Life: Wonderful and painful

Have you ever had a time where you have something wonderful happen and yet you also have challenges and pain? I have.

For more than three decades, I had dreamed of going to Italy, and this summer, my husband and I spent two weeks in Rome, Tuscany and the Amalfi coast. It was a wonderful trip, soaking in the scenery, the history and enjoying each other’s company.

In addition to the blessing of this trip, this past summer also included fun times with all of our kids and grandchildren, our oldest son’s retirement from the Navy and fun times with friends.

And yet, there has been a lot of pain and challenges overcome this summer.

I had a fall in Italy and thought the soreness would subside if I just kept stretching and rested. In late July, an MRI revealed I had torn my abductor muscle and tendon, as well as damaged my sciatic nerve. I was also battling a sinus infection, bad cough and desperately needed the Lord’s healing touch and strength to sustain me.

“I surrender to you and all you want me to learn in this season,” I wrote in my journal.

I got over the cough and sinus infection, then found out in August that I needed surgery to repair the torn muscles and tendons. This was not on my calendar.

The day after receiving the news that I needed surgery and would totally have to be off my right hip for eight weeks, God gave me II Timothy 1:12 (TPT): “The confidence of my calling enables me to overcome every difficulty without shame and I have intimate revelation of God and my faith in him convinces me that he is more than able to keep what I have committed to him and placed in his hands.”

I had already surrendered and committed this season to him, so I could continue trusting him in my physical weakness.

God also gave me Proverbs.3:5 (NIV): “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.”

I had my marching orders. These passages strengthened me and gave me hope. I had a God-given right to overcome, and I could trust God.

We have the opportunity to know God better in the things we don’t understand or that sideswipe us. There are so many things I don’t understand in my life and in the lives of others. When we keep standing with God in the mystery and we keep saying “yes” to him, we are growing in endurance and perseverance. This is called enduring faith.

When we walk in enduring faith, we have the opportunity to get to know him intimately if we want to. I have the opportunity to know God as my sustainer, healer and friend as I endure this hardship. I’ve been learning to slow down and look to him to meet my most basic needs. He has been so faithful.

In my current condition, I have to hop on one foot with a walker to get around, and this is not an easy task for a 63-year-old, and I’ve needed extra strength. I’ve found it in Ephesians 6:10 (TPT): “Be supernaturally infused with strength through your life-union with the Lord Jesus. Stand victorious with the force of his explosive power flowing in and through you.”

When we walk with Jesus and talk to him all day about what is going on in life, this is called relationship. This relationship infuses us with strength.

Life is full of ups and downs, and we need to embrace the good times as well as those times that are challenging. I’m so thankful for all the fun memories built this past summer and wouldn’t trade them for anything. I am recovering from surgery and thankful for this season of getting to know God more intimately and lean on him for strength.

Let me encourage you to treasure the blessings God gives you, get to know him more intimately in your adversity and lean on Him for the strength you need.

Kathleen Maxwell-Rambie is a Hill Country native, a writer, speaker and podcaster. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God. Contact her at [email protected]. For information, articles, podcast or to purchase her book, “Thriving Through Seasons of Grief,” visit