I have struggled for many months to write this post on “thriving”, this year’s theme for Raising Generations Today. I have struggled with how to encourage people to thrive, prosper and flourish when I felt like I was just limping along, trying to get through another day. I have even struggled with what thriving is.

What does it look like?

What does it sound like?

How does anyone know if they are thriving?

How do you explain it to someone else?

During this time, I have sat next to my mom’s hospital bed as I watched her body, crushed by a car, cry out in pain.       How does she thrive? How do those of us going through this with her thrive? How do we explain it to others?

I have witnessed my children struggle with not having a dad in the home.

How do they thrive?

I have watched people around me, broken by loss.

How is thriving possible for them?

The Bible says the Lord has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He has given everything to us in His Word, but we must read it, pray it, believe it. I believe thriving, in any circumstance, is not only possible, but expected by the Lord.

Just like it is impossible to thrive physically without proper nourishment, it is impossible to thrive spiritually without being in the Word.

He does not want us in the pit of despair. He does not want us gravitating toward other people wallowing in their self-pity and messiness just so we feel more comfortable. He wants us in relationships with people that love Him, with friends that can encourage us when we are struggling, with sisters in Christ that will drag us away from our self-pity, and get our focus back on the Lord.

During our Good Friday service the pastor was serving communion and explained that Jesus meets each one of us at the cross.  He wants our brokenness, our exhaustion, our pain.

He wants it.

I have heard this before, but I was now hearing it through my exhaustion, through my brokenness, through my pain. To end the evening we all stood and sang “It is Well”.  I could see people around me wiping their eyes. I could hear my kids on both sides of me singing “It is Well” at the top of their lungs, and I knew –This is what thriving is.

Knowing that even though trials come…It is well.

When sorrows like sea billows roll…It is well.

When Satan wants me to despair…It is well.

I may not be thriving physically, and I may be hurting emotionally, but my soul is thriving. We need to ask ourselves:

Is my soul struggling to thrive? If yes, why?

Am I in the Word?

Am I clinging daily to the Lord’s promises?

Am I praying daily for a renewed heart?

Do I have friends who love me and love the Lord?

These are the keys to a thriving soul.

No matter what my circumstances are when I know that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords holds me in His palm, I can lay my head on my pillow at night and be assured that when I wake in the morning, my soul will be well, and

I will thrive.