Hope in Hardship

Writing contribution by Kate Sorel of the Today I Choose blog

Insight from Thriving Women

Last summer my dentist discovered a giant tumor in my jaw that had been slowly hollowing out the bone and weakening it. The day after my high school graduation I had major surgery with a two-month recovery and my mouth wired shut for stabilization. It was wild, unexpected, hard and painful, but by God’s grace and after many tears, I made it through.

At the end of this summer my face began to hurt again. We got in touch with my doctor and flew home from our family cabin for an emergency next day exam and surgery; the tumor had returned. I was devastated. I knew that it could come back, but I never quite believed that it actually would.

hope in hardship

Fear overtook my heart and confusion flooded my mind.

“God why?! Why why why why why? I don’t understand.” I was sobbing this in front of my dad when he reminded me of something. He said, “Kate, don’t ask God why. Instead, ask yourself what you will do with it.” (Well, shoot Dad, way to burst my pity-party bubble…).

But I began to consider what he said. What will I do with this?

Will I whine and feel sorry for myself? Compare my hardship to the seemingly care-free lives of my friends? Or will I see this as a possibility for growth, for strength-building, for an opportunity to empathize with others’ pain? Will I allow God to use this, or allow it to destroy me?

hope in hardship

So if you are going through something and you are asking God why, instead, try asking how will you use this God?

In what beautiful way will you weave this into your plan for good? And instead of getting mad, thank God for drawing you closer to him. Thank him for all he is going to teach you through this. Thank him for being the one dependable constant in your life. Because I guarantee, He can and will use even the most devastating things in the most incredible ways. (Romans 8:28)

hope in hardship

Let me tell ya, God has already used this in my life:

I met two other people with wired jaws at the end of my recovery and was able to commiserate, understand, and encourage them that it would not be forever.

I feel that I am now able to empathize and understand a kind of pain and uncertainty that was foreign to me before.

It also knocked me down to my knees, stripped me of worldly dependencies, and revived my faith in the God of Miracles.

This awful emotional and physical pain got me out of a dry season of disbelief and lack of motivation to pursue God.

I am just amazed that God has already used this. He is so faithful!

I challenge you to thank Him for not just the good days, but also the bad.

Watch as He works and moves in your life. You will be amazed at His goodness.

About Kate Sorel.

Hope in hardshipKate is the writer of Today I Choose blog, which she created to share about Jesus and all that He has been patiently teaching her. She is a psychology major at Cal Poly and hopes to eventually become an equine-assisted therapist.

You might find her cooking something yummy in the kitchen, hanging out at the barn with her horse Gabby, or drinking an almond milk latte and studying at a coffee shop downtown.

Connect with Kate: Facebook  Instagram Website or via email:  todayichooseblog@gmail.com



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  1. celeste
    November 27, 2017, 5:43 EST

    Thanks for sharing these thoughts! XOXO

  2. Courtney Buechle
    November 27, 2017, 9:54 EST

    You and this story are incredible! Thank you so much for beings so raw and open. I know a few people going through similar battles and I can’t wait to share your post with them.

    • Courtney Buechle
      November 27, 2017, 9:55 EST

      I also love that you post other peoples stories on your blog! I can’t wait to dive in and read more stories.

      • Be You & Thrive
        November 27, 2017, 10:47 EST

        I’m so happy you are coming back to dive in! xoxo ~Dannielle

    • Be You & Thrive
      November 27, 2017, 10:48 EST

      Kate’s story is such a blessing. Her faith and perspective offers hope to us all! Thanks for your comment Courtney! xo~D

  3. Jessica
    November 28, 2017, 7:08 EST

    You are such an inspiration! I love how you chose to use an incredible hardship and turn it into an amazing learning experience that brought you closer to God!

    • Be You & Thrive
      November 28, 2017, 12:13 EST

      An inspiration indeed! Thanks for sharing your thoughts Jessica. xo~D

  4. Julie Berglin
    November 28, 2017, 11:58 EST

    What an inspirational perspective. Thank you for sharing your authentic story and encouraging all of us to look to God for His strength and remembering He can work all things together for good.

    • Be You & Thrive
      November 28, 2017, 12:15 EST

      Amen and amen! Thanks for your thoughts Julie!!! xo~D

  5. Elizabeth O
    November 28, 2017, 9:54 EST

    Our Creator is merciful and kind and never leaves us to figure it out on our own… what an inspired story!
    I send you healing love and prayers for continued recovery. We are all reminded of the frailty and graciousness of life.

    • Be You & Thrive
      November 29, 2017, 1:41 EST

      Elizabeth! Your comment touched my heart. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words with us! xo~ Dannielle

  6. Jenny
    November 28, 2017, 10:17 EST

    Love this post! Such a great message.

  7. Daneen
    December 1, 2017, 11:12 EST

    What a beautiful soul! It blesses my heart to hear when people, especially young people, can put their fears aside and truly trust God through their hardships. And how God uses them through their hardship, to minister to so many more! Just beautiful!