What is pain birthing in your life?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

photo by Jesse
Saturday morning and it is still dark.  For the past few weeks I have stared numbly at Facebook during my precious quiet hours, but this morning I hoped inspiration would meet me in the coffee shop.


So.  I read a few blogs.

First I opened Deeper Story's piece on marrying wrong.  I could feel the pain and frustration in her words.  The anger of working in the red, digging hard for one more ounce of yourself to give ... and it's never, ever enough.  I could feel the tightness in her chest, the constriction in her throat.  Her words are choppy and incomplete because it's so much, so big, a paragraph just can't contain it.  

I took a deep breath on her behalf.

Peace, friend.  Peace to you.

Then I opened a piece written by a friend from church.  I found these words:

"She had a hard labor.  She worked, and worked, and worked.  When she couldn’t take it any more, her contractions gave her enough of a break that both of them were able to snooze for half an hour before we got things going again in earnest. And still, it took all night.  She squeezed their beautiful daughter into the dry world at sunrise.  Tears of joy and laughter replaced the fear, the weeping, the pain and frustration..."

My mind connected the two, a wife's frustration superimposed on a new mother's labor.  And I wondered, what will her pain birth?

My priest said something a few weeks ago that has stayed with me.  Speaking of the antagonist in one of the parables, he said, "He did not allow the experiences of his life to shape his heart more closely into heart of Christ."  I have thought about it since.  We all have opportunities to fully experience life.  Marriages fall apart, bodies break down, cars crash, babies don't develop the way they should.  Pain is a hard, hard part of every life.  But how do our experiences shape us?  What shapes do our hearts take as a result?

In some areas - family life, for example - my anxiety has birthed grace.  Grace that feels like freedom, big and wide and open, full of fresh air and sunshine.  I say it every chance I get, because I remember that constricting chest.  I remember starving for grace, how its lack colored every aspect of my life.  Most days I write to offer the grace I desperately needed back then.  

But in other areas, pain has birthed hesitation and uncertainty.  I'm more likely to remain distant, to see hope as foolish or immature.  In some situations I pray for grace, and wait for it to show up.

I think about the timing of our lives, how my husband's accident happened just as our marriage began to heal.  It baffles me.  I believe God is at work.  Some day I will see threads of grace and love connecting the events of the past six months, but for now, all I can do is wonder.  

As I sit in the coffee shop not-writing, I ask my questions again.  How will pain shape our hearts?  Who will we be on the other side of it?


  1. Sometimes it is so hard to let pain shape your heart into something and someone good--especially when all you want to do is push the pain as far away as possible.

    Thank you for this.

    1. No doubt - allowing something good to form out of something awful is so, so hard.

      Peace to you.

  2. I am wondering this for me. It was a hard morning. I try to see myself on the other side of raising Haydn.

    I often wonder this for Savannah. Does she even have an idea of the pain her daddy feels missing her, longing for relationship? What kind of person will she become?

  3. Ohhh this IS good food for thought. Thankyou x



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