A Purpose for the Pain?

Purpose for pain

Surrender? Trust God with this?

Perhaps the words roll off the tongue a little distastefully for you at times, too, no?

I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent so much of my life out of control that the mere thought of surrender can sometimes freak me out. I’ve lived many years fearfully micro-managing this life of mine, trying to simultaneously live a life of surrender to God while nurturing my own obsessive need to control most situations.

Who does that? It’s one way or the other, right?

Giving up control is hard for those of us who have been hurt. We’re afraid that surrendering to God might somehow mean that we no longer care about those things that have happened to us {or the things currently happening}. As if somehow those bad things that happened in life were okay.

They aren’t okay.

I get this. It’s hard to trust a God who allowed bad things to happen in the first place. 

Yet it is this very journey that leads us to a trust that ultimately reveals the heartbeat of a loving sovereign God who has a plan. And I can promise you that’s not some cliche, pat answer coming from someone too insecure to confront life’s tough issues. I’ve been in the trenches, through the other side, and back in again at times, and I’ve earned the right to say this: this same God, all-powerful, all-knowing, good, merciful, gracious, loving and sovereign God, really does have a plan if we want in on it.

While I don’t pretend to know the meaning behind your suffering, what you’ve been through, I do know there’s a beautiful gift that any sufferer receives: empathy. Just ask Paul. In a deeply personal letter to the church, Paul shares his heart for these hurts of life, shares how through the pain we can learn to comfort others.

He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives . . . so that you can be generous in every way, producing with us great praise to God (2 Cor 9:11).

Can we find meaning in this, these painful hurts of life? Those of us who have walked the hard places, the tight spaces, we’ve heard it a lot. Too much, sometimes. How God has a plan, a purpose, even in this. Without debating theology, I’ll say this: when a woman who has been hurt meets another woman who has been hurt in a similar manner or circumstance, we understand that pain, we’ve mined its depths, so we usually have the ability to respond with a unique and personal compassion that others who haven’t been in that situation do not. And God can use that in big ways.


How about you? Today we’re linking up around the topic “A Purpose for the Pain.” I’d love to hear your take on this. There are a few ways you can participate:

  1.  Share your story by linking up a post you’ve written around this topic {but be sure to mention our link up or use our button so we can stay in community}
  2. Please share your heart about this post, or the topic in general, in our comments section below. I write these words so that I can connect with you. I want to know you, what your heart feels, and your words that need to be heard.
  3. Share our graphic and this link up with others on social media.
  4. After you’ve shared with us, be sure to go back and visit a couple of the bloggers who have also shared. Peek in on their stories, their hearts, and enjoy the connection with other link-minded folks.


22 thoughts on “A Purpose for the Pain?

  1. Nine years ago I felt God’s call to go into ministry. I was going through a very painful divorce at the time and thought there was no way that I would ever be equipped to do ministry. I was broken, destroyed, a shell of my former self. My husband cheated on me with a co-worker and I was being lied to about it, it was a little over a year after the actual divorce that I found out the truth about the affair. God called me into counseling and working with women that have been through what I went through or worse. I wondered how God could use me, but he placed people (mainly women) in my path to help me to heal, and as I began to heal He placed women in my path that needed healing and begin to confirm in my life what He was wanting me to do. The pain of many things I have went through in my life is now going into the ministry that I am working in and being used for God’s glory.

    • I thank GOD for your willingness to use that which could have destroyed as a tool of redemption in the hands of our loving Father. <3

  2. when a woman who has been hurt meets another woman who has been hurt in a similar manner or circumstance, we understand that pain, we’ve mined its depths…Amen! T
    o comfort with the comfort…That’s ‘purpose’ right there
    Love your writing style Shanyn! Bless you!

  3. A sneak preview from some of our link-ups. Be sure to visit with these beautiful women. <3

    “Pain is inevitable, that much we know to be true. It is our response that makes all the difference in the world.” {Victoria}

    “A spark of hope was planted. In that moment, and in the days immediately following my ‘crash-burn’, a plan began taking shape . . ." {Michelle}

    "The tempering, the wounding, the scarring, the healing, the laughter and tears have wrought a woman who has more empathy and wisdom than the one she was before." {Shanyn}

    "In most instances I just wanted the pain to stop and unfortunately I carried the burden on my own shoulders instead of relying on God to take care of me." {Sarah}

  4. When I was asked to talked to a group of abuse teens I thought God had a plan for me. It turned out that one of the girls ended her life because of what I shared. She couldn’t bare the hurt and pain because she had been through similar things like me. How can I trust God after that?

