Guest: The Test of Trials


I teach a five-week English Composition class online for a small Midwestern college. As a way to get to know my new students, I have them write a short introduction that not only allows me to see the skill sets I’ll be working with, but lets me get to know them. The thing I am surprised at the most is the ability they have to share their most intimate and personal thoughts, all because they are not face-to-face with either fellow students or instructors.
I have watched as students encourage other students that are almost illiterate. I hear touching stories of deployments, divorce, alcoholism, and abuse, a subject that is personal to me. I’m moved by the way these students reach out and not only ask for help, but offer it. In this class, I have found that I am so much more than an instructor who corrects grammar and punctuation. I am a friend, a mentor, a guide and a protector.
The beauty of this job is that I realize the place of authority God has put me in. I didn’t “fall” into this position. I was “put” here by the very hand of my Savior. You see, as a child I was abused by my father. No one saw what was happening to me. The silent disease was going on behind the doors of a respectable house. It would be years before I was able to escape the effects of that abuse.
I wrote about that dark place in my fictionalized book, Run, River Currents. 
It’s not a pretty story and not for the faint of heart. It took many, many years for the small seed of precious hope God had planted in me through the words and actions of my godly grandfather to come to fruition. I carried the burden and shame of what my father had done to me into a marriage. I brought up a son fighting my own urges to physically abuse him.
But God prevailed and here I am, listening to the heartaches of others and sharing the same hope God had planted in me. In my life I’ve dealt with many of the situations these young people are facing today. I can offer a bit of wisdom now only because I’ve learned to seek help from God’s Word and in prayer. I am able, even in a secular college, to empathize, to listen, to encourage and to help, all because God had a plan to use my pain and mistakes for his glory.
Are you wondering why you are going through some tough situation right now? Look ahead. Your painful trials may lift someone from despair in the future.
Beloved, do not think it is strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” I Peter 4:12-13


About the Author:

Ginger Marcinkowski spent many summers traveling between her home state of Maine and her grandparents’ home in New Brunswick, Canada. The sweet memories gave her the love for the deep Canadian forests and the mighty Tobique River—the setting for Run, River Currents. The novel was a semi-finalist in the 2012 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest and received an Honorable mention in the 2012 New England Book Festival.

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