How do you cope when life seems to be unbearable?
At some point in time, we either have or will experience suffering. Seasons of suffering can cause even the strongest of us to feel hopeless and as if God has abandoned us. What do you do in those moments? How do you hold on to the little glimpse of hope when life hits hard, and the challenges seem never-ending?
If there is anyone who can answer those questions, it would be Vaneetha Risner. At the tender age of 3 months, Vaneetha was paralyzed shortly after being diagnosed with polio. Doctors said there was nothing else they could do. So, her parents were encouraged to leave India to ensure Vaneeta could get the care she needed.
Because of her physical challenges, Vaneetha was bullied and felt like an outcast while growing up. Feeling insecure and bitter, she didn’t have a sense of belonging. She was raised in a Christian home and heard about God but hadn’t developed a personal relationship with Him. In high school, she finally came to a vulnerable moment when she asked God to reveal Himself to her. That encounter with God and the life-changing impact of His Word would help her get through more seasons of suffering ahead. As she continued to cope with loss and overwhelming circumstances, Vaneetha learned to look to God for direction and relief. She often makes a point to remember when God met her, and she uses it as a reminder that God is still with her.
Vaneetha is willing to answer my hard questions like… “What does it look like to maintain hope in times of suffering?” or “How do we use our hope to help others when our life remains hard?” Despite her suffering, Vaneetha continues to reach for the truth of God’s Word to stay grounded and hopeful. If there were three things that Vaneetha would want us all to know as we endure suffering in this life, she would say this:
- God is with us.
- God is using this.
- This is going to end.
Although it may seem far-fetched or hard to believe when you are in the darkest of places, God will walk you through every hard thing and give you an experience with Him that far surpasses your pain at this moment.
The beautiful thing about suffering is this: if we allow it, the suffering will draw us closer to God. Suffering can also become a resource of strength that God can use for a greater purpose. This conversation will give you a deep gut sense level of comfort, calm, and greater capacity to believe in God and a confidence that God is at work even in your suffering.
Highlights from Today’s Episode:
- How to suffer well
- God’s redeeming work
- Shifting your perspective
- Using your story to help others
Resources from today’s show
- Connect with Vaneetha on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
- Grab a copy of Vaneetha’s most recent book, Walking Through Fire.
- Grab a copy of “The Scars That Have Shaped Me” by Vaneetha Risner.
- Scriptures that helped Vaneetha in times of suffering – John 9, Joel 2:25, and Psalm 23:4
Click to Tweet
- “Sharing your story is the opportunity for others to see your soul.” – Chrystal Hurst
- “When I read the Bible, it feels like God is talking to me.” – Vaneetha Risner
- “We have to look to God for Him to tell us who we are.” – Vaneetha Risner
- “Oftentimes I have no words, so I just pray.” – Vaneetha Risner
- “When we can see how God can use our pain, that changes things for us. It brings joy.” – Vaneetha Risner
Other Stuff to Check Out
- Need to encourage your soul? Try listening to the playlist I put together for my mom, Lady Lois’ Worship
- Interested in supporting the content I create and enjoying bonus content? Learn about joining my Inner Circle!
- Be sure to also check out my other books She’s Still There, Show Up For Your Life, Kingdom Woman!
- How do you process through seasons of suffering? As you’ve processed, what have you learned about God’s character?
- How has God’s Word transformed your perspective on suffering? What verse encourages you in your suffering? How have you seen God use your suffering for a greater purpose? How are you sharing your story?
- In what ways did today’s conversation help you?
Connect with me…
How to Listen to The Podcast
If you’re new to podcasts, think of them like little radio shows that you can listen to at your convenience. They are perfect to listen to and learn from as you workout, fold laundry, wash dishes or conquer the world.
1. Listen right here on the blog. Click the little play button at the beginning of this post.
2. Listen on iTunes or Stitcher or Google Play! – Be sure and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Also, if you would be so kind as to leave a rating on iTunes and/or write a 2-3 sentence review there or on Stitcher? Your commentary or rating helps make the podcast more “findable” by others who might not know it exists!
3. Share today’s show – Email the link to a friend or share on social media. Just click on the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post!
You have been so great to join me on the journey here on the blog, I hope you jump right in and do the same on the podcast!