Tuesday, February 21, 2017

When Pain Makes us Stronger

This world is so broken.  Every corner I turn to, everywhere I look I find myself bombarded with brokenness.  In my own life too.  I find myself constantly in a state of grieving for a world where people build each other up, instead of tearing down.  I find myself wishing that I could see everyone the way Jesus does.  I find myself longing for a place where we all agree, where guns aren't necessary, where fighting ceases to exist, and where I never have to worry about others judging me or accepting me. 

That's not this world though, I have to wait.  How do I live while I wait?  Facing pain on a daily basis.  Uncertain of the future sometimes, of where I am going.... or what diseases the future may hold.  Tragedy strikes us at a moment's notice.  How do I stop from just letting it overwhelm me? 

In these last few weeks, I have heard a lot about sin, and justice.  I have experienced a pain in my heart for things that I had stopped longing for.  I have come to understand how pain has made me stronger.  I have come to understand the purpose behind some people not being in my life anymore, or not being directly in my day to day. 

Sometimes I put such a hold on people.  I place them on a pedestal.  I long for their approval more than God's.  I see them in this light of grace and mercy that isn't for me to view them in.  I try to keep them in my life at all costs.  I allow others to be my god.  I forget that I don't measure up on a daily basis, and that's okay. I forget to allow myself the grace that I give to others. 

The truth is that there are people that aren't meant to be in our lives.  There are experiences, and activities that we aren't meant to engage in.  It is those people and activities that push us farther from God, instead of closer to Him that we need to let go of.  Do you ever find yourself trapped in a routine, allowing those people/activities to voice your worth, to be in charge of the choices you make? 

When we have to let go, it hurts.  It hurts so much.  Because we have invested time, energy, and love into those people/activities.  We have sacrificed to make their lives better.  We have connected with them, and gotten to know them.  Yet, despite all of that....there has been pain.  Pain that comes with rejection, pain that comes with disagreements, pain that comes because our choices didn't mesh well with others.  So much pain. 

In the pain though, isn't that when we understand more about the love?  Isn't that when we have nothing to do, but kneel before our Creator and understand how this pain causes us to be absent from Him?  How pain grows us, and changes us.  How pain allows us to understand what we have been saved from.

For me pain no longer seems a threat.  It no longer seems like something I want to escape from, because I can see through the pain.  I can cope with the pain, because my focus is on something far greater than pain.  My focus is above.  My focus is on what I am here to do in this life.  It's not about being the prettiest, the smartest, the most liked.  It has everything to do with knowing God the most, and allowing that knowledge to overflow out of me into others.

I don't think that I have gotten this the past few years.  I have been sidetracked into just being who everyone wanted me to be.  I have given in to the pain way too much, and allowed it to change me in ways that I am not proud of.  So, today I think and ponder how I am going to be different, embracing the pain.  Understanding that it is not an eternal pain, and healing in truth and love.

Today I put aside the expectations that the past few years have created in me.  I think and ponder new expectations, and live a life that is committed to being more in love with God everyday.  When that's my focus...everything else seems to fall in place, and pain doesn't seem so destructive.  

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