Growing up in hard places

I have a new header, thanks to my niece, over at A New Hope Through Christ, who said that when saw the picture, she thought of New Things.  When she sent it to me (of course I begged her to let me use it for my blog, and she so graciously consented), we had a wonderful chat about how new things often spring forth in our lives from hard, broken places, and where we receive the strength that is needed to push through.

It’s true in my life.  Some of my greatest spiritual growth has happened in the middle of extremely difficult conditions.

I learned about and developed patience in the middle of very trying circumstances;

I learned true love and forgiveness through hateful, harsh, and excruciatingly painful verbal abuse and rejection;

I learned joy through sorrow, faithfulness through disappointment, and fortitude through those nights I just knew I was at the end of my rope, and still woke the next day to another chance to grow some more.

I learned about generosity through poverty;

I learned to walk in victory through intense spiritual warfare,
and I learned about peace that passes understanding through the midst of it all.

Like my banner picture, those good things developed in cold, dark, deep places and sprung forth out of harsh, dry, cracked conditions that you would never guess could produce wonderfully abundant, healthy, mature growth.