Following on from my last post…

My favourite chapter in Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist was the one Shauna wrote on being a writer. It encouraged me as I related to the discipline of having to devote time to write. However the chapter that spoke to me at a deeper level was the one she wrote about two types of emotional pain. Firstly, “there’s the anxiety and fear I felt when we couldn’t sell our house.” Secondly, “there’s the sadness I felt when I lost the baby or when my grandma passed away.”

Shauna explains “The first kind, I think, is the kind that invites us to grow. The second kind is the kind that invites us to mourn.” And the trick is knowing the difference between the two. The first kind is hardest to deal with because when we reflect we may find at the centre of the pain is the problem, “I’m not getting what I want” which becomes an invitation to grow. This is not what you want to hear when you are in pain!

Nevertheless I found it very helpful to think about “pain” in this way and acknowledge that God uses the difficult circumstances in my life to shape me into the person he wants me to be. Viewed like this, instead of fighting against my circumstances, I can change my perspective and consider, am I actually learning what God is trying to teach me?