The Experience Summer 2019_WEB

no longer working in full-time ministry was hitting me way harder than I antic- ipated, and then all of this happened! WH AT T RU T H D I D GOD U S E T O S P E A K T O YOU ? KYLIE: I spent hours staring at, crying over and wrestling with Jesus’ words in John 6. At the end of that chapter, many of the disciples walked away from Jesus because His words were hard to hear and obey. Then Jesus asked the twelve if they wanted to walk away also. Peter responded in verse 68, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” It was a reminder that entertaining my temp- tation of walking away from God was completely foolish. Where else would I find truth? Who else has answers for life’s toughest questions? Only Jesus can bring life out of death. WH AT GAV E YOU HOP E ? RANDY: The Gospel hit me in a brand-new way. We know Jesus was born to die the death we all deserve. I remember being struck one day with the reality that in a sense God can relate with exactly what we were going

through. God knows what it’s like to lose a Son. It hit me more than ever that God was not apathetic to our pain! And, more than that, the main reason we have hope of seeing Ezra again, and the reason we have hope of rising from the dead ourselves one day, is because Jesus defeated death when He walked out of the grave. HOW D I D YOU CON T I NU E T O M I N I S T E R T O O T H E R S I N T H E M I D S T O F YOUR PA I N ? KYLIE: For a season, we didn’t. At least we didn’t try to. We were trying to survive and think on truth despite our raw emotions and the lies of the Enemy. We felt like we had nothing to give. But eventually our paths crossed with individuals who had similar stories or perhaps a similar struggle such as anger towards God because of a life circumstance. I’d always try to be transparent about my own strug- gles and by God’s grace would be refreshed in the midst of my grief, so I could encourage another soul to turn towards the words of truth.

GOD’S UNFAILING LOVE IN THE MIDST OF TRAGEDY Someone once said… each of us are either going into, in the middle of, or coming out of a trial. No one wants to think about the hard things God allows in our lives. But we know all our days are ordained by Him before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). Each day is an opportunity to take faith steps. Faith builds faith. filled her life since she knew He was in control and He was her Redeemer. FAITH BUILDS FAITH

Listen to Karen’s full story featured on Word of Life’s podcast. Hear how her foundation of faith supported her and how God used a tragedy to draw her closer to Himself. You, too, can be filled with “… all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 Podcast Title: A Testimony of God’s Unfailing Love in the Midst of Tragedy – listen to the whole story at: WOL.ORG/RESOURCES/PODCAST

Karen can take herself back to the day when everything changed. New York State Troopers were in her home asking questions and then delivering news that her husband, Kevin, had taken his own life. It was like ground zero and as if everything was instantly stripped away. Her walk with the Lord was tested, and she chose to trust Him in the days ahead. Soon peace

Karen Smith ('79) is the Dean of Women at Word of Life Bible Institute Email Karen at: KARENSMITH@WOL.ORG Karen Smith


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