Recently I was reminded of something, more intimately. There is a reason for the pain, a reason for each heartache, each trial, each suffering.. God does not cause these things to happen, but He does use them for good. I know this, but I had the blessing of experiencing the good that comes from the pain. I had a person that is in pain, the kind of pain that I am in daily. This precious soul reached out to me. While I was terribly sorry to hear that they suffer, and truly felt that pain for them, I was reminded of how God takes all of that bad, and turns it into something good. In this situation, I can be there to support, encourage, and give resources. There is such a beautiful blessing in that friends.. My pain and experiences, allow me to have deeper empathy for the hurting, and also allow us both, to have the blessing therein.
Yesterday I was on the receiving end, once again, of that blessing. I was the one in terrible pain. I received the blessing of help and support from new friends, as well as established friends. My bible study group (the first one I have ever lead) came around me, and each sweet new friend helped me. I had a friend step in to lead the discussions that day, and continue to lead when I had to leave. I had confidence that my girls were in good hands. That helped when the time came that I could no longer bear the pain. I had love and support, prayer, hugs, a massage, essential oil offered, words and touches of encouragement, and later messages. I felt all of that so deeply, I still do. That speaks love and healing to my soul..
I had to excuse myself to go to the restroom where I could cry more freely, without disrupting the video message. I could no longer contain the weight of my pain. As I stood there in the stall sobbing quietly by myself, I couldn’t decide what I should do. I wanted to stay, I showed up, God always helps me when I show up.. This time was a little different though.. God showed up indeed, but He did so through friends…
I tried so hard to fight through the pain, to wipe away the makeup stains that soiled my cheeks from the abundant flow of tears. I stood there trying to clean myself up, and also trying to hide as a couple of ladies were still having their discussion in that room. Part of me was hurt, thinking how could you not see me, and ask if I am ok? But the truth of the matter was, I was also embarrassed, and did not want to be a burden. So I tried to wait it out in the stall. Then I tried to hide when I eventually realized they were not going anywhere. That made me remember all of those years pregnant with tears in my past life. All of those bathroom scenes, where at times women, strangers, would hear me (though I tried desperately to be discreet) and ask if I was ok. Oh those years were complete torment.. I was in a prison. Those women never knew how much it touched me that they reached out to me. I wasn’t yet ready for help, I wasn’t mentally strong enough. They gave me encouragement though, and helped me to know somebody cared… That I did matter to someone. I still cry when I think on that time in my life. I will never forget those women though.
PLEASE, PLEASE, reach out to them. To us, when you hear or see trouble. I was being abused, and while I did not take their help, that spoke hope to me, that spoke love, and courage. Eventually those women, those situations, became a source of strength for me, so that when God told me to tell someone, I had a little more courage, though not hardly enough. With God’s help however, it was enough to do so. That was life transforming… Be a life changer, be a lifeline to someone that needs help. Don’t be afraid to ask, because even though they will likely say thank you, but I’m ok, or even perhaps be rude, they NEED your support.. You will likely never know how much you may have helped them, but you will have at least given them a chance, you will have been love and caring to them. I can tell you first hand how much I needed that. I know it’s uncomfortable, and awkward, even scary, but you have no idea how much you may impact a woman in trouble. You never know why those tears are falling, but you can be certain that they need someone.
After they left, more tears flowed, and I tried to wipe them away, and once again pull it together. I washed my hands, wiped the counter, and turned to throw the paper towels away and go back in. Some ladies were entering as I was about to leave. As I was turning to go, there my friend stood. Oh my, my friend that understood the pain I was in, as she has also suffered this way.. She said something funny to me and I collapsed in gentle sobs in her arms.. I knew I had a safe place there, and someone that would truly know what I was going through.
As I stood there in her arms sobbing, there was so much comfort and love felt.. She just held me, until I could talk. She knew it was likely my pain. After I confirmed that, she said she would drive me home. I told her I thought maybe I could make it through the rest of the session, and honestly I don’t recall what she said. I needed help, and she helped me. She even helped me make the decision, that I seemed incapable of making myself. I didn’t want to fail, to let anyone down. The thing is, I didn’t fail, or let anyone down. I, in making the best decision for myself, allowed God to bless them, by helping me. There is where God was.. He showed up in each and every one of them that helped me in so many different ways. All of them allowed God to use them as His hands and feet. He did show up, He did help me, He was there all along..
So my sweet friend made all of the arrangements, and drove me home, along with another friend.She made certain I would have my car to pick my kids up later, if I was able. If not, that same friend would do all of that running for me. I had peace knowing everything was going to be ok, and to be in the company of a good and understanding friend. Yes, I have been there before, and I am sure I will be again. That’s the thing though. When I do allow my friends to help me, not only do I receive the blessing, but they too are blessed. Don’t be prideful, or feel too ashamed to accept help. That is not a weakness. That lie is from the enemy, to keep us from doing what God intended. We are intended for community. Allow yourself to be blessed by letting someone help you, and in doing so, you are not in fact a burden, you are allowing them to be blessed! I have never helped someone and felt burdened, have you? No! So let’s stop that way of thinking! Allow the blessing to take place. ❤
This friend suffered greatly. I suffer greatly. Because of her suffering, she was able to be to me, and reach me, in a way that few could. That is how God uses our pain. There are so many ways, my blog for example. There are those that have reached out to me in prayer and support, as well as those that have needed the same from me, or told me that they found hope or inspiration in my story. I find that being transparent, and most of all, listening to God, reaches far more people than anything I could do my own. My writing is inspired by, and prompted by the Holy Spirit. This is not my own. I am incapable of doing this on my own, in fact I never wanted to. God prompted me to for a long time, before I listened. It was so hard to publish that first post.. There are many I have not put on this domain yet. I will gradually switch them over here. Each one of them was a gentle nudge from God, that I could not ignore. I am so glad that I didn’t! Honestly though? There have been many that I was nudged to write, that I did not. If I choose not to, they disappear from my mind. So here we are! I will no longer, avoid God. Not here, and not anywhere else in my life. I would miss out on the growth and the blessing, and so would others.
So, listen friends. God has a plan for you, whatever it may be. His voice is gentle, He whispers. Sometimes directly, sometimes through a friend, a song, a message, or through nature, but He is always there whispering. You just need to choose to be still long enough to hear Him. That is a blessing well worth the wait! God will use you, He will use the bad things and turn them into something amazing. Let Him bless you!
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