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The Respect Dare, Day 36 – Tears Are an Important Part of This Journey

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Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy.  He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.  Psalm 126:5-6

Suffering is part of God’s way of making us more and more like Christ.  God guarantees us that we as disciples of Christ WILL have suffering in this world and that He uses it to strengthen us. It is a refiner’s fire.  The heat from the trials we face bring all the impurities in our souls up to the surface where He can skim it off and make our faith more mature and more pure.  It is only through painful times that we really learn to trust Him and put all of our faith in Him.

  • October 12, 2008 around 9:30pm – I learned something that turned my entire world upside down and sent me reeling in shock.  I stayed on my face before God for 3 days.  I could barely eat.  I could not function at work.   All I could do was cry and weep and beg God to heal..  I had never hurt so much.

It was one of the most painful experiences of my life.  I am not at liberty to share any details, I hope you can understand.

But God was there.  He was there for me when no one else could be.  He was there for me when everyone else failed me.  And He took that dark moment and used it to show me that I was not the godly woman He wanted me to be – even though I thought I had been.   It was that dark moment that got me looking for His answers and got me to begin to look at myself to see if there was some kind of problem with me.

Two months later, I found “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in the church book store.  And my journey to become a godly wife really began in December of 2008 when God showed me my own mountain of sin and I truly saw it for the first time ever.  I finally had to acknowledge that I was a wretched sinner.  Me – April Cassidy, desperately needed the forgiveness, grace and blood of Jesus.  The amount of my sin was staggering.  I had no idea what to do or where to start.  I was in total shock and disbelief.  Again, I cried for three days.  I wanted to go live in a cave and never talk to another human the rest of my life.  I repented to God and to Greg over and over and over.

All I knew was – I wanted God – I NEEDED Him.  I wanted to do this HIS way.  I wanted Him to be in charge now, not me.  I knew I had to cling to Jesus.  I knew that He was the only Rock in my world.  I knew I had to get rid of my old ways and rebuild on His Word alone – whatever that would mean.  How could I have been so blind?  How could this be happening?  Where on earth do I go from here?  “Show me, Lord!  I’ll do it!  Whatever You want from me – I will obey!”

There were many times of weeping and tears as God showed me more and more layers of my pride and sin.  Seeing our own sin is excruciatingly painful.  Repenting and shoveling all the filth out takes a LONG time sometimes.   I didn’t care – I just wanted it all out of my soul.  I wanted God to be in charge and I didn’t want my own foolish ways anymore!  No matter what the cost!  Dying to self goes completely against everything in my sinful nature.  It is truly a battle.

SUFFERING:

There are so many kinds of suffering.

  • We suffer because of sin being in the world in general – diseases, natural disasters, tragedies
  • We suffer sometimes because of our own poor choices or others’ poor choices.
  • We suffer because of the consequences of our own sin at times – lost relationships, certain illnesses (if we are engaging in high risk behaviors or not taking good care of our bodies, idolizing food, thinness, beauty, etc.), emotional/spiritual isolation from God when we cherish sin in our hearts.
  • We suffer because of other people’s sin around us – those in our family, especially our parents as we were growing up, our siblings and now our husbands and children, friends, etc.
  • We suffer sometimes for reasons we won’t know – the book of Job shows us that there are things going on in heaven we have no clue about.  Satan may be targeting us to try to prove God wrong, and God may be saying that He knows our faith in Him will stand any test.
  • We suffer sometimes because we are persecuted for our faith in Christ.
  • We suffer sometimes because God’s wrath is on our nation if our nation has been sinning greatly against God.
  • We suffer sometimes so that God will ultimately be glorified.

All suffering can be used by God for blessing in His time.  What an incredible promise!  He promises to use suffering to refine our faith, to make us more like Christ, to discipline and strengthen and mature us, to make us more fruitful for His kingdom, to bless other people in the future, for our ultimate good and for His ultimate glory.  In God’s economy – suffering is the path to His blessings.  We can expect suffering.  And we can be blessed by it if we seek to learn all He has for us in each trial – how I pray we won’t waste any of our trials, but absorb and embrace all that God desires to teach us in those painful times.  Those are the times we learn and grow the most!

