Finding Purpose and Hope in Difficult Times

  • By Jessica Mast.

    During my life, I have found we learn the most through experience. When I was 25 years old, my husband of two and a half years passed away on his 28th birthday. After I experienced this unexpected tragedy in my life, I found I could either let it drag me down the path of despair or choose to learn from it and discover how it would be used for my future.

    I chose the latter. Here are some lessons I learned that hopefully will enable you to not only survive a trial but also find greater purpose and hope for an abundant future:

    Live in Peace When Circumstances are Uncertain

    You can find peace for your soul when you practice thankfulness. Instead of looking at the bad in a situation, turn your eyes to all you have to be thankful for. This shifts your focus from all that is causing you turmoil to how God has blessed you and how God is taking care of you. The simple act of listing all you have to be thankful for will bring calmness when you need it most.

    Flowers by razorfrog

    Change of Perspective Can Change Everything

    When hardship strikes, we quickly feel as if we are buried under our enormous circumstances. Our God is greater than anything we suffer, and He knows how our situation is working within the bigger picture of life. We don’t know how our today is affecting our tomorrow or even others around us. Try to see your trial from the perspective of knowing God is bigger, He is taking care of you, He will never leave you, and He is working out a greater purpose for you and for others. You will begin to feel strengthened to keep persevering and keep going.

    If You are Still on This Earth, Your Assignment is Not Complete

    When I suffered the loss of my husband at a young age, I felt my life was over. I didn’t want to go on in life. I believe God showed me something when I was at such a low point. As long as I was still living, He still had work for me to complete. You were born with a plan and a purpose that only you can fulfill. You don’t want to cut that short by giving up on life. You will always reap a reward if you do not lose heart and do not give up.

    A Trial is Often Used as a Time of Preparation

    Going back to what I said in the beginning, we learn the most through experience. We learn more about ourselves and our God, we mature and we grow in wisdom. Perhaps your experience now is intended to mature you so that you can responsibly handle a bigger blessing in your future. Your circumstance may look like it will harm you, but it will grow you.

    May you find the peace and hope you need for today as you look toward a bigger and brighter tomorrow.

    Photo credit: Max Elman

    Jessica Mast

    Jessica Mast was born in South Carolina where she graduated from Winthrop University in 2002. She then married in 2003, but after two years of marriage, she discovered her husband was suffering from an undiagnosed illness of his liver and immune system. After months of sitting by his side throughout his on and off hospitalizations, this illness took his life in 2006, leaving Jessica a widow at 25 years old. Jessica is now married again and has two daughters. She is a stay-at-home mom and author and doing her ultimate passion, sharing her story with others. You can read her heart wrenching story in her book, The Call of a Caregiver: Finding Comfort, Pursuing Purpose.

    View all posts by Jessica Mast.

    1. Beth Marshall
      Beth Marshall says:

      Jessica, wow- thank you so much for this. I know your story and ‘bigger picture’ perspective speak volumes to anyone feeling defeated and hopeless. So inspiring!!

    2. John K. Smith
      John K. Smith says:

      Jessica, I read your book shortly after it was released and found your experience to be heart wrenching but, also a great example of triumph in the face of a very difficult loss. Thank you for the points in this article. Advice well taken!

    3. Janet Brannon
      Janet Brannon says:

      This is so encouraging for anyone facing any kind of trial! we can all learn and come through these experiences with the help of the Lord and others God sends to us!

    4. Mark Smith
      Mark Smith says:

      Jessica, you are a blessing and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story and for all you do for the 6pm Care Team at NewSpring Greenville.

    5. Janet Brannon
      Janet Brannon says:

      Jessica’s book will give all hope and a new perspective on a future through the blessings found in a relationship with Jesus Christ . what joy we can have!


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