We go through something. Sometimes it’s REALLY BAD. And we think, “Why is this happening to me?” – or sometimes we don’t think that – we just blindly accept it as our lot in life.
But I truly believe there is much more. There IS a reason. Sometimes we don’t see it until months or even years later. Sometimes we never really know the reason – but I’d like to think that we always have a choice when hit with adverse situations. Give in to the negative voices in our head that say, “just give up – it isn’t worth fighting” OR learn from it – change our course – go another direction away from the pain, humiliation or gut wrenching yuck.
I’ve had so many of these situations – that at the time I thought were the end of the world. But later turned out to be – well – valuable, insightful, great information for someone else going through exactly the same thing.
I have some friends, Ray and Allison Carroll – who recently went through a touchy situation – very painful to say the least and they have shown great courage in telling their story through their blog articles. They have found God’s grace and mercy in living and telling their story of failure and of redemption – so that others can be encouraged and learn from them – to show people who fail, sin, miss the mark entirely that God has not given up on them – that there is enough of God’s grace, mercy and love to take a dead and broken life, clean it up and give a new start. Our Savior – the God of second chances – working through people in our ordinary lives – who make mistakes and are truly not worthy to be called righteous. He uses those past experiences to bring clarification – reveal who He is – and give purpose and understanding. As long as we are willing to change our heart, to share our story and to be an encouragement to others.
Case and point: The other day my 19-year-old son came home from work feeling really weird. His mouth was numb and so were his fingers – he was talking strangely too. He said, “Mom, I’m freaking out right now – what’s wrong with me”? I tried to be calm and think rationally, knowing of course he was too young and in shape to be having a stroke or a heart attack. All I could think of was that he needed food and water – and I asked him how long had it been since he had anything to eat or drink. I wondered, could severe hydration cause this? While he was eating and drinking – and eating a banana too – just in case – I googled it. Greg is ALWAYS gone when any and all domestic emergencies come up and I was mumbling under my breath – ‘where IS your father?‘ Let’s see… what causes numbing? I was not finding anything conclusive. I thought I was going to have to take him to the ER if something didn’t change soon. But he did feel a little better after eating and drinking – said he was really tired and went to bed.
Not 30 minutes later – he came out of his bedroom saying he had the WORST HEADACHE in the world! Then it dawned on me! I know what this is! And although I had not had these exact symptoms before – I knew about them and it was clearly a Migraine Headache. The really bad kind. I knew because of my past experience with them. I get them so bad that I’m vomiting and lose a whole day. Pretty soon – he was doing the same thing in the bathroom – but at least now I had a fresh perspective. I gave him ice for his head and a bucket for beside his bed – just in case. I could tell him there was no need to go anywhere – he was not going to die – he would just feel like it! It was too late for pain pills – he would just throw them up anyway. And even though the pain was bad and it’s never fun to up-chuck – at least I was able to reassure him – because I knew too well what was happening to him.
Now, am I glad I have had REALLY PAINFUL Migraine headaches? Are you kidding me? But did it help to diffuse a panic in my home? Yes. Would I have known otherwise? No way. I would have thought he was having a stroke or worse – maybe a tumor pressing on his cornea that was making his eyes not see clearly. Oh the carnage that would have ensued – the money that would have been spent – only to find out – it was only a migraine.
I will take painful situations if they will help me or someone I love in the future. I will not like them. In fact I will HATE them. But I will learn from them and ask myself – who can benefit from my pain?
How about you? Who can benefit from your pain today?