For some of you, the trials have come in the form of:

  • a miscarriage
  • a death of a  child, close friend, family member or your husband
  • financial loss
  • job loss
  • addictions in the family
  • severe sin issues
  • disease
  • injury
  • a husband away fighting in a war
  • medical problems
  • natural disaster
  • adultery
  • pornography addiction
  • the loss of your home and possessions
  • rape/molestation
  • betrayal of a friend
  • being falsely accused of something and having your reputation destroyed

From a worldly perspective, these things are awful!  It doesn’t seem possible for there to be any good in them.  Thankfully, our God is ABLE!!!!!  He is an expert at making beauty from ashes and bringing joy from mourning.  He knows how to restore the years the locusts have eaten.  He knows how to make all things work together for the ultimate good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

DARE 36:

  • It’s time to think about this – Is God able to help you with your pain?
  • What promises does God give to you, if you are His daughter in Christ, about how He can handle your pain?
  • Read God’s promises to be with you, to help you, to strengthen you – and listen.   Listen intently and quietly.  What is He speaking to your heart today?

What helped me the most was learning about God’s sovereignty and discovering that He was in charge NOT ME!  What a freeing thing to discover!  He took the weight of the world off of my shoulders as I began to see how powerful, huge, mighty and sovereign He is and how teeny tiny and wimpy I am.

This week – try looking up the words suffering, trials and hardships and use a concordance or search them in an online Bible to see all the things God says and the promises He gives about suffering.

http://www.openbible.info/topics/suffering  (This is a link to a number of verses about suffering)

I Peter is all about the suffering church.

James 1 is about suffering and God refining our faith, counting trials as joy.

Philippians has much to say about suffering.

Jesus was the “Suffering Servant.” (Isaiah 53)

SHARE:

What stands out to you today?

What pain are you carrying that you could lay at the feet of Jesus?

Let others pray for you if you need encouragement – leave us a comment. 🙂

37 thoughts on “The Respect Dare, Day 36 – Tears Are an Important Part of This Journey

  1. Hi April,
    I am currently sat at court whilst my husband fights our case for his son (my 9 year old step-son) to live with us as his mum wants to take him to Spain…its been a real tough time but today we will know for sure.

    Please could you pray for us…

    Thank you
    Julia

      1. Hi April,
        I wanted to thank you for praying. I was sat in court and held on to Jesus all day, praying and asking him to check our hearts and help the Judge see the right thing to do. And at the very end of the day, he made his judgement and my step-son is coming to live with us! Praise God. I am so thankful.
        My husband and I have been through a lot in our 7 years together but through your website and the respect dare I have got closer to God. Before I went into court as I was called as a witness, I prayed that they the Judge would see Jesus and not me and that he would give me the right words to say. My husband later told me that our Barrister thought I was amazing and everything changed after I had been in and I thought I had been a nervous wreck and messed it up! I put all my hope in God and I just want to keep growing in my faith. Thanks for always sharing and helping my understanding.

        Julia

  2. This was a very timely message! At this time, I don’t feel I can share details on what my current suffering is in the form of. But, whoever is willing, please say a quick prayer. God will know what the issue is. Thank you so much!! I will also being praying for all the Peaceful Wife subscribers.

  3. Thank you April for this post.. The opening scripture is exactly what I needed to see today. I actually cried myself to sleep last night because something I had been forcefully holding onto for several months now, needed to go. I didn’t even know where to start my healing from.. But I just knew I needed God; I need God to take everything away, My guilt, my shame, my pain.
    Thanks for this website. It’s been a huge blessing to me.
    Thank you for reaching out to women like me. God Bless you immensely.
    Love,
    Keni

  4. I added a bit more just now to the post:

    There are so many kinds of suffering.

    We suffer because of sin being in the world in general – diseases, natural disasters, tragedies
    We suffer sometimes because of our own poor choices or others’ poor choices.
    We suffer because of the consequences of our own sin at times – lost relationships, certain illnesses (if we are engaging in high risk behaviors or not taking good care of our bodies, idolizing food, thinness, beauty, etc.), emotional/spiritual isolation from God when we cherish sin in our hearts.
    We suffer because of other people’s sin around us – those in our family, especially our parents as we were growing up, our siblings and now our husbands and children, friends, etc.
    We suffer sometimes for reasons we won’t know – the book of Job shows us that there are things going on in heaven we have no clue about. Satan may be targeting us to try to prove God wrong, and God may be saying that He knows our faith in Him will stand any test.
    We suffer sometimes because we are persecuted for our faith in Christ.
    We suffer sometimes because God’s wrath is on our nation if our nation has been sinning greatly against God.
    We suffer sometimes so that God will ultimately be glorified.
    All suffering can be used by God for blessing in His time. What an incredible promise! He promises to use suffering to refine our faith, to make us more like Christ, to discipline and strengthen and mature us, to make us more fruitful for His kingdom, to bless other people in the future, for our ultimate good and for His ultimate glory.

    This week – try looking up the words suffering, trials and hardships and use a concordance or search them in an online Bible to see all the things God says and the promises He gives about suffering.

