• Shannon Jeffords Burkoth

Stronger


"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's learning to dance in the rain" -Vivian Greene Hard times suck, plain and simple, no one likes them, including me! But when you push through them, on the other side you will find a new, stronger version of yourself that you never knew was there! There's no one better to bring comfort to you when you are going through your storms in life than someone who has been there themselves. Relatability, experience, empathy, advice, encouragement, and hope. These are the things you can offer to others when you allow your story to be heard. There's no shame in being vulnerable, allowing others to see who you really are, scars and all. View your scars as badges of merit, each one tells a story and shows the world you are a survivor. Each one tells the world around you that there is hope. Someone struggling in silence can see that they are NOT alone. I have scars. Infertility, chronic pain, financial hardship, heart disease,narcolepsy, depression, loss. Some have healed and some I will carry with me until the good Lord calls me home. I can tell you I will never forget the people who have stood in the gap with me when I felt broken. The time I stood in the middle of worship service at church crying uncontrollably because I so desperately wanted to be a mom, in a room that seemed to be filled with many pregnant friends. A friend came along side me and whispered “it’s the clomid" (fertility drug). Thank you for allowing me to feel LESS crazy in that moment! When our tenants ran an illegal pitbull kennel out of our previous home (true story) and destroyed it. Our 1st income property became the exact opposite. Thank you Dad for meeting us there when the sheriff showed up to give us back what once was our home, and now was a nightmare. Thank you to our family and friends that SHOWED UP to help in so many ways! Thank you to the Midwest Narcolepsy Support group in Evanston, IL, where I met other people with narcolepsy for the first time. 2 years after my diagnosis, I finally found MY people and it was a moment I will never forget! Thank you for your friendship and encouragement to this day! Most of all, I thank the Lord for allowing me to experience all of these moments and more. Why would I thank God for hard times? It seems weird, doesn't it? Believing in God does not ensure you an easy life, but God does assure us that if we believe, He WILL NOT forsake us. He WILL NOT give us more than we can handle, even when we think we can't handle anymore! I've been there, and I've survived, stronger than I was! My life verse has always been Ephesians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” I began writing this blog on a Sunday morning before church. As my Pastor began preaching, it was on this very verse, gave me chills as I listened, as though he knew what was on my mind! He gave me a new understanding which made me love it even more. You see, contentment does not equal healthy or easy. He strengthens us in ALL circumstances! Healthy or not, hungry or not, wealthy or not, etc. He wants us to be content and to thrive in ALL circumstances! When I've underestimated God in my life, it has lead to emptiness. God fills emptiness and has more than enough to satisfy your needs, God is enough for me! I choose to believe God’s purpose is greater than our understanding. My faith gives me hope, my hope gives me strength! Praying for my rare community today and always! xoxo, Shannon


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