Son and daughter,
You are going to have more burden inside of you; your needs are going to be the needs of others. You're going to be able to relate. I'm going to make you more aware of the needs of the hurting and broken. I will give you compassion and the ability not to give up. Grace is granted to you; for the prize will be to those who endure.
Battles will come. You will not have an easy life. I am not granting you an easy life. I will grant you, though, deliverance. There will be afflictions, but I will deliver you out of them all.
I'm going to grant you strength; I'm going to grant you a heart for others. You will know what sorrow is all about. You will have a testimony that says, "but God came to heal me;" and you will see that it will be a part of your destiny.
The person giving this word was a prophet visiting our church at the time. It is the only word I have ever questioned, asking for more specific details.
At the time, I thought, "what the ???, I don't want to suffer!" There wasn't anything in the word about how wonderful we were and how great our future would be.
At that point in my life, I had no theology of suffering. My belief was that as long as we loved and obeyed God, our lives would be blessed with comfort and ease.
I didn't understand the book of Job and hoped I never would. Surely a testimony like that was for someone else, not me. I wanted to prosper and be blessed, to be a testimony to the goodness of God.
While I have yet to experience the degree of suffering many people have, I've tasted enough to have to rethink my idealistic notions of walking with God.
I've learned to trust him in the desert place, the wilderness, and in the midst of unanswered questions and prayers. I've had to grow in my understanding and accept pain as a part of that growth.
Like the song "Blessed be Your Name," I can now say "on the road marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering,...my heart will choose to say, blessed be Your name!"