Every person goes through some sort of suffering in this life. It may be the death of a loved one, sickness, financial, marriage or relationship problems, divorce, loss of property, etc. It is part of normal life which means most people know to some level what it means to suffer or go through painful moments of life. But what about when pain or suffering is not just a moment but prolonged. For example in case of disability, chronic illness etc. Unless you have dealt with such a situation, it is difficult to come close to understanding it. Some people think a person gets used to suffering and others think you get over it because it’s like a “norm” for that person. But pain is pain and doesn’t get less because someone lives it for a long time. No one becomes an expert of enduring pain because they suffered very long. Prolonged suffering usually slowly can eat up into the person dealing with it. That’s why people who appear to be handling it well are suddenly gone, and people are left surprised that no one saw it coming. For many years, I suffered with chronic illness in my family, after a painful divorce. As a single mother, my hospital bill maxed every year faithfully meaning $6000-7,500 out of pocket after insurance covered the rest. Not to mention many days, weeks and months of being hospitalized, so not working. Having rent and all other bills to pay, etc. Talk of the emotional, mental with sleepless nights, worry, advocacy etc. Talk of stress of working at keeping job in the midst of all this and acting at best conduct even when I felt like crumpling. The suffering was beyond words and nothing ever prepared me for what I had to face each day with my child at the time. The friends and family could only go so far because they too have their own to worry about and when it is an always situation like mine, it is normal for people to get tired. Don’t forget, a friend in here and there leaves the rest of 95% or more of the time on your own. What got me through was intentionally focusing on gratitude for the glimpses of goodness around me. I have shared testimony of goodness in my life and it can seem like I was covered. But that was the focus that kept me going because the reality was that no one could attend to my situation because it was too much. Think of Job in the bible and all he went through for a long time. His friends as well as his wife got so tired of him that they wanted him dead. They accused him of sinning in secret, etc. This is all part of prolonged suffering. He endured so much pain but in the end, He was restored. And in His suffering, God was with him because and kept him focused. God was glorified in Jobs faithfulness. I intentionally kept my focus on God and His blessings even in helping me get through each of the difficult days. About 12 years of intensity and God came through and stabilized my life. Not perfect or without suffering but nothing close to those 12 years. If you are going through suffering and the pain is too much, if you are wondering if people care enough, if you are wondering if you will make it through, hold onto hope. No one else will understand but God alone. Focus on the small rays even when darkness seems to overload your current world. Trust God no matter what. Give thanks for those who bless you even if it may be a small scratch to your big situation. God is faithful and will see you through if you don’t give up hope. And in His timing, He will give you a way of escape.
“You will never be tested more than you can bare but with every temptation, God will provide a way of escape for you. Never give up hope!”
Ann Makena is a wife and a mother. Outside of home, she is an independent instruct through community education and mainly instructs of intercultural communications and relations, parenting among other personal growth subjects for adults. She is a co-host of a local TV show within twin cities metro area. Ann is an ordained pastor and teaches on spiritual growth and application of scriptures. She is an inspirational speaker. She is the founder of sister charitable organization in U.S. and in Kenya providing home for orphaned and abandoned children. She also advocates for those oppressed among other ministries. She is the author of “Become Whole, Unbreakable and Unstoppable” and “Knowing and Yielding to The Voice That Counts” She is a co-author of “Miracles Still Happen, IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE-EXPLAIN ME” with her son Nate Munene (who was not expected to survive at birth has endured major medical complications and is thriving). Ann has found success in parenting in spite of dealing with severe medical conditions and believes trusting God and being intentional brings about success. Ann has M.A in Ministry leadership, M.A in Theological studies, B.A in Psychology-Counseling and B.A. in Divinity. She has C.P.E. (Clinical Pastoral Education). She previously served as a full-time hospice chaplain for 10 years. She provided spiritual and emotional support for patients facing end of life diagnosis, along with their families as well as officiating funerals for some. "I have a heart for oppressed women and single mothers of the world. I enjoying spending time with family, reading, writing, quiet time, and gospel/inspirational music among other interests. I stand on, Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths,” NKJV."