Scripture: Malachi 3:1-4 Write about a difficult time in your life. How did God refine you in the midst of that?
My two years in the Peace Corps as probably overall the hardest time in my life. I was dealing with physical hardships, loneliness, having to examine my identity, emotional struggles - all in another language and culture.
And yet God used that time to shape me in significant ways. It was there that I first discerned a call to ministry. It was there that I had to face hard truths about myself. It was there that I experienced God in acute and tangible ways unlike any other. I even sometimes wish that I could be that out of my comfort zone again so as to experience God in such powerful ways.
God does use difficult times to purify us, as much as we don't like it.