Overcoming Adversity

Holly Nelson, author of Live Rejoicing Every DayI have spent my life overcoming adversity. Some call me the ‘transcendent child’ in my family. Some say that they have never met anyone that has had so much ‘bad luck’. All are amazed at the number of overwhelming events and their intensity. But that is not what defines me.

I am a royal daughter of the King of the Kings, and saved by grace, through His unchangeable and everlasting mercy, and through His Son’s painful, voluntary death on a Roman cross, upon which this Son, Jesus Christ, shed his blood, making sacrifice, once and for all, for the sins of all men everywhere. That means my sins…He paid the price for all my awful sins, and the sins of my forefathers, and their fathers. Who can believe that? But it is true.

Is He knocking at the door of your heart? His voice is small, as He whispers His unfathomable love to you. Are you hearing Him? Some day, His voice will be that of a roaring wind, and all who have not listened to Him will be caused to listen, however, that voice will be one of judgment. Yet still today, He whispers his love to you. I am praying that you are able to hear His love message to you, so that you too can learn to live with joy.

I was not always able to hear Him speak in a love language to my heart. I grew up in a very authoritarian home, with parents who came from such challenging backgrounds, that they learned nothing of relational skills. Not only were they combative with one another, they were unloving and abusive with their children. We were immersed in every kind of violence against the soul and body that you can imagine, and many things you could not.

Early on, I realized that I could die at any time. Death skulked around the corners of our home, and stalked my path every day. As God’s hand of providence would have it, I was able to listen to a wonderful Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Higgenbottom, who told me every Sunday about the penalty of sin, and how Jesus had paid that for me. Knowing I could die anytime, I wanted to make sure that Jesus knew me and that things would be okay when I died. So it was, in my fifth year, I prayed to God, repenting of my sin, and knowing that His blood sacrifice would pay for my sins, and thanking Him that I would go to heaven when I died. I knew things would be different from that time on.

Nothing was different in our home, but things WERE different in my heart. I knew I had a Defender living inside of me, and that my battle for life and death was taken care of. From that day, I was never again afraid of death, even though it continued to stalk me for the next two decades of my life.

However, I was still not able to understand His whisperings of love to me. I was very damaged by the lack of love shown to me as a child, and it would take many decades before I felt safe enough to understand and reach out to that aspect of my Savior. It is one thing to know someone has saved you from imminent danger and eternal damnation, and quite another to trust Him enough to love the inmost part of your being, your soul, and your personality. For after all, I was not even wanted by my parents…why would the God of the Universe have affection for me?

This blog is about sharing with you, the gentle, sweet, and patient way that He wooed me with long-lasting tenderness and understanding, and has brought about my ability to live rejoicing every day!

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