God Knows What You Carry

By Alicia Adams, Community Administrator

My name is Alicia Adams. I have been married for 17 years and I have 3 kids, a teenager, a special needs child, and an adopted son. This statement has more than just stats. 17 years of marriage is hard. Having a teenager is hard. Having a special needs child is hard. Having an adopted son, one of color, in today’s times is so very hard. That’s the visible picture of my life, but it really only scratches the surface.

I almost can’t take it. If I stop to think, it’s like running in quicksand - it only makes you sink deeper. When I dwell on them myself, sometimes I can’t help but fall apart. If you want to hear about all I’ve been through, there isn’t enough time to unpack it all with you. I could fill pages with stories, events, miracles, and trials that have impacted my life and my heart. I’m always up for a cup of tea or coffee if you want to hear a few of them though.

Through it all though… there was Jesus. When I was young I remember being forced to go to a “Girls in Action” overnight Christian camp, crying in my bed at night because I was scared and alone, but hearing about Jesus through a camp counselor, and her telling me how we can always cry out to him. I remember crying out for him to save me. I remember in 4th grade crying out to God because I didn’t want to move from house, I didn’t want to leave my friends, and I begged him for someone who would be my friend, and if he did, then I would do anything he asked of me. It seems I’ve always been a bargainer. I remember thinking as a teenager, “Does God even see any of this happening to me? Does He even care?” I remember crying out in anger to Him, yelling at Him demanding Him to tell me why He gave me this life I was living, these circumstances. I remember being told God will not give up on me, so don’t give up on Him. If I only knew trials and hardships God had in store for me later in life, my teenage self might have had better perspective. I remember committing my life to Jesus Christ after He had been especially good to me, and had spoken loudly in my life. I remember asking God who I should marry, to give me a clear answer. I remember months and years of begging God for a child, crying out in desperation for God to make my body cooperate. So much time was spent crying out to God to just answer me.

And He did. And then He did again. And again. And again. Literally. I never thought it was possible for God to verbally or tangibly speak to me. I never realized how monumental it was, to hear answers from God. I was greedy. If God would speak to me, I’d crave it more and wanted Him to speak to me all the time. If I went for a while not having a clear message from God, I got worried He would never speak to me again. That I’d somehow lost His favor, or I was somehow doing something wrong and that’s why God had seemingly been silent. As I matured I realized a couple things. First, each and every time God spoke to me it was for a clear purpose. Some instances had nothing to do with me, like when God told me my best friend in college would be a long term missionary in Russia. When I told her I thought God wanted her to go, she said it confirmed everything she had been hearing from God as well. Second, every time He spoke to me, it was a miraculous gift. He wasn’t quiet because I had done something wrong and He didn’t speak because I wasn’t worthy. God was in control, not me. God did allow hardships, but in those hardships He has also been so very close to me. The more these instances happened, the more I realized I had nothing to do with them. I am always at the complete mercy of God as to when or how He communicates. With growing pain, trial, hardship and suffering, His voice and His grace increased all the more.  I’ve heard him speak through people, dreams, songs and the Bible.  I will never take for granted a moment, when I know without a shadow of a doubt, that God has spoken to me in a miraculous way again. I simply pray for God to be merciful and do it again as much as He can.

The takeaway is this: Hardship is part of everyone’s life in different degrees. Jesus clearly stated in this world we will have trouble, but He has overcome the world. There are other people who have had less hardship than me, and others more, but I’ve never met a person on this earth who has not had an ounce of hardship at some point in their life. It seems God often uses hard times in our lives as a catalyst for change. Don’t miss it. I’ve also noticed with more hardship and more trials, there tends to come more closeness and more miraculous gifts from God. A beautiful friend once said when she found her cancer had returned she couldn’t wait to see how close God would be with her in yet another round of treatments.  I also once heard someone say everyone has a plate in life, some people have a teacup size dish, and some have a buffet platter, but everyone has a plate, and God knows the size of our plate and how much will fit on it. Life is never fair, for anyone, but the Lord will save. God will speak, and God will walk with you in your hardships. He will walk with you in injustice. He will walk with you in your fear and anxiety. He will walk with you through disease, pain, with prodigal children, in loneliness, in depression, in fear, in marriage and in parenting. He’s been there fighting with insurance companies, giving me more patience for my kids than I could ever muster up myself, shielding me from fear, pouring out wisdom and words to say when I have nothing to give of myself. He is with me, and even if you feel or think He isn’t there, He is. HE IS.  
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