I am writing about pain this week because it is something I am working through in my own life and wanted to share it with you. Some weeks ago marked my adoption from Russia, 13 years ago. I have had many of these weeks come and go over the years, but this year it is different. This year, it is bittersweet because I can’t stop thinking about my biological family somewhere across the ocean. In the past it was easier because I had forgotten their names and faces, but this year, I found their names again. There are days when I truly want to sit down and bawl my eyes out, but I just push the tears back down and keep living. I think about them, I pray for them, but the pain of losing them never fully fades away.
What does this have to do with your life?
Well, I think it is a common theme that all adopted children have, pain and loss. What really matters though is what we do with the pain. Do we push it down, do we ignore it, do we use laughter as a cover, do we become bitter, do we hurt others, so they can understand what’s going on inside of you, or have we learned to hand it over, continually, daily, to God?
For many years, I used a great big smile to cover up the overwhelming pain I felt over the loss of my birth family. I seemed like the happiest adopted little girl, but my facade began to crack as I began to be more independent. I was blessed with a mentor who wouldn't play along with my games, and a God who was committed to my healing. I have learned that God respects us as human beings and what we have walked through. He wants to restore what people have broken or hurt inside and He knows it is a lifelong process that can’t be rushed.
“You are a pearl of great price”… A pearl is a beautiful thing, but it is only is created by extreme pain. They have always fascinated me, pearls. A grain of sand falls into a living mollusk shell, it is trapped in the softest spot and out of pain and shock, and the mollusk goes to work to get rid of the cause for its pain. Over time, it creates something beautiful from all the pain, a pearl, which is then sold for a high price because of its high value.
I believe that is what God is saying to you and me when He says , “You are a pearl of great price”…That if you only let me help you, if you only let me love you. If you only looked around, you would see that I am right there beside you. ..through all this pain, despite of all this pain, I can make something beautiful!
Is it going to be easy or pleasant or instant? Sadly no, but it is a journey to the heart of God. What you have endured matters in God eyes, and He will use it for something good, if we let Him have the painful experiences of our lives. Trusting God sometimes with the deepest, darkest, most painful areas of our lives is really scary and we would rather not then take that chance. Right? But we have a God who is faithful, gentle, loving, understanding, and patient. Who sees us for what we can be, with our entire potential, not who we once were. He wants to hear your voice; nothing you are ever going to say to God is going to shock Him. He has been loving and walking with deeply hurt people for thousands of years.
“I TOOK YOU FROM THE ENDS OF THE EARTH, FROM ITS FARTHEST CORNERS I CALLED YOU, I SAID YOU ARE MY SERVANT; I HAVE CHOSEN YOU AND I HAVE NOT REJECTED YOU, SO DO NOT FEAR FOR I AM WITH YOU, DO NOT BE DISMAYED FOR I AM YOUR GOD I WILL STRENGTHEN YOU AND HELP YOU AND I WILL UPHOLD YOU WITH MY RIGHTEOUS RIGHT ARM. SEE THE FORMER THINGS I HAVE TAKEN AND THE NEW THINGS I DECLARE, BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, SINCE YOU ARE HONORED AND PRECIOUS IN MY SIGHT I WILL GIVE MEN IN EXCHANGE FOR YOU AND PEOPLE IN EXCHANGE FOR YOUR LIFE. I HAVE LOVED YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE AND I HAVE DRAWN YOU WITH LOVING KINDNESS. I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD WHO TEACHES YOU WHAT IS BEST FOR YOU AND DIRECTS YOU IN THE WAY YOU SHOULD GO”….
Today, I encourage you to go to God with your past, with your pain, and let Him begin a work in you that will create a pearl of great price.
(Isaiah 41:9-10, 42:9, 43:4, 48:17, and Jeremiah 3:3)