I want to offer an invitation, one that might feel a bit uncomfortable at first. I want to pull the veil back and dive in deep as we look at overcoming adversity. I believe with all my heart that we can truly thrive in the midst of the most difficult seasons of our lives.

This invitation is not for the faint of heart. It is a beckoning to journey into the deepest places of our being while welcoming the God of the universe to go there with us, allowing Him to ministry to us in vulnerable, raw ways. We will stop in our tracks and sit with the One who already holds our victory.

What am I getting at? I believe our key to thriving in the midst of adversity has everything to do with encountering our Victor. Scripture tells us “He is a banner over us.” Often when we face adversity, we jump to what we know instead of leaning in to Who we know.

He is always for us. Not just for our victory, but He desires wholeness for every bit of our being: spirit, body, soul. He doesn’t simply want us to get a quick breakthrough. He wants His glory on display in our lives in every possible way.

Almost two years ago, I came home from teaching and leading at a week-long conference in Seattle. Two weeks into being home I still didn’t feel well. I decided to get checked out. Within a few weeks, a large mass was discovered and a new season began.

We let friends and family know and prayed for immediate healing. I’ve experienced many miraculous healings in my life and we all prayed for the mass to disappear. That same week, in an encounter with the Lord, He gently told me I would be 100% healed this side of heaven, but that this would be a journey, not an immediate healing. My response to Him was filled with gratitude and a request – if we were going on a healing journey, then I wanted it all – healing in every possible area of my life.

The last 19 months have held 6 surgeries, a daily chemo regimen, tons of doctors appointments, regular lab work, tears, laughter, frustration, joy, celebration, disappointment and more healing and beauty than I ever thought possible in lifetime.

I feel more alive and whole than I ever have. Yes, I have hard days, hard weeks, hard months, but what God has been able to turn for His glory has been extraordinary. The amount of healing He has ushered into my life, my marriage, my dreams and desires, and into many other areas in this season, is truly remarkable.

The journey looks different for all of us. A season being good doesn’t mean it’s easy. His constant kindness and intentionality are always present and the journey is beautiful. I want to invite us to have a change of perspective, to believe that we can thrive and not just survive in the midst of great adversity. Let’s believe, and even anticipate, that our most difficult seasons might be really hard, but will be really, really good – because He is that kind.

By Erika Jay