It was as if someone put the moment in slow motion. Hearing her words pour with ease into my spirit and beauty flowing effortlessly from her mouth, I digested and filled up on the wisdom that nourished my soul.
Similar to the many other conversations with individuals who left a stamp of satisfying hope, contagious joy and unadulterated encouragement on my heart, I recognized for the first time a common denominator amongst these people who managed to quickly cross my path and yet leave a permanent stitch of wisdom and hope.
What did they all have in common?
They each had it.
They each endured it.
They each walked through it.
They each found the beauty in it.
They each had a story to tell of it.
It's unavoidable, isn't it?
Pain. it's a luring unwanted guest whose presence is never too far away,
My natural default button is to run. Run from the pain. Avoid its presence. Seek a remedy to extinguish its power.
Drowning in the presence and weight of the pain, survival mode takes precedence and searching for a life boat of safety and survival becomes the central focus of my mentality, of my life, of my moments.
Pain's haunting presence has the capability of being closer than anything or anyone and it's ability to take my life and hold it hostage is overwhelming and fear-driven.
It's here the question stirs deep within... What if the pain, the unwanted house guest of my mind, my soul, my spirit, my body, serves a unique purpose?
A purpose of release?
A purpose of healing?
A purpose of freedom?
A purpose of redemption?
A purpose of restoration?
A purpose of surrender?
A purpose of meeting & knowing God?
Pain has a statement to be made. It has a purpose to fulfill. It has a mission to accomplish. It has a life to unfold. It has a captive to release. It has a chain to snap. It has a spirit to awaken. It has an enemy to discard. It has a love to release.
Oh, but the pain. It's awful. It's tormenting. It's heavy.
My spirit consistently asking "Am I willing to allow the constant presence of pain, in return for the final destination of its purpose of existence?"
The enticement to locate relief from it is appealing.
Anything, anyone. Release me of this pain!
And just as the enemy of my soul desires, my focus becomes skewed, misplaced and tunnel visioned.
Now searching for release instead of searching for its purpose.
But... what if its unwanted existence serves the very purpose of my purpose?
What if its sole existence is to catapult me into the very plan God predestined for my life?
What if is unappealing presence is the final key to unlocking the mystery behind God's plan?
What if its exhausting weight has the supernatural capability of speaking life-giving hope, not only into me, but countless others?
What if its bitter aftertaste is used to blaze a trail of beauty and courage for my family line?
What if its nagging persistency leaves the actual DNA, the cemented footprint, of my legacy?
My humaness tells me to avoid. Search and locate a mechanism, a comfort, a person, a place, a substance, a thing to cover the pain and convince my heart it's really nonexistent.
But it's there, in the deepest area of my being, it remains.
Only growing wider, longer, deeper, higher.
It's interesting how undealt-with pain grows in darkness. Grows in denial. Grows in cover-ups.
It enjoys the chase and I'm completely incapable of out running it.
Then I hear it. A gentle deliberate whisper within from the Holy Spirit.... "It serves a purpose."
Yes, it's not in vain. It's not wasted time, resources, emotions, energy, days, moments, life.
It's not wasted.Not one moment of pain's counterfeit quicksand mentality is wasted.
Whether if be physical, emotional &/or spiritual, it always, always, always serves a purpose.
And it's here, when I reach and pull the pain out from the darkness and shine His light into its very core, that I can begin to see...
the hope it entertains.
The joy it introduces.
The purpose it reveals.
The person it seeks to restore.
Truthfully, some pain is chronic and constant. Hope of release may not be visible or obtainable.
This is the question my heart poured over last Friday morning as I inhaled the words of God in 2 Corinthian.
"My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." "When I am weak, then I am strong."Ah, my current pain is considered weakness, from human perspective. But looking beyond what my eyes can see, I'm standing where I can finally and fully be strong. His power now has been given permission and access to be activated in my life due to my pain.
And it's in this moment, my spirit rested. Yes, still in pain, but at rest.
And rest is what every soul thirsts for, isn't it?
I, too, have experienced depths of physical and emotional pain intensely and still too fresh to accurately depict with this pen. But whether it's emotional or physical; on-going or seasonal- the cry of my heart remains for it to never be endured in vain.
My heart overflows with gratitude for the handful of courageous friends in Christ who found redemption and purpose because (not in spite) of their pain- and shared their contagious joy and wholeness through the gift waiting for them on the other side- restoration & purpose.
As I write this final thought, next to me the family bull dog snores loudly into the fresh air, while the hanging tongue, just surfacing the kitchen floor, dances to the rhythm of each snore.
Oh, she's so ugly she's actually cute!
My mind races to the sheer contrast of this thought.....
Could it also possibly be that pain is so ugly it's actually beautiful?
"We can rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will not lead to disappoint."
Romans 5 3-5.