Surviving Struggles: When Life Gives Lemons, Look for the SUGAR!


When you are meant to go through struggles or hard times, God will provide encouragement (SUGAR) in ways you may never expect. Was it not our parents who told us and now WE who tell our children, “Life is not always fair”? From Toddler age to… well, forever, we spend precious time encouraging and helping our own children learn to deal with life’s challenges.

We learn through our own struggles and our own story, and then we are able to encourage others. God is always walking alongside us and using our story to bring hope and meaning to those around us.

Surviving Struggles: When Life Gives Lemons, Look for the SUGAR!My biggest jolt came when my separation happened. I never believed in divorce, but here it was happening to us. I asked God a million times, “Why? Why?” We live in a broken world and not every story is a “Happily Ever After.” Everyone might not agree with how I dealt with it, but this is my story…

I hope, for your sake, that neither you, nor anyone you know, is going thru a marriage struggle right now. If that is the case then you can stop reading. However, for those who might be in the midst of a marriage struggle, or know someone going through this, I hope my story brings some encouragement.


First, God let me know almost every day that I was right where He wanted me. My #1 recommendation is for you to be hyper aware of EVERY positive “message” (the SUGAR) coming your way. It could be a friend’s comment, something you read or saw on television, a radio talk, s song, s magazine article, a family member, a comment by a random person or a particular feeling you have.


Second, let people around you IN. It won’t be everyone. It shouldn’t be everyone. It took me a while to notice that certain people were put in my life for “such a time as this!” For me it was the actual neighbors that surrounded me! The financial/organized wizard, the mentor, my Bible Study leader, the everything friend, and the comfort encouragers! They became what I referred to as my “Board of Directors!”

Two went with me to my first divorce lawyer meeting to take notes and support me (I did not choose that first lawyer). One went with me to my second divorce lawyer meeting (that one clicked!) and she also set up a Google calendar (which I had never heard of) which made family planning easier. It takes a village/”board of directors” and I will appreciate mine FOREVER and EVER.  


I have to say that I was very quiet when my divorce process was going on. Only certain people were in my inner circle of confidence (which is very unlike me). However, now I understand why. It was NOTHING against my friends, I just did not want to talk about it a lot. For my mind’s well-being I did not bring the subject up to people. Even if they knew, they were polite enough to never bring it up to me.

I chose carefully to whom I said anything. This way I was able to go to the school socials, girl’s nights out, market, church and not have everyone asking me questions all the time. This was what really helped me cope.

Please, if you are one of the friends “left out,” please do not feel slighted. Separation and Divorce are such an awful thing and there is no making sense of any of it. Just stick by your friend to encourage and support them before, during and after!


My mom’s biggest jolt came when she received news she had breast cancer. God worked in her story the same way He did mine. She also had encouraging things happen daily. There were A LOT of great moments, but I think her number one moment happened 2 days after she received the news of her breast cancer. She was in an airport talking to the woman next to her who, out of the blue, said she was a breast cancer survivor! My mom mentioned her big fear of the reconstruction surgery. Would you believe the woman took my mom into the airport bathroom stall to show my mom her reconstruction and answer questions! That woman had no idea, but THAT moment set the tone for my mother’s entire cancer journey.

“For every experience God gives us, And every person He puts in our life, it is the perfect preparation for a future that ONLY HE can see.”

– Corrie ten Boom (The Hiding Place)