I don’t really know how to explain it at all, really. I would if I could…trust me. All I’ve really known this past month has been heartbreak, confusion, hurt, and pain. I felt the lowest of my lows, and I’ve felt the restlessness of having absolutely no control. I’ve felt the grief of disappointment, the agony of rejection, I’ve felt paralyzed in mid-air–as though the ground had been uprooted under me while I wasn’t looking, and I’ve felt the fear of crashing hard to the ground. I’ve felt hope start to slip through my fingers as I frantically tried to grasp at it in hopes of planting it back into my soul, only to be met by emptiness and a changed mind. I have felt sorrow and anguish, anxiety, and the heartache of broken dreams. Not only have I felt all of these unwelcomed enemies, but I’ve met them face to face, as though they were once my friends coming back to knock on a door of opportunity of becoming reacquainted in a sick and twisted way. I have become all too familiar with the face of pain; I know it too well.
In the midst of the temptation to give up hope, to sink into the endless sea of sadness, to deny the fact that it was actually I who had to deal with the pain, I found myself faced with a choice. It was as though I had actually come across those two roads diverging into a yellow woods, and it was I whose road that was once so familiarly walked, had come to an end; that road was no longer an option. The choice I had to make was detrimental to the development and outcome of my future. Would I allow myself to go down the path of being controlled and led by emotions, only to put a pause on the growth and work that the Lord was trying to do within me, or would I choose to acknowledge my pain but pray through my circumstances, in order that my eyes and heart may be opened, in order for me to be aware and tangibly see the miracles and work God is doing in my life. I think the wiser and better choice here is obvious, but it was one of the hardest choices I’ve ever had to make–and still is. Choosing to trust God and walk out life down the path that involves Him walking beside me and holding my hand, rather than crawling down a dark and beaten path all alone is a daily choice. Of course, in the moment of making that decision, I have the intentions of committing my whole life to living like that. But with each moment that passes, moments where anxiety seems to creep in and overtake my thoughts, I soon came to realize that choosing Jesus is a choice to be made day by day.
In this time of despair and pain, this time of laying my feelings down in order to pray through my circumstances, I have learned that the enemy wants to make you believe that the pain you feel is going to stop you from the great things that God has for you. That the great things that God does have for you can no longer happen because of the pain that you’re faced with. When in reality, God promises that there will be trials in our lives. There will be pain and there will be heartache. There will be disappointment, there will be hurt, and there will be a struggle. No, not all of these things come directly from God, or are God-Ordained. Some of these things are attacks from the enemy, some just the result of our fallen world. It is the devil who wants to make you think that pain is the end and that nothing good can come after or from pain. He wants to make you think that pain ends all good things. But, dear friend, take heart. Because pain is God’s weapon against the enemy and is His creative and glorious way of redemption, healing, and restoration. What the enemy used to tear you down is God’s redemptive way of piecing you back together–like a jar of clay–to bring empathy and understanding and compassion to others who go through pain as well…specifically, the pain that you have gone through. Pain, what was once used against you–to harm and to kill you, now a weapon and attack against the enemy.
The opportunity to use your pain as a weapon to benefit you and others, and against the enemy and his schemes, is being placed in your hands. What will you do? The choice is all yours.
words by Shannon Dunn and photo by Hailey Pierce