Changing through pain

Pain is a funny thing. It changes us immensely. I often find that pain is part of a process, whether the beginning, end or middle, that smoothes us out and molds us into the person we are supposed to be. It brings out traits in us that can make us more like the creator, which is what we are all striving for anyways!

I have the privilege of being part of an amazing family. One in which one persons troubles become the whole families troubles. If I am struggling I can be sure that my aunts will give advice and my grandparents will pray and my parents will do whatever is necessary and my cousins will give as many hugs as is needed. Although it can sometimes feel like the whole family is airing out your dirty laundry, it’s really quite beautiful how much they love you and care.

In this season of our lives, it feels like our whole family is under attack. We’ve been battling many issues(of which I prefer to keep private) that have worn us down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Just as a problem seems solved it pops back up even worse then before. I often struggle to understand why these things happen. Why God allows for such painful and negative things to take over our lives when we just want to be happy and peaceful and comfortable in our circumstances. We aren’t asking for a mansion and a new car and blessings in all our endeavors. We simply wish to live pain free.

As lovely as this sounds, it’s impossible, and for good reason. (But don’t worry!! When we get to heaven with our King, we will be pain free forever.) Like I said, pain changes us. The end result of pain will do one of two things – make you bitter, resentful, angry, confused OR it will make you understanding, loving, empathetic, strong.

Far too often the outcome is negative. We become so overwhelmed by our problems and struggles that we get lost in them, forgetting that the one who holds the earth in his hands, also holds US! We tend to allow bad circumstances to define us and before we know it we have taken on the identity of our problems. We don’t say “I have depression” we say “I’m depressed”. As if this makes up who we are. As if this is a part of our personality. As if this defines us. But it doesn’t at all! What defines us is in the word of God, our worth was settled on the day that Jesus died on the cross.

So, if in our pain we seek God continually, and praise him and love him the way we are called to, the pain will make us more like him and draw us closer to him then we’ve ever been. He wants us to find our strength in him, he wants to shelter us from the storms and comfort us when we lay in bed at the end of the day completely broken.

I have found that I am most creative when I am in pain. In fact, 5 minutes before I started writing this I was crying and cuddling with my dog. I write the best when I am hurting, God speaks to me the most when I am feeling overwhelmed. The more I let the pain be and stop begging God to take it from me, the more I can focus on what he’s trying to teach me through it. I can focus on growing and worshiping a God who is worthy of our praise no matter how good or bad we are feeling. When we make the decision to choose him regardless of our emotional state, we are doing something that doesn’t just make him happy, but benefits our relationship with him so much!

All day Romans 8:18 has been on my heart, it’s something that when you apply it and believe it will change the way you look at pain. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Nothing that I feel today could be terrible enough that the end result wouldn’t be worth it. Put your trust in Jesus, let him hold you at your weakest, and take a moment to really let yourself hurt. Let yourself cry. The work he’s doing in you is one that you don’t want to miss out on.

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