Let’s be real. Life hurts. As humans it is one of our common denominators. And it is inevitable. It may happen to us in different ways; divorce, death, a broken heart, grief, loss, lack, low self-esteem, loneliness, sickness, addiction, abandonment, rejection, betrayal….. but sooner or later we experience pain.
And then God speaks.
Turns out He has actually been speaking all the time, but just as writer C.S. Lewis points out:
~God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world ~
I find that pain seems to heighten my ability to hear God speak. Distractions seem not to matter so much. What’s really important in life becomes crystal clear. It’s in these times that I turn to the Psalms. They are a source of comfort, a source of hope, a source to remind me that, “God is my refuge and my strength. A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1
We can all think of a time when we wanted to isolate ourselves from the wOrLd. We believe if we didn’t have jobs, we wouldn’t have to deal with stress or deadlines. If we could disconnect ourselves with people—family, friends, strangers—we’d never have to deal with awkward moments or conflict. If we didn’t have to run errands, we could avoid being reminded of how great everyone else “has it” when we are out and about.
As the year of 2012 wrapped up, I found myself thinking a lot about all the awkward, uncomfortable, stressful and difficult moments of the year. And you know what I realized? If I was able to erase those moments of my life, I would have been missing out. If I would have quit my block business after making some stressful mistakes, I would no longer get to experience the J O Y I receive when customers send me thank you notes after their blocks arrive. I could have avoided an awkward moment by not talking to a stranger on a plane, but I would have missed out on an aMaZinG cOnVerSatiOn about his faith journey. Not to mention the moments with friends and family through the year that involved moments of frustration, confusion or discomfort. If I never had those interactions, our relationships wouldn’t be as close as they are today, let alone the sPeCiaL mEmoRieS we made together. And as you know, sharing the move of our house last summer required a major gulp of humility, but I would have missed out on the sense of FREEDOM I felt by sharing my real life…just how it is…and knowing that you accept me…just the way I am.
Wearing your heart on your sleeve, doing things out of your comfort zone (looking for a new job, trying a new hobby, meeting new people), and standing up for what you believe in are all very hard things to do. Many times they don’t even seem worth all the effort they require. But let me assure you, they are. Your life is richer, more meaningful, and above all, impacting more people, all because you are willing to face your fears, deal with hurt, and conquer challenges by moving on despite the outcome.
So what will 2013 look like for you? This year I am welcoming more embarrassing moments, uncomfortable conversations and feelings of defeat as I work toward new goals. You are going to have to deal with these weird feelings/emotions regardless (because we are human!) so why not do them while enriching your life?! I don’t want to MiSs OuT on the best life I can have….do you?
I love the HoLiDaYs. If you’ve been reading our recent posts you may already know that. However, my EnThUsiaSm and JoY is tempered with CoMpaSsioN for others because I know of many who are going through great PaiN and SorRoW at this very moment. Some have lost jobs or struggle to make ends meet, others have been given a grim diagnosis, and others have experienced loss in one form or another. My heart goes out to them, because although I may not be feeling that kind of pain at the moment, I have felt it in the past and it HuRtS.
WhErE aRe YoU? Maybe your life at the moment is pure bliss. Or maybe you are experiencing the extreme opposite. Or maybe you are somewhere in-between. Where ever you are…
He’s either in because you’ve let Him in or He’s KnOcKiNg at the door, but in either case, He’s there.
If your life is full of cheer ShArE it with someone not as fortunate.
If your life is full of pain and saddness turn to the source of CoMfOrT, PeAcE, and JoY because…
He’s only a prayer away.