“They say that pain changes people for the better, that it’s the road to becoming a meaningful and loving person… So what do you do if you’ve been struggling with it for years, only to find that you’re worse off? I’ve come to this point in life where I’m constantly wondering if I’ll ever become the person I know I should be, and the more pain I’ve faced, that dream seems to have run farther from me.
A few years ago, I had battled through the darkest years of my life and come out with blistering joy. The pain hadn’t changed, but something else had. The last three years, I’ve fallen back so much. Almost daily I’ve wished to be back to those days when I had joy. Somehow, I’ve fallen into this pattern of, ‘If I could only do this or have that, then I would have joy again,’ yet those things came and went, and still joy evaded me. I’ve come to find that there is no ‘thing’ we can attain that will give us joy that endures. Everyday that I’ve wished to be back in ‘the good ol’ days’ has stolen today away from me.
And so I’ve come to this point, realizing that I can’t turn my pain into some sort of means to self-improvement, and that joy is not something buried in the sand for me to uncover…
Pain. 7 years of its faithfulness to me and I still can’t explain it.
Joy. How can have it when I’ve only become worse of a man through these 7 years?
I find that joy comes only in the present moment. It cannot exist in past or the future, it can only be had in the ‘now.’ What about the pain? Even in the midst of it, joy comes because of the promise of Home; a new life, where darkness, striving, and heartache are no longer; where broken bodies are made new; where the chains of tears and pain are undone. Yet not just the promise of Home, it is only secondary to the truest reason for joy: which is the faithfulness and nearness of Christ in my pain. That is something I cannot describe to you with words, but this alone: ‘He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3),’ and, ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18).’ There is something unique about being brokenhearted; He is close.”