Turning Pain Into Purpose

purpose - isolated text in vintage letterpress wood type stained by color inks

Right now it feels as though my heart is going to explode.  It feels like it’s going to explode with love and joy and a depth of emotion I haven’t felt in such a long time.  I sit here amazed, not even knowing what to write.

For the last few months, I’ve been working on turning my past experiences into something useful and hopefully helpful for others.  The pain and suffering I have experienced in life often gets stuck inside me until I’m able to turn it around for good.  It feels like I’m some sort of human transformation machine where pain comes in and good must come out or else it gets stuck inside me, turns toxic, and I start to self-destruct.  The only way to find resolution is to help other people and turn it all around for good.

The first project I started was the idea of my therapist.  She saw that I was struggling to make sense of the sexual assault I experienced a few years ago and that until I turned it into purpose, I would continue to walk around the same emotional cul-de-sac of confusion and pain.  She had the most brilliant idea that has not only helped me but is also helping others.  I’ll write more on that project after it’s finished…but it’s a good one!  🙂

When I felt how much that project was helping both myself and others, I decided the principle needed to be applied to more than just the sexual assault.  I decided to start speaking out about my experiences of being psychologically and emotionally abused as well.  At first, I didn’t think anyone would care, much less listen.  But in just a few months I’ve been shown that my experiences are being used to help many other people who are also struggling to make sense of their lives.  This new reality I find myself in is both a healing balm and a huge motivator to continue.

This morning I got an email from a man saying he’s been tremendously helped by my story and experiences.  He said he felt like he wanted to give back somehow.  He offered to donate to a charity on my behalf and I told him about the charity I just went to Africa with.  He is going to donate to them as a way of giving back to me for the help I gave.  And the circle is now complete.  Except it isn’t, because those kids are going to be loved and helped in ways they will turn into good as well.  And the light of love will just keep growing and growing.

I sit here overwhelmed, with tears in my eyes and a huge knot in my chest, knowing that God is turning my pain into purpose.  That even while I am still healing from it all, part of that healing involves helping other people heal too.  And the results are overflowing to others to spread goodness and light and love in ways I never would have imagine.  All I can do is sit here in utter amazement and gratitude, knowing that God has a purpose for the pain and that my pain will be used to help others.  For the first time in my life, I can look at it with a sense of thankfulness.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
– Romans 8:28

5 thoughts on “Turning Pain Into Purpose

  1. Pingback: Turning Pain Into Purpose « Pursuit of Purpose Project

  2. Ruth, I was just thinking/praying about you the other day. Glad to hear from you and in such a powerful, transformed way. God is amazing and merciful and kind, He will redeem. So grateful for the joy in your words and your spirit. Look forward to hearing more as His grace in your life unfolds and unfurls! ❤

    • Thank you Jennifer! I am so thankful for your prayers. God is putting together pieces that have been long broken, and He is doing great things. ❤

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