Learning to See God’s Goodness in Pain

Life is a mixture of joy and sorrow. Sometimes they come at different times but so often we aren’t given the space to feel first one than the other–we’re grieving loss and enjoying beauty all at once.  We’re rich; we’re impoverished.

I’ve felt this intertwining of deep emotions so much the last few years.  There have been so many answered prayers, so many touches from God, so many times when His provision became unmistakable.  We’ve also lived with financial insecurity like never before, wrestled the demons of distrust and depression and faced significant health problems. That is only a part of all that was hard, and there were days I didn’t know if I could keep living–or if I wanted to.

These trials have the power to crush and break us. They could turn us into dark, bitter people who grumble constantly about life.  They can also push us in the most healing, redemptive ways when God’s grace is poured over the shattering of our hearts–when we recognize His goodness even in the middle of pain.

I have been broken. My world has been turned upside down. My life has been shattered in the past few years.15 June-4792-2

Yet, in a period of darkness, God has ministered to me in ways I can’t even describe with words. It is only His grace that gave me enough courage to keep walking because everything inside of me was done.

Little by little I’ve been learning that God is a safe place to run to. Of course I’ve been taught this my whole life. I’ve known that He is good. But learning to KNOW this truth from deep inside my heart has given me a deep peace to hold me during the hard times we face.

In our time here in Atlanta  I’ve felt a desperate need to lean on Him like never before.  It is because of this that I see God’s goodness in the pain.  I look back and can list one thing after another that has made life so hard, but because of the incredible grace of God I could can see the beauty in those trials.

What has surprised me most is the way phrases I’ve heard so often [and passed off as somewhat cliche] turned into keen reality. Statements like,

We feel your prayers.

God is providing for us.

We appreciate your support.

He is enough.

I knew they were true, but I’ve never before felt them so clearly.  Now instead of seeming glib or cliché they seem like a pathetic effort in expressing immense gratitude. Sometimes there simply are not enough words to describe the depths of our feelings.  I find myself saying these phrases to people and wonder if they could have any idea how much I mean those words.

I want to tell you some of the stories because God has answered so many prayers of mine, and I want Him to receive more of the glory He deserves.

And, yes, I’m totally aware that I often start a series, but only write the first one or two parts. This life changing belief, though, can’t be kept to myself, and I do hope I can tell you some of the ways God has shown me that He sees and cares about me. That He is good. That He is safe. That He is not silent.

Mostly I really want Him to receive glory. He deserves praise and honor. I also hope the new life He’s bringing to me can encourage you to trust Him more, too.

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13 thoughts on “Learning to See God’s Goodness in Pain”

  1. yes, Christy! You said how I feel! Those cliche’ phrases now are such a feeble attempt to express my deep gratitude! In school teaching and administration on a low income I have found God to be so faithful – usually at the last minute, but then far above what we could have asked or imagined! (insert Honda Odyssey minivan gift and MUCH more!).
    And now you have me sitting on the edge of my seat to hear the rest of what you have to share!!!! Don’t hold us in suspense like this. :)

  2. Ah, I needed this. That trusting part can be so hard. And choosing to look beyond myself and what I want for Me. I’m still struggling through those.
    I’ve thought of you so much since moving…I’d love a good, long talk with you. :)
    Hugs and blessings on your day, Amber

    1. I would love to talk, too, and hear about your life in Virginia! I thought for sure I’d get to see you this summer, but our time there ended up being a little shorter than we expected. Do you Vox?

  3. Christy, your words and your heart are so beautiful! To know even a small part of what you have been through, and to hear your deep trust in God even still, amazes and challenges me. So looking forward to hearing your stories! xo

  4. My heart is so full….I’m not sure how to express it. I love this post so much because I see you living so richly out of God’s abundant grace. I am slowly starting to realize that the people I admire the most in life didn’t arrive at their deep walk with God by staying in the shallow end of the pool, so to speak. They waded out to where they couldn’t touch and had to trust God in a completely different way, and in doing so they became vulnerable to pain but equally vulnerable to love…. I don’t know if that even makes sense.
    I totally understand how hard the trials can be, but then how rich the understanding that comes when we learn that God is safe and trustworthy.
    I’m looking forward to those stories.:)

    1. Oh, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and, yes, I hear you. You’ve definitely been a part of these stories of God providing for us, so you might be recognizing lots of details in some. :)

  5. I always love hearing from you…you feel kind of like my neighbor, but one that I don’t get to see much. I love that you are willing to share your stories and so grateful that God is enough.

    1. Thinking of you as a neighbor is so nice, Deborah. I hope we get to see each other again sometimes soon. I always enjoy our conversations.

  6. I got tears in my eyes as I read this…I can’t wait to hear your stories.

    Sometimes I wonded if I will rise from the ashes…or if I am even close to being done with the broken part of this season in life. If I do rise, what will I look like?

    Thank you so much for sharing.

    I told Kandace after your last email, that I thinm Atlanta would be a very good place for her. :)

    Take care, my friend and have a good weekend. ~ ♡ Kim

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