My sweet friend sat across from me, “I’ve often thought about that. How do you do it? How do you keep coming back and encouraging us in your writing when I know you’re going through difficult situations?”
“You want to know how? I can tell you how I show up each day…”
The answer was easy to give. The process, however, has been heart-wrenching.
Running Away From God
For years, I ran away from pain. All it took was one glimpse of hurt and I’d run in the opposite direction. It was my self-preservation mechanism. When I look back I realize how foolish it was to think one can outrun pain. Yet still, it was how I dealt with things.
After our house fire, in 2010, I learned God could handle my grief. I learned He wasn’t disappointed or upset with me for feeling the emotions I felt. I learned God isn’t intimidated with my questions the way other believers are. He doesn’t misinterpret my feelings, and he doesn’t misunderstand my words. He knows my heart.
I learned God could handle Darlene’s questions. He could handle Darlene’s emotions.
Running To God
I learned that rather than run away from God in shame and guilt, I could run to Him. That, my friend, was one of the most amazing lessons I’ve learned.
I am approved by God.
He loves me.
He understands me.
He is for me.
He doesn’t leave me when things get ugly.
He wants to sit with me through the process.
I no longer run away from God. I now run to God.
What Others May Not Understand
Others may not understand your situation. They may show concern and they may want to know what’s going on with you. But sometimes, people aren’t able to handle the things stirring up inside of you. Can I encourage you today?
Jesus can handle your pain. He can handle your emotions. He can handle your questions.
And more than that, He wants to be with you through the process. I love that about Him!
Use Your Pain To Minister To Others
Looking at my friend I answered, “It’s easy. I’ve learned to take the pain (the enemy uses to destroy me) and turn it around and use it to encourage.”
It took many, many painful situations dragging me under before I learned that God can use these situations for his glory. It took many times of fighting the process before I was willing to even allow God (if that’s even possible) to use this part of my process.
Friend, in spite of your pain, in spite of your disappointments, in spite of your situations, won’t you show up? We need to hear your story. We need to hear your words. We need to hear the way God’s amazing love sustains and strengthens you.
Use your pain to minister to others. “If you believe, you will see the glory of God,” (John 11:38).
Let your pain point back to the One who is near. Let your discouragement point back to the One who is able to encourage. Let your disappointment point back to the one whose Love does not disappoint. Let your questions point back to the One who has all the answers.
Let your pain point back to Jesus.
Praying and standing in the gap with you,