The Gift of Pain – Wisdom from Abuse

The Gift of Pain

The Gift of Pain – Wisdom from Abuse

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.


8 thoughts on “The Gift of Pain – Wisdom from Abuse

  1. Cathy

    These three posts express so well what my life is about. I am a survivor NOT victim of abuse (all types), neglect, abandonment, and more. I will celebrate 25 years clean and sober on April 11. I started writing to share my faith,hope, and experience with others. I am using my blog to share and I hope to put my story in book form as well. In my About Cathy’s Voice page, I say, “When people ask me why I share my life and my story so openly, I tell them, “because I have to.” I was in my 30′s before I knew anyone ever felt like I did. I didn’t understand other people had experienced the same pain, the same shame, and the same feeling I had.” Thank you for letting others talk about this so openly.

    1. F. Remy Diederich Post author

      Glad you are sharing your story Cathy. Sharing yours invites/encourages others to share theirs and find the healing they need. That’s where it starts. Good luck on the book!

  2. Gloria Ames

    Very well written, Remy. I am thankful God has brought me healing from my past abuses and that He now allows me to extend hope to others. Thank you for the timely encouragement.

  3. The Beer Drinking Angel

    This is exactly what the Bible tells us to do: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

    I have suffered so much in my 31 years on this planet and it just isn’t enough to say, “Well, that sucked. I’m glad it’s over.” It has only been when I have allowed God to use me in the process of working ALL things, even those horrific experiences, together for good that I have found the greatest healing for my heart. It is in those moments when I can look someone square in the eye and honestly say, “I understand. I’ve been there,” that I experience the most freedom from my own pain and can actually find value in all that I’ve suffered.

    That is the GOOD NEWS of the gospel… that Jesus has the power to redeem ALL things: the most abhorrent, the most depressing, the most hopeless situations.

  4. CJ

    Well, I certainly have been given the “gift” of pain. 17 years (from age 3 to 20) of horrendous abuse that began with the murder of my mother and twin sister. For more than 20 years I have recovered memories with the help of counseling, books, and talking until I turn blue. So many times I have believed my past was in the past so I can move on, then there is another memory, and another, and another. My goal has been to move on so I can help others but I never get there. It is like swimming in mud!

    Now, I guess I have given up. I am tired of trying and have nothing to help anyone with. I am becoming a hermit in my own home and have pulled away from everyone but my husband and son. I am certainly “playing the victim” and I’m very good at it. At the age of 54, my dreams of being an author and public speaker have died.

    I understand the difference between shame and guilt. I know that God holds me in the palm of his hand and he loves me beyond measure. I just can’t say that I love him. I don’t believe he caused or allowed my abuse. I believe he did everything to prevent it and stop it, but these people just wouldn’t listen to him.

    What I don’t understand is why I continue to live with this pain. Does it EVER go away?! Is there anyone on this earth who can help me?

    1. F. Remy Diederich

      Thanks for sharing this. I can feel your frustration in your words. Many people at my church have received help from Theophostic Prayer to deal with these kinds of memories. You might want to look into it at It’s tempting to give up. No one could blame you for it. But I’d hate to see you shut down. I always want to believe that God has an answer for people.

      1. CJ

        Thanks for your reply. I have looked through the Theophostic Prayer website. It sounds like a good thing if you can find someone who can be trusted and is sincere in their desire to help people like me. I don’t trust easily so I know I am standing in the way of finding the healing I desire. But I’ve been let down too many times, either by broken promises or by my own expectations. Just don’t get how to change that.

Comments are closed.