Following is an excerpt from a message I shared recently called “Walking with God in the Desert”. It is a look at finding God in hard times. I called it The Gift of Pain.
Today’s piece addresses abuse victims specifically but is meant for anyone who has gone through a time of suffering. I think it’s such a sensitive topic and I might be misunderstood. I’d like to hear back from you…especially if you’ve been abused…to see if you find this helpful at all. Please read parts one and two first to give you context.
The Gift of Pain
If you’ve been abused then you know something that others don’t know. You know a side to life that others haven’t seen or experienced. And you have a choice how you view your life. You can focus on what has been stolen from you and go through life feeling crippled…living the life of a victim. Or you can see that you’ve been given insight into a side of life that few people have and use it for good. Yes, something has been taken from you but something has also been given. You undoubtedly don’t like what was given or how you received it. But the question is…do you want to use what you’ve been given to help others?
Abuse Brings Wisdom
Consider this. If I’ve been abused and I’m looking to talk to someone and I have the choice of talking to you (the abused) or talking to someone who hasn’t been abused…who do I want to talk to? I want to talk to you. That’s a no-brainer. Why? Because you have something the other person doesn’t have. I don’t look at you as deficient or handicapped. I look at you as rich in experience and wisdom – a great resource to my pain. What you have is priceless.
That is both ironic and possibly offensive. It’s ironic because who would ever think that the result of abuse could be priceless? But it could also be offensive because you may not want to assess any value to something that cost you so much. In fact, you might say. I don’t want to be a great resource. I never asked for this. I don’t care if you think it’s priceless. I don’t want to have anything to do with it.
True. I understand these feelings. They are valid. But you can’t unscramble the eggs. You can’t change your situation. So you can either let the abuse haunt you and continue to steal from you for life or you can overcome it and let God turn what was meant for evil into something good.
The Price of Wisdom
You earned that wisdom. You paid a great price/tuition for that wisdom, so why would you want to waste it? That’s like going to medical school and working in a factory. But that’s exactly what happens with so many people. They go through hard times and then waste the experience. They hunker down, pull the sheets up over their head, hold their breath and ride it out…praying to God that they’ll survive.
Then when it’s over they want to bury it…act like it never happened. They put as much distance between themselves and their pain as they can. Or they play the victim and spend their life complaining and seeking sympathy.
But they’ve been given a gift…the gift of pain. Imagine the good that could come if they would share it with those who have suffered like them.
Note; I don’t think asking an abuse victim to turn around and immediately help others is healthy. They need to process their pain. This message is directed to people who have suffered in the past and now feel stuck in past pain. I’m asking them to consider using their wisdom to help others. Let me know your thoughts by commenting below.
- Spotting the Signs of Emotional Abuse (everydayhealth.com)