(My) Fashion Over 40 ~ Growth Through Trials

Hope you all had a fabulous 4th of July weekend!  
We spent the weekend hanging with family and chillin.
My niece and I had some fun doing selfies. :)
And a pic of my SIL :)

Fourth of July Selfies

Plus Hubby and I continued working on the garage. 
I will definitely have an update this week! 
You know I was considering not doing a (My) Fashion Over 40 this week....  

Fashion Over 40

But I did!
I really like bright cheerful colors!
This shirt... not sure where I got it, but it's bright!  The capris are a recent purchase, 
I wore them a couple of weeks ago, on Father's Day.
I like plain colored cardigans, they pair well with so many outfits!

This week's word from our Pastor was about suffering.
Some have gone through terrible suffering and trials.
Personally, I don't think my "trials" are anything compared to some.
Let me share with you a couple of my "trials"...
I grew up in a gang neighborhood in So. Cali. I was afraid to walk home from school somedays. 
I was almost kidnapped twice. I grew up without a father or a dad figure.
My mom had drug problems when she was raising me. 
She spent a year in a mental institute.  She passed from cancer at age 60.  
I really don't have any family on my side.  
But, I have an adopted family that I am VERY thankful for!! 
Plus my church family!

Now, this is just some of it in a nutshell.  I'm not sharing this to get any sympathy.  I just believe I'm pretty much like everybody else.  We all have baggage and we all have difficulties we are presently going through or have gone through in the past. Yours is just probably different from mine.

God has been so amazing and faithful to me, He's brought me through so much.
But you know I still don't think my "trials" are anything compared to what some go through.  
And only the Lord knows what other struggles I'll have to face.
But seeing and knowing how far He's brought me, gives me faith that He will NEVER abandon me!

Suffering and struggles stretch us.
It doesn't say in the Bible that we will be exempt from troubles.
In fact, we should expect it.

John 16:33(NLT)
I have told you this so that you may have peace in me.  Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.  But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

God uses these struggles to help us grow.  To build strong character in us or to help others down the road. 
Good character is so important.  Who are you when no one is looking?  What do people see in you? Honesty? Humility? Generosity? Dependence on God? Kindness?

Problems also help us trust in God's sovereign purpose for our life.
Romans 8:28(NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Suffering also enables us to comfort others.
2 Corinthians 1:4,5(NLT)
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

Problems mature us.
James 1:2-4(NLT)
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Problems can either make you or break you, destroy you or grow you.

I choose to grow.
Christ give us hope, He never leaves us!

Deuteronomy 31:6
So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.

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