No Pain, No Gain

I have a tendency to focus on pain.  When I'm running it's hard to think about anything other than how much it hurts. In labor there came a point when the pain had crossed a threshold and it hurt so bad that I would have done ANYTHING to make it stop. Lately, life has hurt...and I've had trouble seeing or feeling anything else.

When we moved, I am convinced that I was on the verge of some kind of nervous breakdown. Like, for real. We were convinced for this and other reasons that it was clearly time to move on. When we got here I got the rest I needed and things got better. But I have to be honest, a lot of the plans that we had made didn't work out or a wrench was thrown in. To the point that we had started to question ourselves about whether moving was the right choice. And since then we've been forced to face a lot of our demons.

God has been so merciful in helping us deal with those "demons". He has graciously done so much work in us. It's kind of mind boggling that He's already done so much and He's still working!

I personally had felt like I (and we/our marriage) had hit a wall and we just didn't have the tools to scale it, knock it down, go around it or build a door to go through.

Well, God has (once again) graciously provided the help we need.

BUt even through all the positive help I (and we) have been receiving, it still hurts.  Because growth does. And when things hurt, I tend to look for a way out and if I can't get out, I check out mentally. So I've been resorting to all of my self destructive tendencies to cope.

Well the other day a faithful friend recounted to me all of the POSITIVE THINGS that have happened since we've moved here...which helped to kind of turn the tide of my thoughts.

And then today while driving Allistair Begg came on the radio talking about how we should take pleasure in the trials of life instead of running from them (huh, what a NOVEL idea! Except we just got done studying that part of James in our grow group...I'm a slow learner apparently!). It was a really good sermon. But it just made me realize that YES, THIS HURTS. But I need to suck it up and be thankful and rejoice in the growth it's going to produce. Instead of focusing on the pain, I should be focusing on God's goodness and faithfulness and letting his grace overflow into the lives of those around me. Because I'm always asking God to change me and make me who He wants me to be, so why am I dragging my feet and pouting and checking out to avoid the process? It's kind of ridiculous.

When I'm running and I focus on the good it's doing instead of how bad it hurts, I run faster and longer. In labor, when I stopped focusing on how bad it hurt and wishing it would just stop and looking for ways to MAKE it stop and just focused on getting through it and yielding to the process...labor progressed faster and my body worked more efficiently.

So, I'm going to practice focusing on being thankful for the process and for the growth it will produce....and yielding to the process so I can get the maximum effect. Because I need this. And God is good.

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