    I Peter is all about the suffering church.

    James 1 is about suffering and God refining our faith, counting trials as joy.

    Philippians has much to say about suffering.

    Jesus was the “Suffering Servant.” (Isaiah 53)

    I am praying for each of you today! 🙂

    1. Justme,

      Jesus was God. He was perfect. God allowed Him to suffer – so that He might be an example for us. If you are a disciple of Christ – check out what the Bible has to say about suffering.

      God is sovereign. He is in total control. He can even take what people intend for evil and use it to shape us, mold us, refine us and strengthen us to be more like Jesus.

      Check out I Peter and James 1. It is important for us to understand that suffering is a tool in God’s hand that He uses for our ultimate good.

  5. Here is a link to a number of verses in Scripture about suffering: http://www.openbible.info/topics/suffering

    Remember that Jesus said to all who would follow Him, “let him take up his cross daily and follow Me.”

    This will be a painful journey at times. But in God’s loving hands, He uses the pain to chisel and mold us to be more and more like Jesus. That is the goal. Our happiness is not God’s goal. He gives us joy as we obey Him. But His goal is our holiness and our intimacy with Him.

  6. Hi April! I praise God for this message today. He knows what we need and when we need it! I had my first baby about 3 months ago and my husband was able to take off 12 weeks paternity leave with us – praise God. Right around the time he was suppose to go back to work, he became very sick – problems with his liver that have yet to be healed. Today we are getting ready to go to the hospital for his liver biopsy to help determine what is causing his liver problems. It has been stressful but I have to praise God because in His timing, my husband’s time off for his illness has given us more time to be together as a family with our new baby. God is good all the time! He has also financially provided for us thus far and we have all of our bills paid up to date. During trials like this, I must remind myself that I am exactly where God intends for me to be. And that He has gotten me through all other trials in my life – this trial is no different. My prayer is – I praise you Heavenly Father for giving my husband priceless time with our new baby. Please guide the doctors and surgeons hands and I pray for healing in my husband. Please give me faith, patience and perseverence. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

    1. Hope44,

      Thank you for sharing! It is great to hear from you!!!!! :). Congratulations on the baby!

      I praise God your husband could be home with you and the baby so much. What a blessing. And what a beautiful attitude you have even now in this trial.
      I pray for God’s greatest glory in this situation and I pray that He might heal your husband and keep all of you in perfect peace.

      Keep us informed!

      Much love,
      April

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your heart in this way April. I can feel your pain in these words and what you went through in those days of suffering and realizing your own sin. I have been there..my hope is that the Lord will continue to draw us to Him and that it wont always take such monumental events for me to see how badly I really do need Him.

    1. Kelley,

      It was SO painful at the time. But now I am forever grateful to God for allowing me to go through that pain, or I would never have learned to submit to Him and truly trust Him. He gave me a chance to experience real abundant life that I had been missing. Now, I am able to see those times as the doorway to great spiritual riches, joy, peace, intimacy with my husband and with Christ. I am so glad He didn’t allow me to stay blind in my sin!

  8. This message came on a day when I’m torn between crying and screaming in frustration. My fiance has endured several emotional, and lately financial, hardships, the most recent being a break-in of his apartment over the weekend, where he had a large sum of money, along with our wedding rings, stolen. Today when he was supposed to move into what would have been our future home, he received an email stating the house was no longer an option. We are trusting God’s timing for him to find a home, quickly, that will be ours together after our wedding. We are trusting that our wedding rings will be recovered or replaced, despite the theft of money along with those rings. We are frustrated, and so very sad and disappointed, but standing together in faith.

    1. Melissa,

      Thank you for sharing! Goodness! You poor things!

      I am so thankful neither of you were hurt. I pray for God to display His power and glory somehow and to shine through you both even in this difficult time. I pray that you might absorb all He has for you to learn at His feet and that you might cling to Jesus and each other and work as a team.

      Thank you for sharing!

      It is going through experiences like this together that you will build an even stronger bond and trust in each other and in God.

      Let us know how you are doing!!!

  9. April- I am struggling with suffering that is so ongoing and the last couple of days I am really failing to see God’s glory. I have an 8 month old baby who doesn’t sleep. And I am the kind of gal who needs 8 hrs a night to even be function. We’ve covered medical reasons, behavioral changes, nap changes, co-sleeping, CIO (which I don’t even believe in, but I was desperate), nursing at night, not nursing at night, treatment for reflux, elimination diets for me… I have literally tried everything, anything that people suggest but the most she sleeps is 2 hrs at a time. 3 hrs if it’s a good night.

