~”Jesus wept.”~John 11:35, KJV~
2017 was painful. Very painful. I suffered loss. Great loss. I felt pain. Deep pain. Pain that cut my heart open to receive pain as I walked through and experienced this pain that was unknown to me that God allowed for me to go through. I now what it means to be in pain. The pain I went through brought me on my knees: to God.
It also brought me to repentance. Repentance as I cried out my heart to the Lord. And cried. And cried. And cried. Until I felt too weak to speak.
~”if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”~2 Chronicles 7:14, ESV~
The pain also gave me a larger heart. For people. Christians and non-Christians. I pray for those who bless me. I pray for those who curse me. I pray for my church. I pray for my friends. I pray for my family, hoping that God will save them and turn their hearts to Jesus.
The pain also gave me a greater heart to serve others, even in the midst of my pain. This can mean praying for others rather than myself, such as giving a phone call to a friend in need, praying for nations around the world that are going through a crisis or war, and praying for the lost to be saved. Not everybody has to know what God allowed me to walk through. That is my story to tell. But it is a command to serve those in need: Christian and non-Christian. Even those who do not like you. 🙂
~”God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.”~Hebrews 6:10, NIV~
Yes, it is a command from Jesus. You must serve everyone: the loveable, those who you do not see you as loveable, and those who choose not to love you. Even in the midst of pain. And this is the hope that we, as followers of Christ, have in Jesus in that God is love. ❤
~”Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”~1 John 4:8, NIV~
God commands us to love EVERYONE. It does not matter what others think. It does not matter what others say to you or about you or even did to you that hurt you. Abandonment, pain, rejection, and loss are sad things to go through (speaking for myself), as a child of God. BUT, it is a command to serve everyone in the midst of pain because it reaps coals on the heads of those who hate you as you show them love. Haters can hate you for whatever reason that they choose to hate you. But haters cannot take the love of God that is in Christ Jesus away from you. Or that seed that God planted in your heart to serve others in the midst your pain. 🙂
~”Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a compliant against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”~Colossians 3:12-17, ESV~
The pain that God allowed me to go through also purified me. The tears I shed cleansed my heart. From the inside and out. While I felt bitter, angry, sad, and a lot of mixed feelings as I cried out to God, the tears I cried allowed me to die to myself and let the Holy Spirit of God into my life to change me: for the better, all while renewing me and making me purer, gentler in spirit, and sweeter than ever.
~”Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.”~Proverbs 16:24, ESV~
God humbled me as I cried. It was as if He was spoon-feeding me honey, sugar, candy, and all of the sweet things of the world ( I know this sounds lame and stupid, but I think its a good comparison to express what I am feeling! 🙂 ) so that I see myself in a way that is reflective of the image and character of God. Who He is (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and How He made me! As I enter into Him and abide in His love and know that I am not a mistake, and that I am significant because God chose to make me and place me in this world: for a reason and a purpose.
~”For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”~Psalm 139:13-14, KJV~
God made me special and for a purpose. Even though I graduated with an M.A. in Global Studies from Liberty University, I am still trying to figure out the plan and purpose that God has for my life. I am not perfect. And I don’t have it all together. But I am absolutely surrendering to God’s leading in my life as I use 2018 to figure out the purpose and plan that God has for my life. God’s purpose and plan is always the best! And it leaves me smiling, even when I cry in the midst of the unknown and as God humbles me in moments like this to be patient and wait! 🙂
I finally understand what it means to smile, even in the midst of my pain. I finally understand what it means to smile, even in the midst of the tears that I cry to God. And, I finally understand what it means to love unconditionally, even in the midst of my pain. 🙂
The tears that I cried are not in vain to God. I have to keep on reminding myself of this fact: They are not in vain. They are for a reason and a purpose. I thank God for the tears and for every single drop that was shed. They tell the story that God allowed me to walk through and what Father God allowed me to go through. God saw my tears. My Heavenly Father sees them and acknowledges, even when others do not understand.
~”I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”~Galatians 2:20, ESV~
And now, I end this blog post with a final note. I mentioned earlier how crying out to God refined me, making me sweeter. I have my moments where I reflect on people. Events. Memories. Places. Circumstances. And the good and the bad that God allowed me to walk through. I thank and praise God for all of it, while reflecting on who I am and how He made me. All for the glory of God and His Kingdom He has called and chosen me to serve in the midst of my pain.
I can now say in this praiseworthy prayer to God:
“Thank you Jesus! You are good, even in the good, the bad, the ugly, and the indifferent that I experience in this walk of my life that is beyond my understanding. You are good: in all moments of my life. You are good, in all circumstances. You are good, even as You give me the strength to smile in my pain. You are good, even as You hold my hand and tell me to trust You, even in the midst of my pain that I go through and things I do not understand, such as loss and change. And that is the hope that I have in You that is in Christ Jesus. I praise You and thank You for it, all while giving You the glory, the honor, and the praise.”
In Jesus’ Name,
God bless you! 🙂