I’ve been thinking about pain in all its different forms. There truly is so much of it in this world; and the more I write, the more it connects me to other women walking a similar road. 

I do not think all pain is bad, not by a long shot. I don’t court it, by any means, but if it sweeps in, there’s usually a purpose behind it. 

Because pain always teaches me something. I can’t think of a single difficult experience that didn’t blow away some chaff, that didn’t soften some of my edges.  

And pain always turns into good when I allow it to, when God is able to do what he does best…redeem and restore and make all things new.  

But I certainly think some pain is bad. Some pain is just plain unnecessary. Some pain can be stopped. Some pain should be stopped. 

If you were walking by someone on the street being beaten, would you look at the victim and say, “This pain is good for you. You can learn something from this. Embrace this. You might want to tell your attacker that he smells nice.” What in the world? Of course not. Though I believe all pain can be learned from, I also fully believe that some pain should be intervened upon. 

So, where does your pain fall in the continuum? Some things to kick around as you walk through it: 

§ Did you bring it upon yourself? Be very careful with this one. I do not mean this like, “you made your bed, so…” I mean, for instance, did your sin cause your pain? Are you still in that sin? 

§ Did someone else bring it upon you? Can you minimize the influence of that person in your life? Should you set up some boundaries? Do you need to remove yourself from a dangerous situation? 

§ Are you learning anything from it? Or are you simply whining about it? Could you be learning from it but your perspective first needs a good shifting? 

§ Is the pain unnecessary? Can it be stopped? Should it be stopped? Do you need to get outside help? 

Regardless of what kind of pain you might be in, we have hope. Because the Jesus that has revealed himself to me — the one who told me he loved me when I was lying on the bathroom floor…the one who walked me through the agonizingly difficult process of splaying my marriage and my faults in front of church leadership…the one who watches me as I learn what it means to be single again, to raise my children on my own — that Jesus loves me. That Jesus knows me. That Jesus sees me. That Jesus is bringing me back to life. 

And, this Jesus…he is the one who is walking alongside you too, wanting and waiting to bring a restoration.

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Life isn't always how we want it. When change seems elusive, and we're stuck in old routines, a gentle push or some self-reflection can make a difference. Let these questions be that nudge to get you moving.

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