    I have been working so hard on my marriage (I’m the gal who asked what to do when I feel like a piece of meat) and things with my hubby are amazing! The intimacy that has come with respecting him has been such a blessing.

    But the effects of chronic sleep deprivation are endless. I am not emotionally available to my girls, or hubby much. I have quit all ministry/sunday school/volunteering/extracurriculars. Anything I can drop to survive this and take care of my family has been dropped. My two yr has learned to play in her room by herself at least once every other day while I nap so I can be awake and pleasant for daddy when he gets home. Hubby has picked up so much slack, even getting up with baby at night sometimes. I struggle with PPD, and it gets worse the longer I go without good sleep. My sleep patterns are so messed up that even when I sleep now I mostly have vivid nightmares that leave me more worn out. I feel so angry with my kids and I hold it in all the time bc I know it’s not them, its just the exhaustion talking.

    I keep crying out to God but I feel like He has left me here alone with this beautiful baby who is slowing sucking every bit of life out of me. Some people just say to me- sleep is a luxury you cant hang on to as a parent. But it’s a physical need! What do you do when it’s lack is impairing your driving, your reflex responses, your relationships etc? I know in my head that He is in charge but I can’t see the purpose right now. We are even considering making our family size (2 girls) permanent because we cannot see going through this with another baby. 🙁 And that breaks my heart, but it’s very hard on hubby and I respect his opinion that to ever do this again on purpose would be simply unwise.

    I don’t need advice on how to change baby. I need prayer and advice on how to help me and my body do more than just survive this period of our life.

    1. MV,

      My 2nd baby, who is 6.5 now, was up wanting to nurse every 2-4 hours for the first year and a half. She got sick constantly – her brother brought home all kinds of viruses from kindergarten. I was sick almost all the time with sinusitis and bronchitis. She was sick literally 2/3 of the time. I only slept 2-4 hours most nights – and that was in 30 minute increments. I was a MESS!!! Then, the summer when she was 1 and a half, she had a stomach virus – and for a few months after that, if she ate the wrong thing, she would later break out in hives and throw up every 10 minutes for a few hours every night.

      I was still nursing, so for 1 month, I cut both of us down to only rice, squash, chicken and bananas every meal all day long. That was ALL either of us ate.

      I literally had a nervous break down. I cried constantly. I begged Greg to help me. I was NOT OK! And I was working in the pharmacy 21 hours/week. I was so afraid to drive. And so afraid I would hurt someone and make a mistake at work.

      I never could take naps during the day unless I was alone in the house for 4-5 hours, and even then, many times I couldn’t get to sleep. It would take me an hour- and hour and a half to go back to sleep every time I woke up in the night. IT WAS AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I didn’t know about respect yet – and I definitely took out my frustration and anger on my husband. He was remodeling the house 6 days per week and was also exhausted. He mostly just ignored me. That was a recipe for disaster!

      I DEFINITELY FEEL YOUR PAIN!!!!!!!!!!

      I am glad you realize you are in survival mode. I am glad you gave up everything you can give up. I am glad you are getting some naps and that your husband is helping with the baby. What does your husband want you to do right now?

      Take your husband’s advice and do whatever he thinks you should to get the sleep you need and do not lean on your own understanding and feelings right now – but just get through this time and realize you will be better able to see God’s purpose when your brain is functioning again!

      Much love to you!!!!!!!!

      1. You are pretty much describing my situation. It can take hrs to fall asleep bc I am so afraid of being woken right back up and the angry feelings that come from that… I can barely nap anymore. Hubby offers to take the baby all night but there is nowhere in the house that I cannot hear her cry. I ran a stop sign last week with the girls in the car with me because I simply didn’t see it. I’m communicating poorly with everyone around me bc I can’t find the words in my tired brain. I am so grateful that I am not also trying to hold a job, and that hubby and I have managed to be supporting each other (mostly) through this time instead of at each other’s throats over our stress.

        I will email you. Clearly you (and your child) survived this hard period of your lives. It’s darkest for me when I lose focus and begin to feel that this is what life will always be like. PS.. the minivan idea will be up for consideration tonight! Or maybe a tent in the backyard. 🙂

        1. MV,

          Sadly, after all that time of so much sleep deprivation, I have major insomnia issues still. Once or twice a month, I may get 6 hours, but usually it is 5-5.5 or 4 hours.

          I don’t like to drive more than 20 minutes, I definitely start to get drowsy. Of course, if I am riding in the passenger’s seat, I can’t sleep at all!

          I can’t count how many tearful days I had. I couldn’t think clearly enough to even know what I needed to do. But I was so disrespectful to Greg, he shut me out at that time. I am very thankful God spared me injuring myself or someone else.