    • That is so painful and difficult, I can hardly even imagine what you are going through. I am praying for you right now for God to, in some way, meet you in the pain you are going through.
      If you would like to talk/share more with me privately, I would pray to be a safe place for you. Susan at http://christslovetoyou.blogspot.com

    • Oh C~ My heart aches for this pain deep inside of you. I can feel it fresh now. Thank you for sharing so authentically. By no means do I have a specific answer for this question, this painful hurt, and I do not dare pretend I do for it would only exacerbate the wound.

      Far too often those who commit suicide do so because they lose hope. I imagine this girl had done the same. Not because God doesn’t offer hope, but because she didn’t grasp the hope He had. God doesn’t force His will, he offers it. This painful loss is unfortunately a choice that someone else made that you had no control over.

      I pray for your tender heart, friend. I can’t fathom the loss.

      {C, I cannot explain the bad in this world, but even in the painful hurts of life I pray that somehow we can make our way back to God’s character.}

      Praying healing prayers.


      • If my post sounded harsh I am sorry. I just have so much hurt and anger. I know you don’t know my story. I have been abuse by 11 different people in my 40 yrs of life. Once was with a gang rape of 6 people. I tried to end my life 4 yrs ago with a car accident. No worries no one else was involve, I made sure of that. I stayed in the hospital from June to Dec. When I was ok physically I was put in the psychoward for the rest of my stay. When I was good enough to go for walks outside with one of the workers there, we were crossing the road and we got hit by a drunk driver. I was pinned under neat the car. Between the two accidents I had a lot of head damaged. Had memory loss and even today I sometimes forget something I did or say a while back. I was put on heavy meds for depression. Recently they found out that I was taking too much of what the dr had prescribe so they are lowering my dosage at this moment. I’m starting to feel the real pain and it’s very hard. The pain that was buried with the meds are all coming out and I feel that I’m losing it sometimes. What happened to that young teen is bothering me. Many things are very hard to deal with at this moment so I’m sorry if my post was harsh. I didn’t mean to sound like that. I just have a lot of anger inside that is coming out and I don’t know handle it sometimes..so I’m sorry

        • Hello! I had written a reply to you below a while back. I have not forgotten what you have written here and I am praying for you.

          I was writing this morning on I Corinthians 13 and I had a thought that may be of some comfort to you in the pain you described above. I was comforted in my own life seeing that God says what we do out of love for HIm, is meaningful, whether it goes the way we want or not. I just wanted to say that you came to share that night because you loved God and wanted to help and bless others. God sees and knows this is true. Whatever anyone decided to do or not do afterwards can never change or take that away. It is such an unspeakable tragedy… but you wanted, I am sure with all your heart to bless and love and do good.

          I don’t know if that is helpful or not but I just had you on my heart today.

          I would still love to be a listening and praying person for you, if you would ever want that.

          with love,


          if it might be helpful, the rest of what I wrote is at http://christslovetoyou.blogspot.com/2013/12/what-is-life-of-significance.html

    • Oh Susan, I’m so thankful that God spoke somehow into your right now. <3 I love how He can do that. Thank you for spending a portion of your day with us.

    • I’m so glad you made your way here at the right time. You are safe here, friend. I hope you will hang out with us, hope that you will be encouraged, refreshed, and that you can move closer to full healing. I don’t know what situation you are in that’s causing such pain, but I do know that together we can walk towards the restoration God longs for us to have. If you can, make your way to the posts above, the link ups where some of the other ladies are sharing their hearts. It is a great way to connect within safe community when life’s not working, when you need ongoing slices of hope. <3

  5. Found this site by accident. Then again, maybe, quite likely, it’s a God thing.
    I’m afraid to open up about what’s hiding beneath, about what people don’t see.
    I’ve hid things so well, for so long I’m not sure what would happen if I really opened up. Right now, I throw up all of the words I can’t seem to say.

    • Oh friend, I’ve been here: “Right now, I throw up all of the words I can’t seem to say.” It’s a powerful motivator, no? This semblance of control we have when we manipulate our bodies because the pain is too great otherwise.

      I’m so thankful you found us. I pray you’ll stay. Engage. Dialogue. Pursue change. It’s not easy, I know. I’ve walked the road — bulimic for over 20 years. But change is possible. And God’s plan.

      For now, take one small step. Find a journal, a cheap spiral bound notebook if need be, and start writing down each and every time you feel like purging physically. For this may well be a sign you need to purge emotionally. Write and pray through it, for now?

      And I also encourage you to find someone who will hold you accountable. Who will not let your body pay the price of the weeping wounds that simply cry out for proper healing.

      Much love my friend. Thank you for the authentic share. It’s great to connect.

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