Choosing Purpose Over Pain
For Each of my blogpost’s I normally ponder on the Topic at least a week in advance and I ask the Holy Spirit to speak through me. This week, however, it seems like the Holy Spirit wants to speak to me and anyone else who may be going through a season of pain. It’s currently 12 am Sunday 17th September 2017 and I sit in bed pondering on various struggles I have and am overcoming in my life. As I ponder, the Holy Spirit continuously nudges me with the reminder, “ This is pain but there is a purpose”.
This is probably going to be a very short post but here you go-
This week, I had the privilege to go back to Day Waterman (where I’d spent years 10 & 11), to speak to the current year 11’s whom are bracing themselves for their GCSE’s ahead and life that awaits them. The whole experience was very emotional for me not just because I essentially had to walk down memory lane remembering some really dark times in my youth, but, also the fact that through speaking to them, I too was able to remember my journey since and how in every season of pain I experienced, God had somehow managed to show me the purpose that was attached to them. While I do not think every season of pain is brought by God ( I believe there is such a thing as Godly Sorrow 2 Corinthians 7:10, and I'd post on this much later), I do believe he will use it to his glory and will bring purpose to the pain if you submit this pain to God.
Pain can be brought about by your own mistakes, i.e sins ( God doesn’t punish you, sin has its own consequences), other peoples decisions, failures, disappointments e.t.c. But God is fully able to use your temporary season of pain to do many things, one of which is to teach you a few things in order to enhance your growth.
When I got rejected from Oxford and UCL, the second time, I spent a lot of time with God trying to understand why he just wouldn’t let me get in. One may say, maybe you just aren’t good enough or rather your application was probably weak and maybe you’re right, maybe my straight A’s and A*’s, very confident Personal Statement and good recommendations weren’t good enough. But that was never what I depended on anyway, It was always God’s ability that I relied on to get me into those universities and as we know, God is more than able. So I had to sit down and ask, God if you’re able, why did you do it for them and not for me? I had enough faith to move mountains and all God needs is faith like a mustard seed so, why?
The simple but hard to accept answer is that it was not God’s will for my life. Hard to accept because I simply could not understand. In my eyes, Oxford at least, was perfect for me and I had prayed and fasted for it for about 3 years now so why? With the first rejection, I thought oh okay, it’s cause I didn’t even like Law as much so no biggie, with the second rejection, I was very very confused. However because I had spent a lot of time with God before and after the rejection happened, God was able to shed light on why he did not permit me to go there. Looking back on it, he had given me many signs to show me that it was not his will, but how many of us know that when you really want something, not even God can stop you from pursuing it because we have free will? so sometimes he allows us to do what we want but is ready to catch us when we fall.
And that’s exactly what he did,
he caught me.
Through spending time with him and getting to know myself more this last year, each day I see why I could never have survived in Oxford. If I am already a bit anxious about the workload that’s coming my way once I start in Warwick, how much more in Oxford? Asides that, God showed me how I was actually compromising by choosing Oxford. There are some opportunities provided at Warwick that I had personally sought for myself in uni but I was so blinded by the beauty in Oxford that I forgot the things that I had wanted for myself. This is no diss to the university as it would have been an amazing opportunity for me to study there as the problem is not that Oxford was not right, it was that Oxford was not right for me and only through submitting to God’s will was I ever to understand and accept that. You might be sceptical saying, “this is probably what she says to herself to ease her pain” and you may be right, but I’d rather be free in God’s perspective than be bound by my pain.
You may still be thinking to yourself, “this still doesn’t explain why you had to go through that”.
And that’s where I need to stop you, it’s not that I “Had” to go through that, it’s that the decisions I made allowed me go through that and God used it as an opportunity to teach me some lessons. Through the last two years of dealing with the immediate effects of those rejections, I have been able to grow like I could never have imagined. My pain forced me into a place of total surrender to God’s will and plan for my life and as I begin to walk in his ways, I am already receiving the fruit of it. It’s not that I would not have received this if I didn’t go through this pain, it’s that God used this pain as an opportunity to discipline me and help me grow. (Disclaimer: Discipline is not an act of punishment, God disciplines those he loves). A lot of things have been birthed from this pain, talesofmyyouth itself was birthed from it. From this pain, I have been able to help other people not just from these blog posts but through personal conversations which don’t only relate to education but relate to a lot of things I learnt whilst going through this season. The rejection led me to take a gap year in which has been the best year of my life so far. My self-love, confidence and worth levels are at it’s highest ever, not because of something physical but because of what God has done in my heart this year.
I said earlier that not every pain is caused by your own decisions and that’s true and not every pain comes in the form in which I explained above and that too is true BUT, every pain can be overcome by submitting it into God’s hands and letting God show you his perspective. Only You have the choice of whether or not you want to overcome your pain or let your pain overcome you.
As I write this, I am reminded of how once I submitted my pain to God, he didn’t let any tear or hurt go unredeemed and that encourages me for the inevitable pain that awaits in the life ahead as God never promised there will be no troubles, he promised he will be with us in the midst of our troubles. I have so much more to say about the topic of pain and purpose but this is all for now. I hope that this has been as encouraging for you to read as it has been for me to write. I pray that every pain you may be going through right now, you will be able to look back on it one day and utter nothing but “Thank you Lord” because that is all I have to say now,
Thank you, Lord.