Author and speaker Sheridan Voysey shared with Robbo and Becci on Vision Christian Radio's Rise & Shine about how his recent pilgrimage changed the whole way he thinks about the trials we go through in life.
When we go through trials, we often reach out to God to ask Him to solve the issue, without realising that the trial could lead us to the exact place and plan God has for our lives.
Sheridan has also written the below article which helps to unpack further the practical steps you can marry your trials with your talents...
I made a number of discoveries while writing The Making of Us: Who We Can Become When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned. One of the most impacting? That the trials of life can release our greatest gifts into the world. How does that happen? One way is when those trials are married to our God-given talents.
Think about some of the world’s most celebrated artists:
The painter Degas, for example, suffered from retina disease for the last fifty years of his life. He had to switch from using paint to pastel because the chalk lines were easier for him to see. Renoir had to have brushes placed between his fingers when arthritis made them clench like claws. When cancer surgery left Matisse immobile, he turned to collage, getting assistants to attach coloured pieces of paper to a larger sheet fixed on the wall.
Now here’s the interesting thing. For each artist what followed was a new creative breakthrough: Degas’ Blue Dancers. Renoir’s Girls at the Piano. Matisse’s The Sorrows of the King. These and other masterpieces came about from the change of practices forced on each artist.
The marriage of the artist’s trial with their talent birthed something new.
There are other examples:
Maya Angelou found her writer’s voice by combing her experiences of poverty, racism and abuse with her poetic talents. Joni Eareckson-Tada combined her quadriplegia with a gift of encouragement to start Joni and Friends, an organisation that’s helped countless people with disabilities all around the world. After being incarcerated for his part in the Watergate scandal, Chuck Colson combined that humbling experience with his leadership abilities to start Prison Fellowship, which has changed the lives of inmates, their families, and victims of crime everywhere.
What trial have you faced? What deep pain, setback or difficulty? Mine that experience for its:
Then marry that trial with your talents—your God-given gifts and strengths:
Then start to imagine what new books, artworks, poems, policies, blogs, podcasts, ministries, community groups and more could be birthed that might bring hope and help to others.
Sheridan Voysey is a writer, speaker, and broadcaster on faith and spirituality. His other books include Resurrection Year: Turning Broken Dreams into New Beginnings, Resilient, and the award-winning Unseen Footprints. Sheridan is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 2 and other international networks, and has featured on BBC Breakfast, BBC News, Day of Discovery, Moody Radio, and publications like The Sunday Telegraph. He is married to Merryn, and lives and travels from Oxford, United Kingdom.