Friday, October 5, 2012

Even (ESPECIALLY) In the Pain~ Day 5 {Make. It. Count}

As I turn down the haircare aisle, I see her.  She is reading the back of a shampoo bottle.

For a split second, I consider turning around and going after toothpaste instead. Thankfully, before I have time to do a u-turn with my shopping cart, she sees me.

We both smile and say hello. Then,we share in casual conversation:
 - the hotter than normal summer, the price of shampoo, the whereabouts of mutual friends.
cave
{Photo Credit}

I feel God nudging me, and I squirm inside.

While I am perfectly content to keep this conversation, pain-free, God obviously has other plans.

His Spirit keeps gently whispering, "Ask her. Talk about it."

Not wanting to go there, I ask about her job, instead. 

Unbeknownst to me, this is the very doorway God has patiently been waiting to open.

"I'm not working anymore. It was just too hard after. . ."

Tears finish her sentence and find their way into my eyes, too.

"I'm so sorry.  I heard about your loss and I'm so sorry."

"It's just so hard.  Nobody seems to understand just how very hard it is."

"I understand."

She lifts her head and looks me right in the eyes.

"That's nice of you to say, Stacy, but I'm sure you can't possibly know what I am going through or all the emotions I am feeling."

"You're angry at God, aren't you?"

My bold question catches her by surprise. Unable to answer, she nods her head 'yes'.

"You wonder why God would place a little life inside you only to take it back before you ever had a chance to hold him, or to kiss her, or to gaze upon this precious little face. You feel like God teased you; He got your hopes up, only to rip this dream and this life away from you. I've known your loss and I know exactly how you feel."

Her tears flow freely now. 

"Excuse me. I just need to grab a bottle of Pantene."

Startled by the sudden awareness of another shopper, we step aside and move our carts further down the aisle.

"Believe me.  I DO know how you feel.  I've felt the exact same way.  Sometimes, I still do."

"But, didn't you feel . . . "

"Guilty for being angry at God?  You bet.  But, it didn't do me any good to pretend I wasn't angry.  He knows our heart.  He knew what I was feeling. Surprisingly, the place of my healing came when I confronted God with my anger, honestly and openly."

I can tell God is here,
among the bottles of shampoo,
and inwardly, I praise Him
for His presence in my life,
for the healing He has brought,
for this opportunity to minister His healing and grace to another hurting heart.

"My mom and all my friends keep telling me God is all love and that He had a reason. They tell me I just have to trust that God knows best and move on.  But, I can't.  I just can't.  This doesn't seem like something a loving God would do.  I want to know why.  WHY did God do this to me, to us, to my husband and I?"

"I don't know. Sometimes, we just don't know.  Sometimes, we just have to trust God even when it doesn't make sense, even when our heart is breaking, even when we don't want to or don't possibly see how we can."

Her cell phones rings. As she excuses herself to take the call, we hug.

"I'll be praying for you.  If you ever want to talk, just call me."

She nods her head, smiles and turns her attention to the caller on the other end of the phone.

As I push my cart around the corner, I marvel at a God who gently pushes us through our pain.

Every pain He allows into our life has a purpose.

We don't always know what His purpose is and, at times, we even doubt a purpose is in it at all. But, it is.

I don't know why God chose for this precious young lady to experience this loss in her life.
I don't know why God chose for me to experience this loss in my life, either.

But, I know God.

I know He loves us more than we can imagine. 
I know He can be trusted even when my heart cannot possibly begin to understand the reason why.
I know He wants only good for my life. 
I know that He is always working ALL THINGS for my good and His glory.

I don't know why, but I know WHO. 
This is what makes the difference. 
This is what brings the hope to keep trusting Him.

And,
sharing my pain,
sharing my hurt,
talking about the very thing I so desperately don't want to talk about,
this,
this is where I find my healing.

This is where the purpose of my pain begins to be revealed. 

All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.  
~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, MSG 
          
Is there heartache in your life?

Are you grappling with anger and unanswered questions?

Trust your Father.  Trust Him to take this pain and bring purpose.

Don't stay stuck in the sorrow.
Don't be held captive by the heartache.
Don't drown in depression and despair.

Invite God to open doors of opportunity for you
to share your story.
to give your testimony,
to relive your hurt,
to speak words of "I've been there"

so that, in turn,

God can transform the very thing that breaks your heart,
into the very thing that brings healing to another heart.

Even in our pain,
ESPECIALLY in our pain,
God has a purpose.

Today, give your heartache to God as an offering. 
Pray that God would take your hurt and use it for your good and His glory.

Even in our pain,
ESPECIALLY in our pain,
God can Make. It. Count.





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2 comments:

  1. How can we love and identify with others if we have not too experienced pain? Our experiences may be different....but, we know the hurt, the anger, the anguish, the forgiveness, the freedom....and yet we can...because of our experience...come alongside another soul and be the balm of Christ.
    Touching post. Thanks you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my. I have goosebumps reading this.
    I love this scripture and you have beautifully testified to it. Thanks, Stacy!

    ReplyDelete

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