Letting Pain – Propel you to YOUR Purpose

Why?

Have you ever asked yourself, “why have I gone through all this pain in my life?” It’s a question I have often asked myself over the years, probably since I was a child if I were to be honest.

PAIN is something we all experience, it may be different experiences with different degrees of pain, however, pain is pain & the bigger picture is to figure out the why so that we can begin to live our lives to its fullest potential and stop letting our past pain control so much of our future.

The Source of our Pain

Growing up I spent much of my life grounded and confined to my room. If I had to break it down by percentage I would say between the ages of 4-13, I spent approximately 70% of my time alone, isolated and feeling rejected.

For years I often wondered to myself what I had done to deserve such isolation & what made me such a nuisance to my family. To this day I still haven’t figured it out and out of respect for my parents I won’t assume anything.

That isolation however over the years came with several side effects including social phobias, anxiety, low self-esteem and the need to be seen and heard in destructive patterns later on in life leading to promiscuity, alcohol abuse, & self-identity issues as a teen as well as into adulthood, affecting life long decisions in regards to careers, marriage & other relationships.

Heavy Baggage

It’s easy for anyone to sit back and say to themselves, wow, I have a lot of baggage I’m carrying from my life. For some it can be heavy as early as their first 5 years of life as a child to be carrying an insurmountable load of baggage sadly.

So how do we accept our pain for what it is & move forward from the pain of the past to live our best life? the biggest question to ask ourselves is; who do we become because of it? Well, this is where the word PROPEL comes into my post today. This morning as I was meditating on who I’ve become over the years, I thought of three words; PAIN -PROPEL & PURPOSE. I believe I have finally come to the resolution & the acceptance of my pain being the propeller to my purpose in this life.

Letting Go!

From the beginning of time, pain was a part of the human race. It’s often hard for us to conceive that a loving God would allow destruction & pain to enter our world, however, freewill was the very first act of love God gave mankind. With that freedom man chose the path that led to pain & suffering for the course of the human race.

If I were to be honest I have pointed my finger at God for my pain and suffering at certain times in my life, even as recent as several months ago. Thankfully by His grace and mercy He is not affected by our wayward thoughts & feelings.

Through struggle, conflict, betrayal & rejection, I have chosen to meditate & pray my way through the pain of the past & I have taken much personal inventory over the last couple of years especially & I’ve decided to allow the pain in my life to propel me to my purpose.

Purpose in the Pain

Strength Just like gaining muscular strength by repetition & weight, painful experiences strengthens us. Pain will either help you find your strength or lose it.

Perseverance….the ability to endure the storms of life & not allow fear to over take your mind affecting how you handle tragedy & trials.

Maturity …pain will choose for us how quickly we mature or we also have the choice to revert & remain stunted in our development.

Wisdom…without pain we learn that we would never embrace hope or faith.

Humility …pain helps us to relate to others who are hurting. It keeps us from becoming unresponsive to the pain others suffer around us.

The Need for a Saviour….yes, pain will force us to our knees in search of God & putting our trust in the One who truly can save us and give us life! My darkest moments in life propelled me to find the light, the truth & the love of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

The Ultimate Purpose?

So what is my purpose?, the purpose from all the pain?, simply, it is to be like Jesus to the world. It is to love the “unlovable”, to feed the hungry, to be a living sacrifice in every area, to be a loving mom, to be a loving wife, a loving friend, a loving coworker, a loving stranger….etc.

You see, our pain identifies with the pain Jesus suffered for us. There was no greater pain and suffering than that which He experienced and for what?, all for us to be able to have a purpose in our pain in this life.

He knew we would suffer in, remember at the beginning of my post?, the “free will” He gave us was the ultimate factor in our fate all because He decided not to make us robots and force us to love Him. What kind of love would it be if we forced others to love us?

His purpose in His pain was to bring the world the gift of salvation & a hope that will live beyond our life here on this earth.

So I leave this with you today, do not let your pain lie dormant & useless. Do not allow it to make you bitter. Do not let it rob you of peace and joy.

Choose today to let your Pain Propel you to YOUR Purpose!

James 1:2-4, discover the purpose behind your pain. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ might I suggest saying this prayer below & opening your heart to the One who can teach you how to live a life of purpose despite the pain you have experienced.

Prayer,

Dear Jesus, I do not understand in this moment what I am doing or even saying but I trust by faith that you will hear these words and open my eyes of understanding and show yourself to me. I choose to allow you to become Lord over my life & even though I cannot see you or touch you, I choose to believe by faith that you are the way, the truth and the life and that no person comes to God the Father except through you.

