God Can and Does Use Our Stories of Pain for a Purpose

Our stories matter. Not only the blessings, but also painful experiences. Shame or the fear of rejection can tell us not to talk about the hard parts. But other hurting souls need to hear them to feel less alone and more understood. And it’s the pain of the journey that makes God’s loving rescue and redemption shine even more gloriously.

“Carry one another’s burdens
and in this way you will fulfill
the requirements of the law of Christ
[that is, the law of Christian love].”
Galatians 6:2 AMP
“He consoles us as we endure the
pain and hardship of life so that
we may draw from His comfort and
share it with others in their own struggles.”
2 Corinthians 1:4 VOICE
Meaningful Quotes

“To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God’s grace means.” (Brennan Manning) 

“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” (Brennan Manning)

“Our stories of pain, adversity and overcoming in Christ are meant to serve as a testimony of God’s faithfulness and power, evidence that God really can take what the devil meant for evil and use it for good.”  (Tracie Miles)

“Because God gave you your makeup and superintended every moment of your past, including all the hardship, pain, and struggles, He wants to use your words in a unique manner. No one else can speak through your vocal cords, and, equally important, no one else has your story.” (Charles R. Swindoll)

“Out of fear, we repress, reshape and retell our stories in a way that displays our highlight reel instead of our messy behind the scenes acts. Although this version might seem easier to tell and may be well accepted, we do ourselves and others a huge injustice. When we tell a “highlight” story, we actually dull the very weapon God has given us to conquer the enemy, set people free and empower others.” (Kaitlin Garrison)

Scars
by I Am They
“Waking up to a new sunrise
Looking back from the other side
I can see now with open eyes
Darkest water and deepest pain
I wouldn’t trade it for anything
‘Cause my brokenness brought me to You
And these wounds are a story You’ll use
So I’m thankful for the scars
‘Cause without them I wouldn’t know Your heart
And I know they’ll always tell of who You are
So forever I am thankful for the scars…”

26 thoughts on “God Can and Does Use Our Stories of Pain for a Purpose

  1. It’s such a temptation to only put our highlight reels before the eyes of others, when they could so benefit from knowing life has been tough, and our past is full of mess-ups. Our times of trial, where God saw us through, are a much greater, and honest, testimony to His enduring love and grace.
    Blessings, Trudy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is a temptation, Martha. And it’s so true there are those who could benefit from knowing life has been tough. May God help us to share our honest testimonies of our trials and His enduring love and grace that got us through! Blessings to you, too!

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  2. Dear Trudy,
    Thank you so very much for the encouragement you offer here to be real and honest in sharing our stories. You have been such a blessing to me! Sometimes it feels too hard or too confusing to even know where to begin to share our stories. But you (and these quotes you have shared today) are so right, and God will help to bring voice to those stories, one at a time. I am becoming much more thankful for these scars and the places where they show God’s faithfulness. Blessings, love, and hugs to you, Dear Friend. xoxo

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    1. You have been a blessing to me as well, Bettie. I love how honestly and vulnerably you share your health and spiritual struggles and what God is teaching you through them. Yes, it does feel too hard and confusing to share some of our stories. There is hope in what you say that God will help to bring voice to those stories, one at a time. Thank you for this encouragement. This summer my youngest son told me to look up the song Scars. When he asked me later what I thought of it, I had to confess that sometimes it is still hard to be thankful for those scars. But as I listened to the song again yesterday, I saw it in a deeper way. I can be thankful that they lead me deeper into who He is and what He has suffered for me. Also that He uses my wounds to help others who are wounded. It’s just hard sometimes to be thankful for what has happened to me in the past, especially when those painful memories are triggered. But I’m so thankful for God’s unending patience with me. He is faithful to love us so unconditionally, isn’t He? Blessings, love, and hugs to you, too! xoxo May we more and more deeply be thankful for those scars!

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  3. Trudy, once again you and I are on a similar wavelength! The Lord has had me on a journey through several trials at once and I am just now (after following Him for 18 years) learning how to truly praise Him not just IN the storm, but FOR the storm. I am learning how to take Him at His word when he says, “For I know the plans I have for you…” I don’t know for sure how any of my trials will end, but I know that He will not let any of the pain be wasted – it’s for me and it’s for the people I can encourage on their journeys as well. Isn’t He good? 🙂 Blessings and love to you!