          I couldn’t sleep if I was in the house and could hear my baby crying.

          What I needed was a sound proof room!!!!

          You know, they do make ear protector things that cancel sound. If you can sleep on your back, that may work. I always slept on my side, so I couldn’t use them.

          Sleep has to be a huge priority for you! If your parents or in laws live close by, they may let you sleep at their house one night a week or something, that would help!

          My sister’s husband sent my sister to a hotel by herself sometimes to try to get her some sleep. She has four children. Her youngest cried A LOT for a long time. Turned out she had severe food intolerances.

          I so feel your pain!!!!!!

          Sending you a big hug!

  10. I have been suffering for quite a while now. I am thankful for this trial because it has led me back to God and He has been transforming me into His image. My husband left me and the divorce was final last month. I am praying and hoping that God will restore our marriage in His perfect time. Would you please agree with me in prayer for our marriage restoration?

    1. JB,

      I cannot begin to imagine your pain. :(. It is wonderful to meet you! And I will be glad to pray with you for God to restore your marriage in His time by His power and for His glory!

      Much love to you!

  11. Is it beautiful when a parent seeing the suffering of their child leaves them alone to suffer when it is in their power to heal them? I always think of the example of a boil. It needs to be cut open for the puss to be released and then real healing can begin. What unloving parent knowing these things would leave their child to suffer rather than make the necessary incision for real healing to begin. Roman 8:28 All things works together for our good for those who love God

  12. Another thing to think about is – if God doesn’t allow suffering like Scripture says He does – then He is not sovereign. He is powerless to change our circumstances.

    I’m so thankful that He IS sovereign and that anything that enters my life must pass through His hands first – so I can trust He will use it for good ultimately for me and for others.

    It is more than our minds can really comprehend that God is sovereign, and at the same time – people have free will. But all of that happens together in co-existance.

    1. Jolene,

      Of course I will pray with you!!!!
      Lord,
      I lift up Jolene and her husband to You. You are the author of marriage and the One who is able to reconcile and mend covenants and relationships. We trust You to change Jolene and make her into the woman of Your dreams. We trust You to work in her husband in Your power and Your timing for Your glory. We seek Your healing and glory for this marriage.

      In the Name and power of Christ!

      Amen!

      Search my home page for “Waiting Becomes Sweet.” Much love to you!

  13. DARE 36:
    I’ve experienced a good deal of pain in my time. Many tears, many trials that seemed overwhelming. What I know is this:
    Without the tough stuff in my life I never would have cried out to God. I was quite content being the centre of my own universe, it was easy to manipulate others to get what I wanted.
    Without everything falling apart I would not even thought of seeking out God. I survived abuse as a child and thought that I had overcome as an adult. What I really did was create idols that hid God’s sovereignty. Even now it’s strange to admit that I’m not in control. But it’s a relief to have a different way of being because my way didn’t work. I want to have a heart that views suffering the ways he wants.

    My greatest prayer is for my husband and son to come to Christ. I’m learning that that won’t happen if my example of Christ isn’t humble, gentle, loving and serving.

    Today I can let go of the pain. It is easier because I have learned that Jesus is here with us. In Matthew 14:27 Jesus says “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” That is just as true for us today and Jesus promises Do Not Lie.

    I would not have cried out to God if not for the pain I was in. So I guess I’m grateful for the trials. And I know he was always there with me even when I didn’t know it.

    I will be praying for you all.

    Much love Tam

    1. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing, Tam!!!!!

      I love the way you describe that – create idols that hid God’s sovereignty. I did that, too!

      It is SO FREEING to tear down the idols – well – at first, it is terrifying. But then there is such lightness, peace, joy and freedom as God fills our souls. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your faith, your struggles and your journey.
      You are an inspiration and a blessing because God is working so mightily in you!!!!!!

      Much love!

  14. Truly, God has helped me a lot with my pain. The things that hurt me so much before don’t hurt that much now. I believe its because of God, sustaining me and opening my heart and eyes to the truth. I used to cry a lot and be depressed with my husband’s drinking addiction, the difference now is that I can totally, sincerely surrender everything to God, completely trusting Him no matter what’s the circumstances. Now, I have peace and joy. I just hope and pray that I will continue to be in His Word alone and obey them no matter what it takes like what you said sister. To be consistent and I know its the only Work of the Holy Spirit in me that I can do all things.

    Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him. Psalm 126:5-6 – Thank you for this verse!

    There is really beauty in suffering. I will not be afraid anymore because God is with me. I will not be afraid of my present or future circumstances, I will continue to trust in my Creator, my Father. And He will finish the work He started in me. Thank You Father God for everything. I love you. 🙂

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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