Using Your Pain to Help Someone Else

Yesterday I received a text from a friend – a fellow sports mom that I met years ago through our local track team.  We grew closer after she moved away, and over the years have shared personal struggles, and encouraged each other as we ventured through life.

She has two amazing young athletes, and I enjoy keeping up with their accomplishments on social media. When I saw her text out of the blue, asking for advice, I lifted a silent prayer that everything was OK with her family.

When we finally connected, and she began to share with me some of her concerns and issues, it was like she had ran through the heartache I had been experiencing over last couple of months.

You see, each week when I write about encouragement while in the midst of my life’s difficulties, I’m just sharing through my own personal experiences. And many times, I’m writing about victory, even though I’ve not quite yet achieved it in certain areas of my life.

As she began to reveal some frustrations she was experiencing as a mom and a wife, I responded that I was going through similar issues, and I thought it was just me!

I divulged that as certain situations would weigh heavily on my mind, I sometimes found myself dealing with extreme disappointment, and would proceed to beat myself up with regret.

If those feelings went unchecked, it could lead to feelings of hopelessness, which sometimes can be difficult to pull one’s self out of.

With just a little bit of effort, we can always find disappointing things in our lives that we wished were different. We must be careful not to anchor ourselves to the bad choices we’ve made when we are living out the undesirable consequences.

And that’s what I had been battling with, so it was easy for me to see myself in my friend’s shoes, and I transparently shared my similar experiences and mental struggles. There was no need for me to pretend like everything was OK. Who would that help? Not me, and certainly not her!

Then, I was able to share what I was doing to overcome those feelings. I revealed that when I noticed the onslaught of helpless and hopeless feelings, I had to intentionally hand them over to God, and trust in His promises that I had been writing about, especially in regard to the unknown future He had planned for me and my family.

I shared that I had to commit myself to blindly trust God, without having any insight into what the future held for all those situations that I would worry about from time to time.  I had to put it in his hands and choose to have peace about them. Peace that God was working everything out, and I didn’t have to keep worrying.

Furthermore, to help combat future feelings of regret, I shared with her how important it was for us to daily seek the Lord every morning, asking for His specific guidance and direction for future choices that we needed to make.

The more I reached out to connect with God, He would continue to respond to me with reassurance – sometimes from random songs on my encouragement playlist, sometimes from scriptures or other readings. But I always knew the response came from him and was meant to help me get through those moments.

As we closed our conversation, I realized that the struggles that I had been dealing with all that time just put me in a position to encourage and support my friend. And I want to remind you of that today – you have an opportunity to encourage others with the painful parts of your story. There’s no need to pretend everything is perfect if it’s not.

Don’t let your disappointments, tears, struggles, and hardships go to waste. As you work through them, be sure to empathize with and encourage others who may be walking similar paths. As you seek God and He walks you through your difficult times, be sure to accompany someone else through theirs.

CLOSING CHALLENGE:

Are there people around you struggling with things that you are or have struggled with? Are you comfortable sharing your story, and what you did (or are doing) to overcome them?

Do you think it’s important to present yourself a certain way in public, and on social media? Is it important for you to reflect a certain image? Or are you comfortable exposing painful and undesirable areas in order to help someone else who may be struggling?

Feel free to share your response in the comments section… and please follow Destined 4 the Dub for Encouragement each week!

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