So Much More Than Words 

  • ckstubbswrites

Have you ever wondered if the pain or the hardships that you’re experiencing are purposeless? I have had many moments when I experienced deep emotional pain and crippling physical pain. In these moments, I found myself asking God: “Am I suffering for nothing?” If you’ve ever asked that question, take heart, because you are not alone.

The thing about life is that it will always bring some sort of suffering or trial that causes us pain. I’m not saying this to be negative or morbid—Jesus actually tells us that in this world we will have trouble, but He reminds us to take heart because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). This is a beautiful reminder for us that troubles and pain aren't uncommon in the Christian journey and that Jesus knows and cares about the suffering that we face. Although this is true, walking through pain and suffering is still hard. It is still dark, and we still often find ourselves wondering if what we’re facing is meaningless. I found myself ruminating over this idea of wasted pain for the past few days. I constantly wondered whether or not all of the hardships that I faced served a greater purpose. I wondered if my pain would be wasted, so I asked God, “Am I experiencing this pain in my life just so that I know what it’s like to suffer, or do you have a plan for it?” In the midst of my asking God this question, He taught me two important things about walking through pain in our lives:

1. Our pain is never wasted. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” When God brought this verse to my attention in the midst of my pain, I was reminded that His plans for me are to prosper and not to harm me. His plans for me are good—period. While the pain in my life is hard to bear at times, it will not be wasted and God will use it for His glory. This pain that I’m experiencing now will play a role in the good plan that God has for my life. I may not like how it feels, but I know that God is going to use it for my good. It will not be wasted. The same is true for you.

2. Pain won’t last forever. 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV) says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” This verse brought me so much comfort when I read it in the midst of my suffering. It was like God was debunking all the lies that I had conjured up in my mind that my pain and suffering was for nothing. I was reminded that not only does God care, but that pain and suffering does not last forever, and God Himself will restore me and make me firm, strong and steadfast when this season ends. I think what is so beautiful about this verse is that God says that He Himself will restore us and make us strong after we have suffered a little while. How beautiful is that? If you’re walking through a painful season of life, please remember that this season of suffering won’t last forever. God said so.

Your pain is never wasted. God has a plan for all of it. The heartaches, the heartbreaks, the emotional stress, the physical stress, the grief, the disappointment—all of it. God will use it for His glory and He will work it all out for your good (Romans 8:28). If you find yourself struggling through a season of suffering and pain, please take heart—your pain will not be wasted and it will not last forever.

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  • ckstubbswrites

Dark seasons are very real. I often think of them as seasons when not much makes sense and you feel as though God has somehow deserted you. I know, this isn’t the "Christian thing" to say, but I pride myself on being honest. When you’re in a dark season, it’s hard. It’s confusing. It’s disappointing. It’s scary. I can speak freely about this, because I know what it’s like to be there. I know what it’s like to be facing trial after trial, and not being able to fully understand why. My dark season wasn’t easy. There were many moments when I felt as though I wanted to give up. There were days when I would look up and ask God, “Why?” or “How did I get here?” There were nights when I would wake up and just cry because it was difficult. It was very tough to walk through, but, I can tell you one thing—even in the dark, I knew that God was with me.

I’ve learned that dark seasons can teach you not only a lot about yourself and God, but life in general. Oftentimes, when we’re in dark seasons, it’s difficult to find the right perspective and it’s hard to fully believe that any good can come out of it. This blog is for the person who has found themselves smack-dab in a dark season. I see you. I know what you’re feeling. I understand your pain and confusion. But, can I tell you? You are not alone. I’ve been there, and although it hasn’t been easy, I’ve been able to learn and grow so much in the midst of the darkness. I want to share with you three things that I learned when it was dark in my life:

1. Light is always present; you just have to look for it: In my dark season, I learned to look for the light. I trained myself to be grateful for the good days and to see good, even when I didn’t feel good. The small things that I once took for granted, I began to appreciate more and more; like, feeling the sun on my skin, driving with the windows down and allowing the cool breeze to blow through my hair. It’s amazing how much more you begin to appreciate those small, seemingly insignificant moments when you’re in a dark season. Walking through darkness has made me more appreciative of the little things. It’s made me more eager to search for the light everyday, even if it is only a small spark.

2. Growth happens in the dark: I’ve learned that I’ve grown the most in my life when it was really dark. I learned not only to appreciate life more, but to trust that God will take care of me. Because it was so dark, I knew that the only One who could truly help me is God, so I went to Him. I spent time with Him. I cried out to Him relentlessly. I spoke to Him daily about how I felt in the dark place and how difficult it was for me. The thing is, in the moment, I didn’t feel like I was growing; I actually felt like I was regressing. However, after some time, I realized that my faith was becoming more firm. I was becoming more confident in God and much bolder than I was before. I realized that God often does His best work in these dark places because He helps us realize that everything that we need is found in Him.

3. The morning is coming: Even in the midst of my dark place, I knew that the morning would come. I can’t explain it, but while I was experiencing deep pain and uncertainty, I knew within myself that the joy that I longed for would come. I often found myself being reminded of Psalm 30:5 (NIV) which says, “weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Morning is coming. In these dark seasons, many tears are shed. Trust me, I cried until I couldn't anymore in my dark season. If you’ve been weeping, I’ve come to encourage you to take heart. The dark cannot last forever. Morning is coming.

Dark seasons are hard; but, I believe that they are valuable and necessary. They teach us about life. They teach us about God. They teach us about ourselves. I want to remind you tonight, if you find yourself in a dark place, remember that you are not alone, and you’re going to make it through. It won’t be dark forever; morning is coming.

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  • ckstubbswrites

Healing is always a process.

Whether you are healing from a physical wound, or an emotional wound, it always takes time. As I spent time with God a while ago, I started to think about how difficult the healing process can be most of the time. For instance, since 2017, I have been praying to God to bring healing and wholeness into many areas of my life.The crazy thing is that since praying that prayer, I sometimes feel like everything in my life has gone haywire. There have been so many things that God brought to the surface in my life that were incredibly uncomfortable to confront. There have also been many days where I felt completely and totally in over my head. It felt as though there were too many things in my life that I needed healing from, so I began to wonder if the sort of healing that I desired for my life was possible.

As I wrestled with the thought of giving up on my healing process, I heard the Holy Spirit remind me to commit to healing. When I first heard it, I sort of shrugged it off; but, as I went about my day, I kept hearing that same phrase: Commit to healing. I knew that it was God reminding me to not give up on my journey and to stay the course, no matter how uncomfortable the journey feels at times. He reminded me that healing is a process--and it is not always a glamorous process. It can be very messy and uncomfortable; however, it is necessary. After I resolved to commit to the healing process that God had begun in my life, I began to think about how ridiculous it would have been to give up. Philippians 1:6 says that He who began the good work, will complete it. This means that if God started the healing process in my life, then, He will finish it. Yes, it is still hard. Yes, there are days when I feel more messed up now than I was before, but God always reminds me that I only feel that way because He is bringing to the surface those things that were once hidden in my life-- the toxic traits that were buried deep beneath pretense and pride. He reminded me that He is uprooting the roots that I refused to acknowledge in order for the healing that I desire to come. Healing will take time.

If you’re anything like me, and the process of healing feels too hard, I encourage you to commit to it. Do not give up. Continue to rely on the Lord and trust that He will complete the work that He’s begun in your life.

Commit to your healing process.

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