About a year ago on a Thursday I sat in a hospital bed wondering why this was happening. Only a day before that I was rushed in an ambulance to have surgery because my appendix was bursting. That day was supposed to be a big day for me. I was opening my private soccer training business. I had quit my job about three weeks prior and I was supposed to do my first private session that day with a young soccer player. But instead I found myself in emergency surgery. Why was this happening? Have you struggled to find Purpose in pain? I think we all have to an extent. What I have found is with the right perspective we can always find some sort of purpose in pain.
There wasn’t anything I could do or could have done to avoid the surgery. My appendix wasn’t bursting because of anything I did. Sometimes things like this just happen without any explanation. Many times this type of adversity is the hardest to find purpose in because it happens completely outside of our control. It is completely unfair and unjust. I don’t always believe there is a purpose for pain but I believe that we can always find purpose in our pain. We can do this by changing our focus from the circumstance being unjust to what can I learn, what purpose can I find in this pain, how can I grow as a person from this experience. If we do this we will come out of that circumstance a better and stronger person.
I am a very fast paced, go go go type of person. If I am not busy, I make myself busy because I truly love to work. I love to coach, I love to write, I love meeting up with people and connecting with them, I love to talk and teach! I don’t usually ever get sick or ill and if I do, I usually push through it, not giving it any sort of attention. But here I was on a hospital bed, barely able to walk, completely immobilized and unable to do everything I love to do. I remember asking a good friend to leave the hospital room because I was getting tired from talking to much and I needed to rest. Even worst my new business venture was going to have to wait and my life was going to have to be put on hold for a couple of weeks.
With enough thought and reflection during this time I was able to find purpose in this pain. I wasn’t living the healthiest life then. I was eating unhealthy, I wasn’t very active and hadn’t been for years. I was 30+ pounds overweight and I was treating my body pretty poorly. What I realized is, that without my health, I am unable to do the things I love to do. I learned that outside of my relationship with God, my health should be the most important thing in my life because without my health I am unable to do the things I feel called to do. Without my health I am unable to invest in my relationships to the capacity that I should, I am unable to build and grow my business, and without my health I am unable to have the energy it is going to take to make Gods vision for my life manifest into reality.
Ever since that surgery I have taken my health to a whole new level. For the most part I am consistently putting good stuff in my body. I have made fitness an everyday part of my life. I never leave my house in the morning without workout clothes. I have lost 30+ pounds and am in the best shape I have been in since I was 19. It was this new found focus on my health and fitness that gave me the belief that I could come back and play one more year of college soccer. That wasn’t something I was even considering when I was in the hospital. When I look at any pain that I have gone through in life I have come to find some sort of purpose in it. I have been able to find an equivalent benefit that has made me a better person, stronger person, more loving person, or a more ambitious person. The key though is choosing to change our perspective. Or even further to have the right perspective.
I know this is hard, especially when the pain is unjust and unfair. I get it. I’ve been there. I understand. We may not always be in control of what happens to us but we are always in control of how we look at whats happened to us. We can either choose to learn something and rise above the unjust and unfair or we can let it defeat us. Its our choice. We can always find some sort of purpose in pain.
Sometimes we are left ashamed in our pain because the pain we are experiencing is mostly our fault. It was as a result of a decision we made. I get it, I understand. I battled with depression for a long time mostly because of decisions I made in life. I felt ashamed of who I had become. I had lost who I was created to be because of decisions I had made to try and fit in. But it was choosing to rise above that, to address that shame and those decisions head on that has made me into the man I am today. There is always purpose in pain whether its unfair or as a result of decisions we’ve made.
I don’t know what you are going through or what you have gone through but what I do know is that with the right perspective we can rise above, and become better and stronger from the circumstance, some how some way. The bible says that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is the same spirit that lives in us. That spirit is one of strength and courage. You can rise above. You can find purpose in your pain. Do this for the sole reason of the absolute unfailing fact that you are WORTH IT!