First was a question, "How do you keep from becoming bitter? Were there any particular passages that helped you?"
Some comes from support groups. We always had a few, or at times, the non-influential majority who were there to help us. Sometimes our help came from stubbornness. We simply refused to let those people be right about us. Being righteous and loving is the best way to “get even” in the face of false accusations. Some was, as I said, the fear of hell. Jesus was not ashamed to use plain old fashioned terror to motivate people to be good and at times, it is all you have. Sometimes, as Dene said, we were good for the kids’ sake. We might have given up with only our own souls in the balance, but could not do that to them. In a lesser way, our weaker brothers and sisters can provide the same motivation.
Above all, perseverance came because we knew in whom we believed. The blind man said, “One thing I know, whereas I was blind, now I see.” We tried not to let our faith become complicated by the, "what if’s", and the unfairness, and “Why did this happen?”, and a hundred other questions. We focused on the one thing we knew: that God knows what he is doing and that it is being done for his glory to accomplish his purpose in us--whether we ever understand or not. From the beginning, we knew that it would be hard at times. We had no clue how hard but our part is clear: faithfulness to the one who “so loved that He sent…”
God may not have a “better plan” for you. Sin may have locked doors and blocked pathways that would have been better for you and for God. Upon repentance, God will still use you. The “better plan” sop some use when things “go wrong” can lead to a weak or lost faith.
Do not waste time trying to figure out God’s purpose for you or in things that happen to you. Simply seize every opportunity to do any kind of work of faith that comes your way.
We also understood that no longer being able to do certain things physically did not mean we were free to sit back and watch. Disabilities mean you find something you CAN do, even if it isn’t what you dreamed, even if the disability makes it more difficult. We owe God our service, in whatever our circumstances, in whatever way we can, for as long as we can. Acts 13:36 says that David fulfilled his purpose and then he died. To us that meant that he kept right on going until that time, doing for his Lord whatever was possible to do, which is ultimately, why we offered to talk to you as well.
"For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2Cor 12:10).
"But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.” " (Jer 1:7-8).