Today's post was written by Rachel Newman, a Brook Hills member who is finishing her last semester in UAB's Master of Education program.

Suffering. We all suffer in a variety of ways every day. All of it is hard.

I’ve learned about suffering in new ways in this particular season. The Lord also has been gracious enough to show me areas in my life where I’ve had misconceptions about suffering. It goes back deeper to a misunderstanding of the gospel. In light of recent circumstances, I feel sad. I didn’t feel like waking up in the morning or going to work or even being kind. I get angry. I lash out. I struggled in more ways than I would like to admit. However, I thought that if I was a “good Christian” I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t be upset. I wouldn’t feel this way. My hope is in the Lord, right? How can I feel this way and still have faith? Oh, how feeble I am. Here I am again, in my black-and-white and all-or-nothing mindset. Then I can across this...

"Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him." -Psalm 126:5-6

This psalm freed me. The Lord graciously used His Word to teach me about Himself. He reminded me that He did all the work on the cross. Nothing about my circumstances changed my standing with my Father. It is ok to be sad. But it is not ok to quit sowing. I must continue walking in obedience through the strength of Christ. It’s messy and doesn’t fit in a box, but I am struggling through it. I think this struggle is the point. I must be honest about my feelings and desires in order to surrender those to Christ. If I pretend like I don’t struggle, then I am a liar. I basically am telling God that I have it all together and don’t need Him. How foolish. God never expected me to keep it together in a pretty little package. He knows I’m a broken sinner. That’s why He sent His Son to redeem me. When I deny my need for Him in suffering, I am denying my need for the gospel.

I’m so grateful for the Lord’s daily patience and kindness towards me. He guides, teaches, and encourages me in more ways than I fully understand. However, I keep plodding and relying on His strength. I hope you do the same in your suffering.