patience, trust, joy, surrender, faith, hope.
In these trials, it might feel like I am going through the fire, but it’s only because that’s exactly what I’m going through — the Refiner’s fire. I am being refined into Christ’s likeness. I am being shaped to be the woman God wants me to be. I am being transformed into a woman after God’s heart, the woman he wants to use and is using to further his kingdom here on Earth.
Trials are hard. This hurts. My heart doesn’t like it. But I praise God that he is always growing me and teaching me to be like him. I praise God that he is refining my heart.