Heartbreak. Anguish. Betrayal. Abandonment. Abuse. Tragedy. Sickness.
This is what you recall as the worst moments in your life.
The seasons you try to erase from your memory.
The pain that crushed you.
Maybe you’ve experienced victory and healing from these painful moments. Maybe your faith has grown by leaps and bounds. Perhaps you’ve gained a strength that only could have come from these past seasons.
For some of you, you are satisfied with what God has done in you. But this is as far as it goes.
But there’s more. Yes, He wants to do something through you.
I want to encourage you with this powerful truth:
The pain from your past can be a lifeline to someone else right now. A soothing balm for someone else’s heartache.
I like how Paul puts this in 2 Corinthians 1:4:
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
He doesn’t just comfort us for our own healing. It says so that we can comfort others, too! As followers of Jesus, if we never walk in this truth, then we are missing out. And others are missing out on what we can offer them.
In the last several years of my faith journey, God has put people in my path who are struggling with things I have already experienced. Some of these experiences are from many years ago. Others are just in the recent past.
There’s an urgency in my soul to reach out and encourage them. A longing to lift someone up when they feel discouraged. An opportunity to inspire someone to keep going in spite of their horrible circumstances.
This is what we are called to do! It’s not an option.
I know the pain of divorce. God healed my broken spirit through that horrible journey.
But instead of keeping that experience to myself, I reach out to those who are in the midst of this pain right now.
They need to know that they will get to the other side of the pain. They need to know that they are not alone. They need to see that this painful journey will not engulf them.
I understand the turmoil of anxiety and depression. God took my despair and turned it into a desperation for Him.
But instead of locking this into a room of my heart and labeling it “off-limits”, I choose to humbly share my struggle with those who feel like they will never be able to break free from these chains.
What about you? What part of your journey has God delivered you from? Where has He given you healing through your pain?
If you’ve never stepped out and shared that with anyone, then how about asking God to show you someone who needs to hear it? Sometimes God brings us people right smack in front of us. But other times we might have to go after them. Seek them out.
Your pain is not in vain. He wants to use it for His glory. That glory comes when we are able to pour comfort into others with the same comfort we received at some point before.
There is no better feeling than to share hope and peace with someone who is hurting in the same way you have hurt. You don’t even have to be WAY ahead of them, either. No, you don’t have to be completely over your pain before you can comfort others. You might just be a few steps ahead of them on the same journey.
Maybe that’s part of the healing for ourselves.
I challenge you today, dear friend. The pain of your past does not have to define you. Allow God to use it to bring healing to someone else. Let Him do something magnificent THROUGH you.
It’s what He does best.
Blessings to you!
If you were encouraged through this post, check out my book for more encouragement!
6 thoughts on “Your Pain is Not in Vain”
Your words came at a perfect time, as I am considering volunteering at a hospice, have recent experience with my mom, but wasn’t sure it was too soon. God answered that through you.
I am deeply struggling with depression. Very dark thoughts. I’m being treated but it feels like it will never lift. Can you direct me towards any resources you used? I’m doing my devotionals, praying, reading scripture but I’m stuck
Many blessings to you
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Hi Tricia! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about what you’re struggling with. I understand the feeling of “stuck”! I think there were several things that helped me overcome my depression. For a couple of years in the beginning, I was taking medication (Zoloft). Every medicine and each person will respond uniquely. So sometimes you have to experiment with different ones to find one that works. I went through extensive counseling for a year to deal with issues that were causing me to feel anxious and depressed. As time went by, I didn’t need to go as often but continued to go as needed. That was a huge piece of the puzzle for me. I surrounded myself with other Christians who supported me through the hard times. I would also highly recommend some type of exercise. I didn’t experience this until the last 5 years or so, but when I started running/walking/working out, I noticed my moods weren’t as chaotic. The physical endorphins that are released during activity do some amazing things!! I used to not get enough sleep or eat healthy either. Ever since I changed these factors, I feel SO much better. Stay in God’s word. Pray about everything. Get in the Psalms!! David experienced much depression and wrote about it quite a bit.Hope this helps. I will pray for you today. Blessings to you! 🙂
I lost my dad 2.5 years ago and asked my husband for a divorce. It been a long 2.5 years for sure. My marriage is on the mend, but the pain of loss is still so very raw at times. To help I started a blog 1.5 yrs ago. All Things Genuine. It was a place to escape to I think, but as I have turned it to the Lord it’s more of a place of healing and encouragement. I don’t have a huge following but the comments I do get show that my words of encouragement are helping some. My site is http://keystothegenuinelife.com
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Thanks for taking the time to share your heart, Sabrina! I understand your pain. I lost my dad almost 16 years ago, just a couple months after I got married. That was a stressful time in my life!! I love how you started a blog to share your heart with others. I will check it out. Don’t worry about the number of followers you have. It’s easy to get sucked into the numbers game and compare yourself with others. God will use your words to bring hope and healing to others. What a gift! Blessings to you, dear friend! I am praying for you now.
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Thank you Lisa. I actually got to speak into my cousins life today. He is broken over a loss that occurred 7 years ago. He blames the Lord. So sad. But I completely understand his grief and his anger.
Thanks for reminding us that 2 Cor. 1:4 is a part of God’s purpose for our lives. 🙂