Life is hard sometimes. When I entered the world of life in recovery, I thought it was about just not using and redeeming what I thought was my horrible, weak character. Years later, I now know that it is much more. Life, whether through addiction recovery or any other adversity, is about reaching a chapter of spiritual growth. So here’s the hard truth! Spiritual growth does not blossom through the easy, peasy moments. It is birthed through adversity and hardship. And nobody escapes life without adversity and hardship! Here’s the thing…life and people and circumstances are not out to get you, they are out to grow you!So if this is our hard truth, I have to ask myself, what is the purpose of the pain? It can’t just be about suffering. I don’t believe in an all-loving higher power that wants us to be in turmoil and tortured. I do, however, believe in a God that allows tough stuff, created by us and the world we live in, to grow us up and deepen our faith in a greater plan. A plan that is based on love. A plan that brings fulfillment. And a plan that brings peace.
When I am in one of those life chapters that is confusing, scary and I just don’t understand the point, I must confess I waver between letting it go and learning from it to fighting tooth and nail to make it quickly just go away. My initial “go to” pain reaction is to shove it under the rug and wish it gone because I don’t like heartache very much. But that is just procrastination! It doesn’t go gone until the purpose of growth in me is fulfilled. So I gotta dive right into it! So dive in I will and what is really cool is what transforms in me through the heartache. A profound and lasting blessing that out-lives a short-term bummer. And that’s really all adversity is! Short term, a bummer, an often knee bending, heart-breaking and crushing bummer. But temporary none-the-less. Regardless of the depth of pain, there is and always will be the possibility of purpose from it for my life. This is true for all of us! If I can step back and let go of the overthinking, self-victimization and fear long enough, I can settle into seeing the other side of pain and that is where I find the hope of redemption, maturity and fulfillment.
Here’s the best part, once you’ve lived through it, you get to pass it on to someone else. Even in my darkest moments of struggle, I always knew that it would serve a greater good. By living through it and by experiencing all the feels, consequences and re-building that I went through, I knew, even then, that it would build in me a greater character, instill integrity and make me a more compassionate human being. Believing this made it tolerable. I find great hope in that! From the depths of despair to the elation of rising in strength, there is always a steadfast glimmer of hope waiting if you dig deep enough to discover it. It’s there through the searching, questioning, praying and letting go. It’s there when I struggle with my mind. And it’s there when I release it to a higher power to move in and through me to reveal its foundation of love and grace.
So there it is! Pain. A foundation of love and grace and hope. It’s not usually pleasant and rarely is it easy. Whatever it is that’s causing your heart to break, embrace this time, this moment. Hold on to it as if it’s a great gift and learn everything God has in store for you because of it. Then you will see each and every time that this pain serves a purpose that is based on a beauty much greater than our imaginations could have planned had we been without it.
Hang on my friends, it’s about to get good! Believe in that and have faith in the greater purpose. Learn everything you can from it and take it easy on yourself in the process. And then pass it on! The world needs you and your experience of rising in hope through your pain!