The Precious Gift of Having Suffered

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The other week, I had a chance to talk to a group of students about of my journey with Chronic Fatigue. I talked about the darkness, the grief and the sometimes overwhelming feelings of despair, but I also talked about the hope and joy I have found through my relationship with Jesus.

At the end of the lesson, I was surprised when one of the students stayed behind.

“I just wanted to talk to you” he said, “because you’ve been through the same thing that I’m going through now.”

He then went on to tell me about what was going on in his life. Indirectly, he was dealing with issues of death and divorce, sexual abuse, neglect, overwork and worry. His circumstances were overwhelming, and poles apart from anything I had ever experienced.

I couldn’t understand why he was talking to me as though I’d been there too. Suddenly I realized: for perhaps the first time, an adult had opened up about being in dark places and finding a way through. My comparatively small affliction had given me credibility in a world of suffering and pain.

My illness has tattooed into me the exclusive pass code to a world where hurting people need hope. People come to me, and listen to me, because they see in me someone who has been there and survived. It is a privileged position to be in.

May God grant me the grace to see the blessings of suffering shine more brightly than the pain.

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18 comments on “The Precious Gift of Having Suffered

  1. Phil Tarrant says:

    Awesome and very true! Liberty through adversity! Good on ya! 🙂

  2. amen, don’t underestimate the healing power in sharing your experiences sista!! 🙂

  3. Love this (especially your last words). It is through sharing our suffering and pain with others that we can reach out and connect with them the way God created us to. We are meant to bear one another’s burdens and encourage one another in our walk with Christ but how will that ever happen if no one is ever brave enough to open up and share what they struggle with?

    I’m so glad that God is using what you are going through to encourage and bless others going through the same thing. May He continue to strengthen you and give you wisdom when you reach out to others and help them by sharing your story. Be blessed!

    • sarsrose says:

      Thank you Anna for your encouragement. It’s sometimes hard to see the positives when you’re in the midst of it all, but talking to another student the other day I realized how much of a difference it makes when you’re suffering, but still have that hope from God that it’s not all for nothing. Not everyone has that!

      • I agree. Perspective is everything when it comes to suffering. A lot of times I remind myself that although my suffering is hard at the moment it will later be a tool that God can use to help others going through the same exact thing. I actually saw this quote on pinterest the other day and it reminded me of you and this post. 🙂

        “Your story is the key that can unlock someone else’s prison. Share your testimony.” 🙂

  4. Yes there are blessing in suffering that some will never know. But we have a unique fellowship with those who suffer, even though they may suffer from different things. And I think that if I did not have my suffering, I would not be as close to God. My arthritis pain constantly brings me to Him. And there I find His grace.

  5. Keith says:

    There are people just like you on the wards where I work Sarah, and it is ALWAYS extremely touching to meet people who can accept their pain, and emerge from it with hope – albeit with scars (or tatoos as this picture implies! I’m all for those).

    • sarsrose says:

      🙂 Thank you. Yes it makes such a difference having a good perspective on it all. I don’t know how I would have survived if it weren’t for the fact that I had hope!

  6. JC says:

    Amen, I love this!!! 🙂 Our testimonies of overcoming and winning (with Christ) cause others to come to us and hopefully (to Christ).

    I pray that the joy of the Lord will continue to be your strength!

    Blessings
    JC

  7. Bev Hunter says:

    Thankyou foe sharing this Sarah

  8. […] Like Sarah did about her journey with chronic fatigue. […]

  9. […] Sarsrose – She describes herself as, “a Christian, saved by grace alone, not by any effort or greatness of my own,” and these words are apparent in each short post she writes. I love her posts on The Loneliness of Chronic Illness and The Precious Gift of Having Suffered. […]

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