Grateful for the Pain


Yesterday, I thought about recovery from pain. I remembered one of the bigger rejections in my life, the one that forced me into the new and frightening role of Single Mother. I thought my world destroyed that day, my years of clinging to faith a mockery. It took some days and months and years before I could look up and declare a true thank You for the pain, one that I actually meant. The first thanks had been obligatory: one is supposed to praise, no matter what. To say, “Thank You,” before one feels the truth of it.


Have you ever been there? Been at the place where all you can do is question why? Felt unlovely, unwanted, ignored, cast out? Hurt physically or mentally beyond what you thought you could endure? And wondered what celestial game had tossed you out with the garbage?


What did you do about it?


Some of us dump God. Or church. Or men or women or friendships or….  The list goes on. We find anything and everything to blame.


And some, some few, grab the hem of His garment and hold on. Stand at the Red Sea, as it roils in front of us and that Egyptian Army gathers behind, and we say, “Thank You. Praise You. I trust You in the middle of this mess.”


And something happens. Maybe not immediately, but one day something happens. We may have to walk through days where failures abound and the world’s tilt leans away from us, but one day we do wake to find the pain easing, the hurt less, the heart full, and the New Plan unfolding in our life.


I’m living another New Plan now. But if I hadn’t faced the pain of that rejection, if I hadn’t become a leftee from marriage, I might never have known the joy that the Father had in store for me. A new day, a new life, and a best friend of my very own.


That best friend took pictures out our window this morning. Here’s one of them:


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11 thoughts on “Grateful for the Pain

  1. Wow. Im sitting here writing a chapter for my book about pain – hiding our pain behind a smile to be exact. Then I see your post. What a great confirmation to me. Im so glad you found your way through the rebuilding of your heart. Great post.

    1. Thanks, Jan. Pain doesn’t fall into sweet slots: now that I’m past that, all’s well. There are always hurdles, now levels, new rejections, new pain, but if we can sift it through the knowledge that Romans 8:28 is absolutely true, we will see victory. So, I have learned to bless those who curse me and pray for those who despitefully use me. It always works for my blessing. Always.

  2. Thanks, Normandie. I’ve had similar experiences, although I’m not going to ever say my daughter’s death was a good thing. God brought a LOT of good out of her death, though, and I’m thankful to have had her even though ultimately I had to give her back.

    1. I understand, Jane. When I miscarried, I wept and couldn’t stop. For days and nights the grief manifested, until I begged for relief and, only then, found myself sitting up in bed, singing praises.

      Your loss was magnitudes greater. Your ministry to others has certainly blessed them, though I understand that such grief will live with you until you and Emily are reunited. I’m sure that’s how any parent who has lost a child must feel.

      Thank you for stopping by to share the truth of that pain in your life.

  3. Great post, Normandie. One of my favorite verses is Psalm 30:5 – weeping may remain for the night, but joy comes in the morning. I discovered “the morning” may take years to arrive, but joy does come. After Dad died (three years ago today), I thought I’d never feel joy again. I was just went through the motions of living for about a year, and all of a sudden I realized I’d finally made it through to that morning. I recently discovered this great song entitled “Blessings” and the last line reads, “What if the trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are Your mercies in disguise.” Thanks for sharing this.

  4. grrrr, I hate typos – I was just GOING through the motions. Heavens, that’s the worst grammar gaff I’ve ever committed – but it truly was a typo. I did a cut and paste without reading through. again, grrrr. and my most profound apologies!

    1. Brenda, so funny about the typo. I’m the editor, and when your comment showed up in Gmail, I didn’t even notice — I just zipped through the heart of what you shared.

      Which I thank you for.

      I’ve had to go back and dump comments when I made a faux pas of gargantuan proportions. I think we writers often have fingers that can’t keep up with our brains.

      I appreciate your words about your father and the lines of that song. I have watched three beloved elders die in recent years and have been with them at, or just before, the end. The sorrow of the first to go was greater than the rest because she lived with me — had for the last nine years of her life. And she’d become mine, a part of me that I emptied at her death. When the last, her brother, died this summer, I was grateful for his peaceful ending. At almost 95 and a believer, he was ready…eager even. Those last months were a blessing here for all of us.

      The joy that comes in the morning, when that morning finally comes, is so sweet, isn’t it?

  5. Great post. It is in the pain that you feel the comfort. A few days after my husband died, I was at youth group with the kids and we sang, “Blessed be Your Name.” I was weeping and rejoicing and worshiping at the same time knowing that God is good and worthy of praise in the hardest times and so thankful that I knew that.

    1. Sally, I don’t know how folk survive without that knowledge. I remember my youth without God and the agony that my body experienced as it absorbed all the pain and the worry. Thank the Lord that He healed those ravages as a way of introducing Himself to me. In the thirty-plus years since, I have come to hold Job’s words close to my heart: “Yet though He slay me, still will I trust Him.”

      The song you quoted is one that will surely bring the tears as we stand in wonder: Blessed be His Holy Name–in all things, at all times.

  6. Yes, that song is based on Job’s wonderful reaction to his painful circumstances. I want so much to have Christ be my all in all so that no matter what else he gives or takes, I will always count myself rich. So that even if he slays me, I will trust in Him.

    1. I’m reading the compelling story of how the African church is now sending missionaries back to the US. Such testimonies they have. So powerful.

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