It’s the trauma, not the T-shirt that measures survival

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If someone offered to silk screen you a personal “I survived” T-shirt, what would yours say?



Here is what mine might say:



I survived 27 moves.

I survived a 7.6 earthquake. 

I survived four back surgeries. 

I survived two sets of terrible twos, traumatic twelves, and sassy seventeens.

I survived my daughter’s serious motorcycle accident.

I survived 8000-mile separation from both parents when they passed away.

I survived sexual abuse as a preschooler.


The point is – I did survive.


And as I look back on each of those situations, they all have one thing in common:


Each experience tested what I believe is true and in turn, revealed more of Christ to me.


After all, faith is only a theory unless it’s tested. And a theoretical faith is lifeless and doesn’t really qualify as faith at all. You have to take the lab along with the faith class in order to pass.


We all desire to be survivors. But the crisis isn’t fun.


You may be trying to survive a bad marriage or questions about your infertility. 


If you are anything like me, most of your crisis prayers are cries to get you out of whatever you don’t like.


We can stand in church singing all about His holiness and how we want to know Him. But then we go home and complain about the passageway of endurance by which knowing Him actually happens. 


It’s the testing of your faith (that) produces endurance. (James 1:3)


Finding deliverance in our thought and emotional life only comes as a result of an enduring faith.


Faith and perseverance go hand in hand to grant us the true knowledge of Jesus that we speak of with such passion. 


Do you really want to know Him? 

Are you honestly serious about seeking His face?

Is looking more like Him truly your goal?


Then you have to “let endurance have its perfect result”. (James 1:4)


This instruction is spoken by way of an imperative command. 


I think about the peaches off my brother-in-law’s trees. I have picked them green and let them ripen by sitting out. 


They are still peaches, but the flavor can’t match that of a fully-ripened peach eaten straight off the tree. The latter are the ones that are so juicy and delicious that they literally drip with every bite.


Just like these peaches, endurance needs time to completely ripen. 


If you want to be all that you were created for – free from inferiorities – excelling at whatever comes your way – you must remain steadfast. 


Inward and outward afflictions are your guide to a being a satisfied – 










When it’s the hardest, remember that at the end of the process – when no detail is unfinished – you’ll find yourself “complete, lacking in nothing”. 


Wouldn’t that be a great place to be?


So now tell me….what are you surviving?