The Purpose of Pain

Hey everyone! First I just want to say that I apologize for being away these past few weeks, but I have been overwhelmed with all facets of life lately and wasn’t in a position to give you my best.  Additionally I have had some health issues that threw me off balance and I have experienced a lot of unexpected pain both physically and emotionally.  So today I want to talk about the purpose of pain.

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

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“Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God’s world by mistake… unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes.” – The Big Book by Bill W

I live by the rule of thumb stated in the above quote. I don’t really believe in coincidence, but rather that all the events of my life were meant to teach me something.  And though I understand this, I still get frustrated when things don’t go the way I think they should go.

Have you ever gone through a time in your life where you felt like you were being tested repeatedly? So you continued to stay positive and exercised your faith, but still felt confused because the harder you tried to stay on track, the more things kept coming your way to knock you off? That’s where I’m at right now.  Actually to be honest that’s where I’ve been the last few years.   I’ve faced struggle, after struggle, after struggle and this year I began to feel completely lost and even a bit hopeless when it comes to my future. And I know I’m not alone as I’ve spoken to several people recently, that feel exactly the same way as I do.  It’s like we’re all tired of just “existing,” but also unsure of what the future holds and how to stay motivated enough to achieve our goals.  Last night I was writing in my journal, and I was contemplating how I feel, how others feel, and what this all means. Then this came to mind…

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God from time to time very insistently, disrupts our lives so that we release our present grasp on life, and unfortunately this is usually through some sort of loss/pain. God is asking us to let go of the things we love and have given our hearts to, so that we can give our hearts more fully to him. He thwarts us in our attempts to make life work as we think it should so that our efforts fail, and we must face that we don’t really look to God for life. We look to him as an assistant to life. Let’s be honest, when do you find yourself praying more – When things are going great or when you feel like your whole world is falling apart?

“We See God as a means to an end, rather than the end itself.”  

When something doesn’t go our way, usually our first reaction is to get angry with Him, or others are quick to say He doesn’t exist (which only serves to make my point). People say “Why did God let this happen?” far more than they say “Why didn’t I give this to God?” We see God as a means to an end rather than the end itself. We don’t see life as the process of coming to the place where we are fully His and He is our all. Now just to be clear – I’m not suggesting that God causes the pain in our lives, but rather allows it to happen so we can grow from the experience. Pain will come because it’s inevitable, but when it does, what will we do with it? What does it reveal? What might God be up to? How might he redeem our pain? Those are the questions I am learning are worth asking.   So if you’re in pain like I am, I’m asking you to not waste it. Take a closer look and learn from it.

How has pain shaped your life? What has it revealed to you? How have you risen above it? Let’s talk about it. Comment below or email me your thoughts  at ninas.notions2018@gmail.com

Peace & Blessings,

Nina

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