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    1. It’s a continuing process, isn’t it, Liz? Yes, He is good! 🙂 Thank you for reminding me that He never lets any of our pain be wasted. May He give both of us courage to share our stories and grace to praise Him FOR the storm! Blessings and love to you, too!

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  4. This is beautiful, Trudy! I agree, those painful, broken parts of our stories are just as important as the happier parts and God can work through them to bless others. If we only share the highlights, people will wonder why they struggle at times, but if we share the difficult parts we can share about God’s love an faithfulness in the midst of the hard things. Thank you for the way you share so honestly and use your story to bless others. Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Thank you, Lesley. I have so often been blessed by you honestly sharing those painful, broken parts along with how God got you through. It’s so true that people may wonder why they struggle at times when they hear only the happier parts. I’ve been there… Love and blessings to you, too! May God help us to share both the painful, broken parts along with His rescuing, redeeming love!

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  5. I do see what you mean, sometimes it is a fine line. I try to be encouraging without complaining, but I was honest enough to say I was writing with an ice pack around my neck the other day, But I truly know He left us His peace and paid a high price, praying for wisdom and discernment on what to share for all of us.

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    1. Thank you for your honest thoughts, Rebecca. I, too, struggle with fear that I might be complaining. But I think complaining is more about annoyance of our situation (I need to remember that, too). When we honestly share our struggles along with how God brought us through it or what lessons He is teaching us, the honor goes to Him for His rescue and redemption. But it has to be the right time, too, doesn’t it? I can’t tell you how often I’ve deleted words over the years as they seemed all about me or they were between God and myself as a way of processing. I hope this makes sense… As I wrote this post, I thought of the many examples God gives us in His Word of people like David, Job, and so many others who went through deep trials and who honestly shared their stories. It makes us feel less alone and more understood. And when we see how God rescues and revives them, it gives such hope, doesn’t it? Yes, Jesus definitely paid a high price for us! I love your prayer. Yes, may God give us wisdom and discernment for what to share!

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      1. Thank you Trudy, I think my problem with complaining is more that other people perceive it that way when it is just a comment or offering correction they don’t want to accept. Some people are just going to be unhappy no matter what. My personal pain physical and mental, most people will never know because I trust the Lord with it.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi again, Rebecca. I just left a comment at your last post, but it disappeared. When I tried again, it said it’s duplicated. Is it possible in your spam? I can’t find your email, so I’ll just share my comment here, hoping you’ll read it: “I love this spin on autumn as also being a time of refreshing and renewal, Rebecca. Yes, I want to be golden and red for Jesus! Love and blessings to you!”

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  6. You had me at the butterfly! So absolutely gorgeous and I love all those quotes. We all of a unique story and unique gifts, and God wants us to use them to build His kingdom. That could be sharing our stories to others through words and I thank you for sharing yours.

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    1. The butterfly portrays broken but beautiful, doesn’t it? Unique stories and unique gifts. Yes, Lynn! Thank you for this reminder. It’s amazing that God has created each of us as unique masterpieces, isn’t it? May God give us grace to use our stories and our gifts to His honor and to the welfare of others!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Lois. And for allowing God to use you and your story for His purposes as well. Especially in the past couple of years, I have seen so much of God’s faithfulness as He carried you through being a caretaker for your parents and then losing them both so quickly after each other. May God further strengthen you! Love and hugs to you, too! May God give us grace and guidance to keep using our stories for His purposes!

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  7. Trudy, this is such a beautiful, truth-filled post. God does use our stories, perhaps not as we’re living them, but definitely when we’ve come through a trial or heartache. And that quote by Kaitlin Garrison really spoke to my heart. When we are inauthentic, our veneers actually keep people at a distance.

    It’s when we are honest about the messy parts of our story that others can find hope. And that’s when Jesus shines the most brightly through us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That quote spoke to my heart, too, Jeanne. Especially that part of how when we aren’t authentic, “we actually dull the very weapon God has given us to conquer the enemy, set people free and empower others.” Powerful. May God give us grace and courage to be authentic so the enemy can be silenced and others can be set free and empowered by the grace of God!

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    1. There’s depths of meaning in his quote, for sure, Linda. I have one of his books, a devotional called Wisdom For the Way: Wise Words for Busy People. I forgot all about it until you mentioned wanting to add a book or two of his to your reading stack. It has been years since I read it. I just recovered it from my book shelf. 🙂 The short devotions are headed by a Bible verse. And without daily dates. 🙂 May we use the unique makeup God has given us to tell our unique stories to His honor!

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