Please forgive me of any sin that has separated me from you & make me clean this day. Renew my mind and spirit I pray.

I ask that you lead me to people of faith & that you will order my steps from this day forward.

I give you my pain and ask that you will make it my purpose in this life & that hope, faith and love will be my foundation form this moment forward.

I pray all these things in Jesus precious name! Amen!

If you prayed this prayer and would like to share with someone please feel free to contact me.

God truly loves you!

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Suffering Leads to Love, Redemption & Healing

I have been reminiscing lately about when I first became a Christian in 1996. Before that I was living in Mississauga with a boyfriend of 4 years and life was just sailing along. I had no idea what laid ahead.

A Diagnosis Changes my Direction in Life

It was the middle of the afternoon on October, 1IMG-7130994 , I was visiting my sister and spending time with my little niece, Brandi-Jo. We were about to have our Thanksgiving dinner when the phone rang. My brother-in law answered the phone and then came and got me and told me it was the Hamilton Wentworth Police. I thought to myself right away, “what did I leave behind in Stoney Creek”? lol. I picked up the phone and the first thing they asked me was, “is your mother’s name ___________”?, of course I said yes right away. They began to explain to me that my mom had been admitted to the hospital and that I needed to come to Hamilton to see her.

A Very Long Trip

As my sister and I drove to Hamilton, my sister and I were very quiet. We knew something was wrong with our mom because the police had contacted us. All the way to the hospital I wondered what illness had she been diagnosed with. Mental health 20 years ago was still not talked about much but we knew something was up because she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital.

We arrived to the hospital and after going through security a very kind nurse walked us down the very long corridor to our mom’s room(it seemed like forever). At one point the nurse stopped by a door of a lady’s room and called us back as we had kept walking. My sister and I walked towards the nurse and asked what was wrong, the nurse looked at me and said “this is your mothers room honey”. I had already looked in the room but didn’t recognize that the woman she was talking about was my mother. I could not believe my eyes. She had lost so much weight and her hair colour was so different. She looked so ill and so gone. This was not the mother I remember all my life. I would have walked right passed her on the street not recognizing her. I hadn’t seen here for over 4 years up until now.

The Diagnosis

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When the doctor met with my sister and he explained to us that our mom had been diagnosed with schizophrenia , I didn’t know what to say or think. I didn’t know the first thing about the mental illness but I knew it was serious and I saw how it not only affected my mom mentally but also physically.

 

The Path to Light

I never thought in a million years I would return to Stoney Creek, I loved the big city (Mississauga)at the time and I also had been living with my boyfriend for almost 4 years and couldn’t see my life without him. But, I knew I had to go back to take care of my mom, even if it was temporally.

By January 1995 I had moved back in with my mom. Months later after getting settled in and regulating my mom’s medication and symptoms, I had met a friend of my mom’s who was also her neighbour. She had been there for my mom before I knew anything of my mom’s illness. So I thought, I have to meet this woman. Well, she was spunky and great to talk to and she also liked to roller blade and workout which I had just started doing.   She was 44 years old mind you, but I thought she was pretty cool, really cool. Until one beautiful spring evening when we were spending time hanging out on her step. Out of the blue she looked at me and asked, “Billie-Jo, do you know Jesus?”, right away panic struck in my chest and I thought to myself, great, this lady must have an illness too. Within minutes I told her I had to go home and had to work in the morning. I avoided her for the next couple of months.

It wasn’t long after that I had become homesick and missed the big city and my boyfriend. By the end of Spring I had made the difficult decision to move back to Mississauga. I felt terrible leaving my mother behind but I missed the big city and my boyfriend and I felt that she was well enough again to live a productive life to the best of her ability, besides, I would call her everyday.

Divine Intervention

The weekend before my move I was coming home from work at the YMCA downtown on the bus and lo and behold who got on the bus?, my mom’s neighbour. I pretended like I didn’t see her but she sat down right beside me and said Billie-Jo, where have you been? Talk about uncomfortable. Anyways, not long after we started talking did she ask me why I was leaving Stoney Creek and my mom. I could feel my face getting hot as I didn’t like people meddling in my business back then, I was a very private person and well guarded. I explained the truth to her(it was hard to lie to her). All of a sudden she begins to tell me that I won’t last 2 months back in Mississauga and that my boyfriend and I will split up; that was in July.

