Pain.

Pain.

We never want to experience it.

Oh how we hate it. Avoid it. Run from it.

What if I told you pain can be good? 

There's goodness that can come from pain. Therein lies the paradox.

Pain has stretched me, grown me, nearly defeated me. Yet ultimately pain made me better.

The worst of times can truly, in ways, be the best of times.  

 

There's parts of life, or scripture, we all want to avoid. We skim right through those parts, hoping to never have to endure them.

The parts about Loss. Pain. Suffering.

 

But there's the irony....

 

The parts we want to avoid the most are the parts that mold us, define us, strengthen the core of who we are.

Who we will become.

For in my life, it was the moments of deepest pain that had the most profound impact.

I've lived out painful moments others might assume left me feeling alone or abandoned in my faith.

Not so.

 

Those are the very moments I felt guided, led, upheld, loved.

The very ones. 

My ears had heard but now my eyes have seen.

 

Pain changed my life. It gave me life. 

 

It brought me to a place where His promises were no longer just words on a page, they were love in action.

Never again could I be who I was.

 

Pain can make us better.

Don't shy away from it. Lean in.

Allow yourself to feel it.

Don't fear.

 

Pain is fleeting. Never forever.

But its impact on your life can be. If you allow it.

That's how beauty rises from the ashes. It's not just the redemption that comes from the ashes. The ashes themselves are beautiful, because they serve to make you more beautiful.

Pain can be lovely because of what it brings forth.

Affliction is momentary, what it births remains.