Do You Wish to be a Cottage or a Palace?
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.” - C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity
I've had all kinds of ups and downs in my life. Some were not as major as other people face, and a few of the things I've gone through I wouldn't wish on anyone because they were pretty hard to deal with. I've had times where I felt like I knew what God was up to and other times where I was completely caught of guard.
The process of refinement and sanctification isn't glamorous. Sometimes there is pain in the process. Sometimes uncertainty is all too familiar a feeling. Feelings, however, can be a poor indicator of what is really going on. Feelings can be deceitful and self-centered, which is why it is critical to know what Scripture says about who God is and what His desire is for us.
Like Lewis intimates, we don't know the plans of God. What we do know is that God is always for us, not against us, and working in our lives for our joy and His glory.
We shouldn't settle for being a cottage if God has determined us to become a palace.