By September 1995, I moved back in with my mom. I remember thinking, was my mom’s friend a psychic? what she predicted ended up happening, how did she know this?. My boyfriend and I did have a falling out and it wasn’t long before I realized I needed to be back with my mom, someone who really needed me.

What was Going On?

Shortly after I returned home, I went to visit my mother’s friend. She welcomed me with open arms, even after the way I treated her before I left, I never even said good bye to her.

Over the next several weeks I visited my mothers friend and she quickly became a dear friend to me. She would stay up all night listening to my life story and all my troubles. Then one night she asked me if I wanted to know who Jesus was. At this point in my life I had already tried relationships with men, Buddhism, Karate, alcohol, drugs and I had thought to myself, what do I have to lose? she seems pretty happy and she has a peace I find interesting.(she was dealing with a lot of problems)

I kept returning for more as she started to read the bible with me. I actually could not believe some of the things she told me about the bible and Jesus. One night I got really upset and challenged her about something she told me. She had explained to me that if Paul Bernardo had repented and truly turned his heart to God and asked for forgiveness that he would be forgiven and that God would judge his actions one day in judgment. I could not believe this, how could God ever forgive such an evil creature?

An AMAZING Love I Never Knew

IMG-7127I began slowly to understand the unconditional, merciful, compassionate and amazing love of God and how He gave us Jesus, His Son to die for us.(that’s another blog). I began to weep one night in anger of how Jesus was treated when He was completely innocent. I didn’t understand. I also at the same time felt like my whole view of the world was changing and that my heart was even beginning to soften. I had a very tough exterior and often hid behind alcohol and a false exterior BUT for the first time someone was breaking through all that facade. His name was JESUS!

On a cold night in February 1996, my friend asked me if I would make a decision that would change my life forever(I’m crying right now), she wanted to know if I would trust my life completely to God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I didn’t even hesitate by this time. In my eyes anyone who would die for someone else’ wrong doings and who would have the courage to confront people in power when no one else would and who stripped Him and beat Him to nothing….knowing He didn’t fight back, but still loved them?, I had to take that chance that He knew something I didn’t and that He had something to give me, something  I never knew or had experienced, REAL love.

Life was never the Same

IMG-7122My life changed that night. All I did was say a prayer and invite Jesus and God the Father into my heart and I surrendered everything I had ever known to Him. In other words “Jesus took the Wheel”

I didn’t step foot in a church for 2 years after making that decision that night. I was on a personal journey with my Saviour and I soaked up every minute of it.  Just me, Jesus and my bible, that was it and of course my very dear friend.

I lost her not long ago, it will be 4 years this Christmas. To this day I believe she was an angel while she was here. As much as I might help and inspire others, I will never attain the heart and mission she did. If it wasn’t for her being obedient and sacrificing all her time and energy into me I’m not quite sure where I would be today. I miss her deeply.

Who Am I Today?

Trust me when I say this, I was reckless and messed up. I am still broken today but held together by the marvellous love of an incredible, loving, merciful, kind and almighty God.

Life did not get easier when I made that decision that night in February 1996, as a believer it did not exempt me from more pain and suffering, in fact, I’ve experienced quite the opposite. The difference? the ability to stand strong in the face of adversity knowing that this life is temporary and that a greater promise awaits me(that’s another blog too :)).

I received a peace deep in my heart that night over 20 years ago and I have never lost it since then, I have had to fight to keep it many times and I have lost faith in seasons of my life and I’ve had to learn to trust in God with my whole being.

I am still learning to trust in Him, it can be very scary at times, however, my faith has only become stronger for all the trials and suffering I have experienced. Strong in Him.

Who am I today? I am a daughter of the BEST Father any woman could ask for. My God and His Son, Jesus Christ taught me how to love and how to show mercy and grace where it would not otherwise be possible.

The Vessel of Suffering

In my mother’s suffering and pain, God brought good out of it. It is very simple to understand, let me explain. He brought us back together because before her diagnosis I didn’t care if I ever saw my mother again. Yes, it’s true, we had a very wounded past. There were very deep wounds in my heart towards my mother. Her diagnosis brought understanding and forgiveness. It revealed TRIMG-7128UTH that brought healing to both of us.

My mother later lived with me and my family that God would bless me with years later. We have been inseparable from the day I moved back in with her in September 1995.

I love her with all my heart and I thank my God for where He lead me through it all-to His loving arms and grace. GOD is LOVE…..