We all know that.
Which is why it’s so funny that I look back on the most painful times of my life with the most adoration.
Today I had the wonderful opportunity to grab lunch with a dear friend.
A dear and hurting friend.
And as she opened up and told me her struggles and pain I was filled with an all-encompassing peace about her situation and mine. I felt peace because her story was so familiar: it was mine. Her pain felt real to me because I have been in her shoes. I know how she feels because I have felt it.
The pain of loneliness. The fear of having only God. The agony of walking away from a friendship.
A year ago I would have viewed all of those situations as terrible. Being lonely? Friendless? Making tough decisions that you know will hurt but help in the end? I would have fled from all of those. I would have fled because they’re hard. They bring with them tears and lonely nights and self-reflection in ways that are uncomfortable.
And yet God, who hold me in His hands, allowed me to feel them. In this past year I have felt all of those agonizing emotions and felt torn by those tormenting experiences. Why? Why would He possibly want me to hurt so badly? Why would the God who loves me and has great plans for me want me to cry as much as I have? To feel emotions that tear me apart until I am at the end of myself? After a year, I know why.
I felt those things for today. I felt the pain of losing a friend so that I could look my dear friend in the eye today and tell her that God is all she needs. I felt the pain of loneliness so that I could look her in the eye today and tell her that God is all she needs. I felt the fear of having nobody so that I could look her in the eye today and tell her that God is all she needs.
And how do I know? How do I know God is all she needs? Because I’ve gone through times where God is all that I’ve had. And when God is all you have, you realize something.
God is all you need.
That’s why I’m glad I hurt. I’m glad because every time I hurt, I learn. And every lesson I learn I get to use. God never fails to bring me opportunities to look someone in the eye and tell them how beautiful He is in the face of our weakest moments.
God is not afraid of our weaknesses. He is not afraid of our hurt. He is ready to use it.
Will you let Him?