Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pain as a friend

Angelina Jolie has a tattoo that says in another language 'that which does not kill me, makes me stronger'. In the book You Matter More than You Think Dr. Parrott states:
'Ultimately, the pain we carry in our hearts is the grinding stone that
shapes us to love. It sharpens our capacity to be tender with another's wounds
and to empathize without judgement.'

She goes on to say:
'It takes the sharp edges of our personalities and slowly smooths them into
a person who can be tender with another's wounds.'
And then finally 'Because of pain, you make a difference. Pain will give you permission to
walk into places you've never dreamed you'd enter, and it can change your
relationships like no other else. Pain, your personal grinding stone, has a
purpose whenever it is used to make a difference.'

We try so hard to avoid pain in any form don't we? None of us would choose to endure pain, yet it is there for a reason. For our good. To make us stronger, better women. To help us better love others and eachother.

Pain comes in lots of forms though, doesn't it? Harsh words. Dreams delayed or maybe deferred. Cross country moves, growing teenagers, children's health issues, marital strife, aging parents or grandparents (or maybe just aging), personal health issues, financial complications. The pain you experience, even if it is the same problem, will not be the same pain for me. How we experience pain will effects us each individually. Hopefully however we process the pain it will cause us to become more like Christ. More loving, merciful, graceful, patient, kind, self-controlled, joyful, and faithful. So many turn, even if it is just for a time or season, to be bitter, sharp, cold, curt, or judgmental. I certainly have done this. But I want my first response to be better.

When I get squeezed from the pain of life I want what comes out to be good. I am afraid what in reality does come out a lot of the time is the realization of my own sin nature. The nasty selfish, self pitying part. It seems I am not so unlike my children. I need the pain of life to teach me lasting lessons. The rod of discipline before I turn from myself. The Bible says

'The Lord disciplines those He loves'

and much of the time that discipline takes the form of some kind of pain. But I need it. So I guess pain really can be a friend.


Sarah said...

Really beautifully put, thank you for this post!

Kim said...

Wouldn't I have chosen to avoid any trial that God has seen fit to place in my life? How awesome is it that each and every are perfectly necessary?

Great post.

Jamie said...

Well said, Jill! This is an area that I have been thinking a lot about lately. Thanks for sharing.

Tricia said...

I would love not to have any "pains" in my life, but they are obviously so necessary to make me more like Christ. I also would love to respond the right way each time a pain comes, but when I fail, then God's mercy and grace once again shines through.

Thanks for always making us think!

Carol said...

I have heard it said that our worst hurts turn into our greatest ministry. I love how God turns something so ugly into something beautiful, all for His glory. It is just hard to remember that during the "pain" times. Thanks for such an insightful post. I pray that as God continues to heal my heart, that He will someday put me in a place where I can be the salve...

Carol said...

Hey Dude! Just because you have a few extra kids in yer house this week doesn’t mean the rest of us are not eagerly awaiting an inspiring post from you to encourage us while we sit at home and sip lattes... I guess what I am sayin is your painful post is getting to be a pain… LOL! Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for you and the Borms boys, as well as their Mom and Dad in Ethiopia and their new brother and sister, and your sanity, and….. When your energy is completely depleted and some little kid asks you why dinner isn’t ready and where is my sock, and how come you don’t have cable, and why does your forehead wrinkle like that…. Well, just remember you got lots of friends who love ya and would be there at a moments notice if ya need us. (Except when I am in Kahneeta sunning at the pool, but I will still pray for ya!) Seriously, call me anytime and if I am in Kahneeta, call Trish, cuz I heard her say she was going to be pretty bored this week… ;) I luv ya Jill! Thank you for sacrificing your time and energy to help bring little Azuriah and Hannah home! You are a ROCK STAR! ;P

Christy said...

Jill, thank you for this post, it is very timely for me! Also, thank you for sharing the Wait poem with me. I have bookmarked it so I can read it daily. Christy
P.S. You are so a Rock Star!!!!