Finding Purpose from Our Pain

Sun Rise 

In case you don’t know it, I’m transitioning from a counselor to a life coach. Because of that, I’ve been working diligently over the past year and a half to develop my coaching niches. One of the areas I’ve researched has been finding and clarifying “purpose” or “calling” in peoples’ lives.

What’s interesting is that people often look at what energizes them to uncover their purpose in life (and this is important). But very often, and in my case this is definitely true, a purpose or calling is discovered out of suffering and lessons learned in that painful journey—hence, for me, Messy Marriage, the blog/ministry was born.

Do you have something painful that you’re going through or don’t understand fully now?

Have you ever considered that your pain may be leading to God’s purposes for your life?

I’m not necessarily saying that if your husband is having an affair, God may one day lead you and your husband to minister together with couples who’re struggling from the fall-out of an affair … but it could be.

Or

It could be that God will give you the desire to write about your struggles in a blog or book.

Or 

It could be that God will turn your pain into compassion for those who’ve experienced a broken home by offering to foster or adopt a child.

Or

It could be that you’ll simply feel a burden to continually pray for married couples who’ve struggled in this way.

I don’t know, but I do know that God is the Great Redeemer and is able to transform our messes into mighty messages, as well as, beautiful blessings for the benefit of others.

What struggles have you gone through in your life that make you uniquely qualified to help others? Have you lived with or through a …

  • Life-threatening or chronic illness or disability?
  • Infertility?
  • Miscarriage?
  • Rebellious child?
  • Loss of a child?
  • Financial worries or fall-out?
  • Spouse who’s apathetic?
  • Addicted spouse?
  • Abusive spouse?
  • Mentally ill spouse?
  • Childhood trauma?

Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but it does offer examples of just the kind of thing that God loves to redeem! So ask yourself today …

What does God want to redeem from my pain? 

What purpose is He going to do in my life because of the lessons I’ve learned from my suffering?

And I’d love to know what you sense God is telling you so that I can pray for your God-given purpose!

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” Psalm 40:1-3 (NLT)

Photo credit by Umair Mohsin (Flickr)

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  • This is so important as He wants us to sow our tears. Friends pushed me to use writing and blogging to share His work through my own pain. We need to be open and available to whatever He calls us to do.
    I always thought my calling would always be as a psychotherapist, but He has had other plans…Thanks for the encouragement!

  • Megan E

    Great post 😉

  • Patsy Paterno

    We are always victorious when we put our lives in God’s hands. Not one ounce of the pain we undergo is ever wasted. Patsy from
    HeARTworks

  • I’m a counselor too :).

    I’m going to be honest here, I haven’t really suffered what I consider to be any great trials. Part of me sees that as a blessing and the other part of me is terrified of what may be coming. I’ve had my trying times, but they were nothing compared to what others have gone through. Anyways, Your going is well-taken though that God can use what we are going through to minister to others. Currently, I’m reading Grace for the Good Girl, which has helped me to realize that there are others out there like me. Maybe my calling is to write to them.

    Thanks for sharing. Definitely got my wheels turning.

    Mary Beth
    newlifesteward.com

  • Alicia@the Overflow

    Yes, there’s such hope in knowing He can make beauty from ashes. Love the questions you ask here and the possibilities you unfold. Thanks, Beth!

  • Kim Quon

    That is so weird that you started this post the way you did. I have been wondering what in the world a “life coach” is. What are the qualifications? How would one have the audacity to become a life coach? What would be involved in making the transition between “counselor” and “life coach”? What are the nuances between being one or the other? Bless you that you are called to it!

  • messymarriage

    I’m so glad that you’re responding to God’s call on your life, Christina. I know that your blog certainly makes a difference. I will pray for you in your continued efforts to live out the call God has on your life!

  • messymarriage

    Thanks, Megan. I thought of you specifically when I was writing this. However, so many people are living out God’s purposes in their lives based upon the trials God has brought them through. Thanks so much for coming by and encouraging!

