In life, there will always be the good, the bad, and the ugly.  James 1:2-4 says:

It’s natural to only want “the good.” This represents the times in life where you can have your cake and eat it too. Every day is full of sunshine, rainbows, and LOTS of ice cream. If only every day could be full of only “good…”

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but life will never just be full of “the good.” We live in an imperfect world and are imperfect people. I’m very thankful for the good. It’s the rainbow that comes after days of nothing but storms. But storms will come again. We can hold onto the goodness of the rainbow and wait in expectation for the next one.

Tests and challenges will come from all sides. James assures us of this. “The bad and the ugly” will come.

This is the season I find myself in today. I’m desperately trying to remember “the rainbows... the good times.” I’m desperately trying to look past this storm to the beautiful rainbow that one day awaits me. It seems like I have been fighting for months now, and the fight is only becoming harder. One thing I have learned is that I am not strong enough to fight this battle on my own.

I have been doing Crossfit for about 6 months now. I absolutely love it. For a girl who said she would never become addicted, I must admit that I just might be addicted to Crossfit. I love the challenges it brings and the sense of satisfaction when I accomplish something I previously couldn’t. I’m nowhere near as strong as others, but I’m definitely stronger than I was 6 months ago. I can say the same for my spiritual life. I may not be as strong as others, but I’m stronger than I was even last week.

It is so easy to concentrate on how awful “the bad and the ugly” times are. It’s so easy to get stuck here. I will admit to having quite a few pity parties out of frustration and weakness. But this season I’m in is a gift. God is allowing my faith in Him to grow stronger. How many times have I asked my Father to let me grow closer to Him? It turns out that growing closer to Him requires a process where I must show my “true colors.” Do I love Him enough to endure “the bad and the ugly?” I think the most beautiful thing right now is that I am not alone. I am in this season because God is a good Father. I know I’m experiencing “the bad and the ugly” because He loves me and desires a closer relationship with me.

When I was a teenager, I, like so many, had my heart broken by a boy. I thought he was “the one.” Let’s be real… I was 16. Thankfully this is something I laugh at today. My parents knew he wasn’t the one for me. And I’m sure there was many times they wanted to tell me that! They would never want me to be in a situation where, in the end, I would get hurt. But they are good parents. I needed to go through that heartbreak. It was something I needed to experience in order to grow and mature. They needed to let me go through that.

Does it make God happy that I am hurting right now? Of course not! Just like my earthly parents, God does not want me to go through heartbreak and troubling times! But because He wants me to grow stronger, I am going through a difficult season. He has been with me this whole time, and I am positive He will never leave me.

Living full within our soul means embracing “the good, the bad, and the ugly.” No matter what, God is still good. He is always right there. We are strong enough with our Lord and Savior. One day, I realized I needed a major attitude change. If I always think about how awful my situation is, at the end of the day it will still be awful. So I have tried to change the way I think. When I begin to think negatively, I try to remember what I read in the Word that day, or a beautiful worship song. I remind myself that God is a good Father.

No matter what you are going through, God is with you. You will become stronger in your faith. Proclaim His truth in your life and live full in your soul! “Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”

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