Character Development

Dec 10, 2012 | Faith

This past week, as our youngest celebrated a milestone birthday.  But that wasn’t the real milestone.  The real marker is all the changes in our life over the last 13 years.  Life-changing changes shadowed by God’s character of goodness.

When I gave birth to my youngest son, my husband and I had just completed our first decade together.  I would title those first years “The Golden Years” because they were filled with complete joy.  We started our family, established a home, and there was nothing but joy.  Good times.

Family and Cat ourside their home

After giving birth to my youngest in December of 1999, on the heels of Y2K, the Golden Years seem to halt abruptly.   I suffered several months from post-pardom depression.  In fact, I don’t think I was truly over it when intense grief struck – nine months after giving birth, a death in the family brought shock, reeling pain and changes to our life and the lives of our close-knit extended family.   Life as we knew it would never be the same.  Ever. 

Over the next several years, more changes transpired…….career, family, and lifestyle changes.  Woven in between these layers, life happened…….painful, challenging, and difficult times. Looking back, these years seem like a blur….a dark contrast to the golden years…..

But the title of the last chapter really should be “Growing Pains.” I know in the scope of His Story, he allows hard times with the opportunity for us to draw closer to Him.  One thing I have done in the past decade is run to the Lord in the midst of pain and change, spending much time pursuing God, wrestling, and seeking Him.

And in the pain, pursuing, wrestling, there have been wounds….wounds I could have picked at, causing perpetual pain, or I could have chosen to let God heal.  I’m thankful, in the end, I chose healing.

In thinking of the personal history God writes for each of us,  I am comforted yet challenged that He already knows His Story……stories of good, yet painful times.  I am challenged in the deepest moments of pain, that He is already there…..already aware of  the outcome. After coming out of the Growing Pains, I have a glimpse of the Lord I would have missed if life was all golden.  When life was simple, I believe my understanding of God was simpler. When life as I expected was swept away, the things I expected from God was swept away, also.

It was then I realized I needed to know this God who was crafting my life.

In the grief..….Lord, I need to know you.

In the depression.……Lord, I need to know you.

In the rebellion…….Lord, I need to know you.

In the running…..Lord, I need to know you.

In the sin…..Lord, I need to know you.

In the pain.Lord I need to know you.

In the tears……Lord, I need to know you.

I’m not sure what the next chapter will be titled, but that’s okay, because I know the Author of the story.  I trust Him, even if I don’t know the plot line.  It may be predictable, suspenseful, or a cliff-hanger…..but I am not afraid to enter the Story, where ever it may lead….

Because I know how the story ends…..eternity with the Author where there will never be pain or sorrow again.

That’s the best ending I could ask for.

Father, thank you that You are the author of our stories….that you allow both pain and joy, sorrow and laughter….thank you for salvation in your Son, Jesus, that allows us to enter life with you here with comfort when it hurts, and enter life eternally with you, forever.

Lord, for those in pain today, be so near to them, they can hear your voice whispering in their ear, just what they need to hear.  Pick them up, carry them when they feel completely spent.  Comfort them….hold them…..draw near to them…

For those running, pursue them, and don’t let them go.  Thank you for your never ending love, grace and mercy, of which all our stories are based on.

Thank you, Jesus, for each story your write.  May you receive the glory, honor and praise.  




Simple Secrets For A Compelling Life

Do you feel trapped in a chaotic, relentless, demanding lifestyle? No matter where you live or what season of life you’re in, you can find inspiration from the simpler life. 


  1. memyselfandkids

    Trust and faith offer such comfort. When one appreciates that things happen for a reason, life is better.

    • brendayoder

      Very true. Looking for the reason is a process.

      • memyselfandkids

        A very challenging process sometimes too – yesterday’s events certainly are hard to process.

  2. Janette's Sage

    I can sooooooooooo relate. A friend said, “I heard that if I did what the Lord said I would be blessed and I wasn’t!” Then I turned to her and said, “Yes you were. Didn’t you get to know him deeper? We need to redefine blessed.” We both agreed….our golden years have long gone, we stand in our challenging years, and yet, here is where He has met us…in the furnace….both believing his refining fire is for our good.

    • brendayoder

      And you, my dear friend, are becoming beautifully gold, refined by fire. Solid Gold, the most precious commodity. Thank you.

  3. Ingrid Lochamire

    So very true, Brenda. Thank you for sharing your heart. It’s the “seasons” of our lives that bring both challenges and blessings. Walking through them hand-in-hand with our Creator and Savior makes all the difference!

    • brendayoder

      Thank you Ingrid. I know there are many seasons you have walked through, that have made you the woman you are today.

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