Finding Purpose in the Pain
I was four months pregnant with twins, sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to my husband’s confession of an affair. He wasn’t telling me something I hadn’t already suspected; I knew, I just couldn’t prove it. The year of knowing didn’t lessen the pain as it was being revealed, it just made it real; something I couldn’t turn back from. Everything would be different now.
We all experience moments just like this: moments that stop you in your tracks, tear at your soul, and cause you to question everything you know. It’s life changing. There’s an innocence destroyed when trust is broken. You no longer see people as you believe they are, but rather see them as someone with a secret…someone with something to hide. Everyone is dangerous.
It’s easy in the midst of this altered reality to be overcome by it, to be changed by it, and to become embittered by it. We’re angry that we’ve been deceived, that we’ve been discarded, and that a piece of our innocence was stolen. We want it back. We want our value. We want our worth. We want the trust. We want peace. We want what was lost. It becomes the mission we live for. We enter into this embittered existence affecting the way we see everyone around us. We become ineffective as people.
This is the point of no return, the point at which each of us has a choice to make: to be overcome by the pain, or to overcome it. It’s a choice. Whether we like it or not, it is. We may not get to choose our circumstances, but we can certainly choose our response to them.
And this is where I battled.
It was hard for me to see past the pain and rejection, and I spent so many years trying to prove it wrong, trying to remedy what could not be remedied. I wasted time. I wasted tears. It was only in my moments of desperation, after living eleven years chasing what was lost, that I was finally called to surrender it to the Lord. He wasn’t calling me to fix the rejection, to self-medicate the pain, or to seek value and worth in things or people that could not give it. He was calling me to give it all up…to give it to Him. He didn’t want me overcome by it all; He wanted me to use it, to seek mission and purpose through it. It was a response change; a heart change.
I think often times we can only see the pain we experience as the disservice and inconvenience that it is. It’s hard to see what it could become, what mission it could fulfill, but with Christ, we’re called to see things differently. Our trials, trauma, and wounds are all meant to testify to the one who heals them. When we are overcome by them, we only testify that Christ has no power to get us through; there is no hope. However, if we use our tragedies as a testimony, if we find purpose in the pain, then we overcome. It doesn’t necessarily take the pain away, but it gives purpose to it, it gives meaning and hope.
My husband and I are still married and have been for 17 years. There were times when bitterness ruled my life, certainly affected my marriage, and also my impact on those around me. However, surrendering the pain, using it for God’s glory and purposes, has changed everything. It’s an opportunity to give hope. It’s an opportunity to reach the lost, the broken, and the hurting; it is a lot harder to see them if you have never been hurt yourself. Going through pain helps you to see those in pain. It’s a perspective change, a heart change; and one that will impact everyone around you. Are you suffering? Are you hurting? Are you broken? Find purpose. Do not let it overcome you. Give hope.