  • messymarriage

    I really like your statement, Patsy. “Not one ounce of the pain we undergo is ever wasted.” I’m so glad God is a great recycler! 🙂

  • messymarriage

    Thanks so much for your sweet encouragement, Alicia. It certainly helps to know specifically what helps others in the posts here at MM. I really appreciate your ministry too. I’m always blessed by what I read over at your place. 🙂

  • messymarriage

    Hey Kim, you’ve asked a very involved kind of question, so I will probably respond in an email to you this week. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting! 🙂

  • amyscanderson

    What an encouraging perspective. I appreciate the truth that God redeems—one of my favorite truths to meditate on. I guess this is why I write. It speaks through what I experience and provides a redemption of it on some level. Wish I had a more specific answer~you gave me a lot to consider in a good way.

  • Pam A Mueller

    Great article, Beth!

  • He makes beauty from ashes…

  • messymarriage

    Thanks so much, Pam! I appreciate you encouragement and support! *Hugs*

  • messymarriage

    I’m so glad this is something for you to consider further. And yes, writing is always a great way to pay it forward in the lives of others, Amy. I’m so glad you stopped by and encouraged me!

  • messymarriage

    Don’t we serve a great God! Thanks so much for coming by, kd!

  • Beth, my husband, as wonderful as he is in many ways, has never been able to be emotionally intimate. He is still seeking his earth-father’s blessing, and has been crippled by a lack of love from his childhood. The only reason I divulged this to you is to talk about redemption and healing.
    Through my own pain and disillusionment in marriage, I’ve learned to lean solely on the Lord for comfort and support, whereas I otherwise would have leaned on my husband.
    Thank you for listening!
    My God-given purpose is set the captives free, figuratively speaking, and help them find inner healing.
    P.S. I want your haircut 😉

  • messymarriage

    Thanks so much for sharing, Debra. Yes, it’s difficult when a spouse can’t or won’t allow for an emotionally intimate relationship. I will pray for you in this struggle, but am so glad to hear that it is teaching you to rely completely on God! You might want to look back at some of the recent articles I did on “Father Issues” too. I don’t know if Father’s Day had me thinking more about this or not. But maybe there’s something there you or your husband could relate to or benefit from.

    Thanks so much for coming by and sharing, Debra–and also for the nice compliment on the hair! 🙂

  • Kelly Scott

    It is so difficult to see the purpose in the pain but God is always good and His mercies are new every morning. Thank you for the reminder of His faithfulness in our distress and thank you for linking up with us at NOBH. Every blessing as you transition to a life coach.

  • It’s hard to understand God’s plan when we are deep in the midst of pain. I know many of the struggles of my life have helped shape who I am and given me purpose. One example is my parent’s divorce. I believe my mom did it to protect my sisters and I and to help us to know that we shouldn’t be looking for “that kind of a man” in our spouse. By the grace of God, my father has gotten help and I have been slowly rebuilding a relationship with him, but that was after many years of absence and pain.

    Backing up again, though, if my parents hadn’t divorced, we wouldn’t have changed churches and my family and I wouldn’t have found such a wonderful church family and home, I wouldn’t have been involved in church activities and wouldn’t have gone on missions trips to areas filled with children who were the products of divorced families and I wouldn’t have been able to relate to them or to share my testimony as to how God is my Heavenly Father and He helped heal the brokenness in my life. I wouldn’t have attended the high school or college I did, when my mother’s parents graciously stepped in and offered to help pay for my education because they saw value in me and wanted to help me succeed. If I hadn’t gone to the college I did, I wouldn’t have made the amazing friends I have, or my husband, I wouldn’t have undergone the trials there that helped shape my passion for helping young women, especially through painful circumstances, and I wouldn’t have deepened my faith or grown in the Lord in the same way, especially through the church I attended that really extended the loving arms of Christ to me. I wouldn’t have gotten married to the man I know and love now, nor would I know his family or have moved closer to them for his sake. I wouldn’t be the same person today, and I thank God for taking something the world and the Devil meant for evil and made it into something for His glory and for my good.