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Purpose in the Pain

This time of the year has felt pretty painful. But unfortunately, that’s the common theme around here lately.

My phone keeps showing me memories from this time last year. Pictures of us packing up our house in Indiana, saying goodbye to our family, and making the big move to Florida. You can feel the excitement from all of our faces in those pictures. Pictures from when our family was whole, truly happy, looking forward to the next chapter. I so vividly remember those days. Sometime I wish we never would have left. But I'm careful that while I let myself feel the raw sadness, I don't let myself get trapped there.

Those people feel so foreign to me now. I look at them and am filled with so much sadness. Because I know what comes next. I know that the excitement they feel will be soon met with utter despair. They innocently think they are gearing up for a new life in Florida, full of joy and adventure, and instead that new life in Florida waits to greet them with a devastating loss.

This time of the year feels like all of our emotions from this past year have been shaken up and put inside a blender at high speed.

Every morning I’d go into Ellie’s room and say “Are you ready to move to Florida?!” Her face would light up and she’d tell me, “I’m going to Florida mommy!” You sure are baby girl.

Sometimes I wish God would have closed a door when we were in the beginning stages of us planning this move to Florida. Maybe it wouldn't hurt as much if He was trying to stop us. But we didn’t hit a single road block. At the time I was so thankful for that. It truly felt meant to be. Now, if I let it, it just causes a lot of anger. And feelings of regret.

We all experience our own versions of hard and painful seasons. We all have our own stories of walking through darkness. It’s important to allow yourself space to feel any feelings that come up when life is in a hard season, but it’s even more important that you don’t stay stuck there. That’s one thing I learned dealing with depression on and off most of my life. It’s so easy to get stuck in the dark place. But what’s the point of staying there? It doesn’t help you move forward.

When you hit a new level of spiritual maturity you learn how to walk through the hard seasons seeking God’s guidance instead of denying it.

Instead of spending all of my time wallowing with the questions of why God would allow this, I have to make a conscious effort every single day to change my perspective to what God is trying to develop in me through this. There is always something He wants to develop in you during the painful seasons. God allows painful situations to strengthen us, mature us, and grow us in our spiritual wisdom.

My recent questions have been why am I walking though this and what is the purpose behind this pain? Because there is always a purpose. God’s purpose in this wasn’t to take something from me, it was to develop something inside of me. God doesn’t give us pain just for the sake of making us suffer. It may take a long time for you to ever see the purpose of the hard season, but it will always show up. It is always there.

If you focus solely on a life full of pain and hurt, you will always see a mess. You’ll never be able to see all that is there to be seen. If you focus on what God is doing in the midst of the pain and the hurt, you will gain a new perspective of how to make it through.

All of the circumstances of the hard season may not entirely change as you draw near to God during the pain, but the way in which you experience the pain will change. God never promised a life without pain, hurt, grief, or loss. But what He did promise is that His comfort would be available to us during our suffering.

God’s purpose for our lives will always out rank the purpose we try to give it ourselves. He has a reason for the painful trials and the dark seasons we face. It is through the heat of the hurt and the suffering that we are refined into who God created us to be. There is where you will find the purpose behind your pain.

1 Peter 5:10 “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.


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