And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV
My pastor, Henry Boyd, taught that pain, suffering, and trauma block our imagination and limit our perspective. It made me wonder how people survive it.
This reminded me of a time I was overwhelmed as a new single mom. I was dealing with two babies in diapers while their father harassed me. I saw how it blocked my imagination, and limited my perspective. So much so that when a friend was in need, I did not recognize how I could help.
It was September of 1997, and my friend had given birth to a baby boy. He came out blue. I said a prayer for them. That was all I thought I could do during my pain and suffering.
The baby was not breathing and had to be sent an hour away to a specialist hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. My friend, her husband and two other children were staying at the Ronald McDonald house. When I got that news, even in my own pain, I felt an urgency to go to my friend. I packed up my two and three year olds, and drove an hour away to help her.
My friend’s need was the catalyst that jump started my emotions of empathy, love, and care. It was on a Thursday when I arrived at the Ronald McDonald House. Coming to my friend’s aid allowed her and her husband to be together with their newborn through the procedures. Also, bringing my children with me helped their sons because they were able to play with familiar friends. I was able to tend to the children for the long hours at Ronald McDonald House while their parents were at the hospital.
At one point, I got to hold their newborn baby at the hospital. It was at this point that they knew the baby might not last much longer.
The following Sunday, I woke up and the birds were singing. The sky was so blue. I prepared to head to the hospital for a time of devotion with the mother, since we were missing church. Before I could leave, the phone on the wall rang. The baby had passed away.
I could not imagine what would have happened if I waited until I could get myself together before helping my friend. Would I have missed the opportunity to help because I was trying to overcome my own pain, suffering, and trauma?
Do you ever feel unqualified when God asks you to do something? Do you feel unprepared or limited?
There is an old sport saying. Sometimes, we must learn how to “play” hurt.
All of my pain, suffering, and trauma had not disappeared before I helped my friend and her family. God gave me the grace to help. To move forward, even.
Do you ever wonder how people survive through pain, suffering or trauma? Could you be a catalyst to help them overcome the blocks and limits that seem to keep them stuck? Even if you don’t feel completely prepared?
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)
Beliefs represented by individual authors are not necessarily shared by all members of ICW.