I am at home with a sick little 6 month old this morning, so I watched a Sunday sermon online. The speaker was talking about turning your hurts into healing. She was saying that God wants to take hurts that you have experienced in your life and heal your heart in such a way that He can use you to speak to others who are experiencing similar hurts in their lives. I have seen this to be true in my own life. I have experienced many hurts in my life from the divorce of my parents to miscarriages to deaths of loved ones. But I have allowed God to work with those hurts and heal my heart in order that I might be able to help others. God allows us to go through hurts so that we can help others.
In my own life, it took me a long time to realize that God wanted to use my pain to help other people. Often times we just want to wallow in our pain and not allow healing. In order to be healed, we must let go of our hurt. God doesn’t want you to be stuck in a sea of pain, He wants to heal you. Healing you does not mean you will forget your pain or never have scares from it, but that you can move past it and say that you can see the good that has come from that hurt. For example, in my life, I experienced two miscarriages a couple of years ago. That time in my life was very difficult. It was devastating to me and I thought that the pain would swallow me up. I went through a time of depression and didn’t think I would ever recover from the pain. But God was with me through it all, and I allowed Him in and He has healed those dark places. Healing is a process, and it is never really finished. It continues daily, but I am in a much lighter place than I was two years ago. God gave me this picture in my mind when I was going through my first miscarriage and it has really helped my healing process. It was of me standing on the beach and a large wave came and was threatening to knock me down. But instead of running away or trying to escape the wave I just turned around and allowed it to hit me and I swam with the wave as it carried me to another place on the beach. Some would call that wave riding. Anyway, so as you can imagine, the wave is representative of hurt and pain and grief. If you allow the pain to hit you and you “ride” that wave for a while, then you can get to a better place. But, if you run away from the pain, and you stuff it down and don’t deal with it, then it continues to come after you and you continue to hurt. Pain takes you to a new place. You grow through it, if you allow God to use it in your life. You will not be the same person you were before you experienced it. I am glad I allowed God to grow me through my pain of loosing my babies. I will always have scars from it, but the pain has gone away and I can see that God used it in my life to bring me to a better place.
God has allowed me the great privilege of talking with a number of women about their experiences of loss, especially the loss of miscarriage. God has put numerous women in my path and allow me to help them in their pain. I experience healing through those encounters. I know God is using me and that is a wonderful feeling. Everyone needs to feel like there is purpose in their pain. And I know that God is using my experience to bless others.
How can God use your pain for His purpose if you don’t share your pain with others? I know that it’s hard to share your experiences with others. What will they say, what will they think of you? You might not look like you have it all together anymore. You will be vulnerable to judgement. All these things are necessary if you want to be used of God. Every person in the Bible that was used mightily for God had to first expose their pain and weaknesses for God to heal them. Peter, Moses, Rehab and a host of others had weaknesses and past hurts in their lives that God healed and then used them to help others. You can be used of God if you will be willing to be open and transparent with others.
I like to play this little game with myself it’s called the “what if” game. I have anxiety and so I worry about stuff a lot. Yes, that would be one of my weakness that God is working with me on. Anyway, so the “what if” game helps me deal with anxiety. So, let’s use it in an example. Say you are afraid to go to Chick-Fil-a because you don’t like costumed characters (aka the Chick-fil-a cow). (bear with me, this will make sense in a minute) So what if you go to Chik-fil-a, what is the worst that could happen? You could see the cow. And the cow could come and talk to you and give you a high-five. Is the cow going to hurt you? no, most likely not. So, you can now face your fear of going to Chik-fil-a because you have walked through the worst case scenario and it’s not that bad. (BTW my four-year old has this exact fear) So, lets use this game to look at what it would be like to for you to talk about some hurt you have in your life with another person. What is the worst that could happen? They could make fun of you. If they do, then you can just walk away and realize they are immature people. I have to say that the most likely thing that would happen is that this person you shared your experiences with is going to say “you know what? thank you so much for sharing that because I have been through a similar thing.” And now you will know you are not alone and so will that other person.
I have decided that I am not afraid of sharing things with people because I just don’t care what people think or say about me. And I have found freedom in sharing, and also that it is extremely helpful for others to hear they are not alone. When we are hurt, Satan likes to separate us from the pack and make us think we the only ones hurting. That is simply not true. The Bible says that Satan is a lion looking around for those he may devour. What do lions look for in an animal they are going to attack? Weakness. They look for one that they can separate from the pack and kill. If we don’t stick together by helping those around us that are hurting, we will allow them to be Satan’s pry. It’s serious business. Your sharing with other people can help those people not be attacked by Satan. Are you willing to possibly make a fool of yourself so that you might save one person from Satan’s attack? God will make it known to you, if you ask, when appropriate times are to share your hurts. He will put people in your path to help, as he has with me. You just have to be willing to be open and vulnerable when that time comes.