On a sunny April afternoon as I was kneeling beside my bed praying, I felt distraught about my healthy, productive life abruptly coming to an end. Several years earlier, a medical specialist had diagnosed me with Fibromyalgia, a muscle condition involving chronic pain. Ultimately, the quality of my life had been significantly reduced and forever altered. Uncertain of why God allowed this to happen, I seriously questioned His higher purpose.
After enduring a dreadfully dark winter struggling with ongoing pain, emptiness, and loss, I earnestly yearned for a brighter future. No longer working, I had too many hours in a day to contemplate where I was headed or how I would get there. My sixteen year walk with Jesus told me to trust His promises, but my hurting body told me otherwise. Tearfully I cried out, “Dear Lord, please give me a sign or a word of hope!”
I prayerfully savored the quiet moment while I remained still before God. With my eyes closed, I sensed the Lord’s omnipotent presence gently surround me with peace. His glorious light penetrated my heart, mind, and soul. All else faded away. No aches, sore muscles, worry, or despair—only the healing light of my Heavenly Father shining upon me.
Suddenly, the Lord prompted me to open my eyes. From my kneeling position I had a perfect view of our back yard directly outside my bedroom window. I was surprised to discover our apple blossom tree completely bent over and broken. The lengthy branches lay helpless on the grass.
I quickly walked to the window and peered out for a closer look. Astonished, I observed unsightly roots uplifted and exposed, yet the damaged tree did not whither away or die. Instead, it miraculously thrived! In absolute awe I admired the lovely apple blossom tree, which amazingly survived a brutally cold winter. Delicate pink petals flourished and blossomed beautifully.
Humbled with tears gently falling down my cheeks, I confidently smiled at the unique symbol God powerfully used to demonstrate his grace, mercy, and love. He creatively answered my prayer by using the broken apple blossom tree as a tangible sign to provide me HOPE.
His blessed word of hope revealed that my brokenness was actually a stepping stone to strengthen my faith to rise above my afflictions. For it is only when we persevere through our suffering and pain that God graciously transforms us from broken to beautifully blossomed.
Dana Arcuri is a faith-inspired writer, blogger and a licensed beauty expert. Dana is a contributing author of Inspired Women Succeed, published in 2011 and she is currently writing a nonfiction book on real life miracles. You may contact Dana at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at http://writing4theheart-n-soul.blogspot.com/.
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