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“Am I the only one to suffer?  Why me?”

 Dear friends,

 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

 Some time ago, Sara sat weeping in my office, asking, “What does God want from me?  Why would He allow my husband to be taken from me?  There is absolutely no reason for anything this horrible to have happened.”  Sara’s husband had suffered a very long term, painful death from cancer leaving her with 2 small children to raise.  She had struggled to understand and make sense of what all this meant:  her husband’s suffering, the devastating loss and loneliness from losing her best friend, and the loss of her children’s father.

 God our Father allows difficulties to touch our lives.  At times, the pain seems to suffocate our life, feelings and hope for the future.  Sara was barely able to see past the minutes of each day, much less the weeks that lay head of her.  She “knew” she did not have the strength or even the desire to go on.  The only thing that kept her going from day to day was her children.

 So many clients have asked, “Am I the only one to suffer?  Why me?”  Sooner or later we all experience life changing problems.  We all suffer.  No one is immune.

  Ideally, struggling with these challenges stretches us into more sensitive, caring, empathetic individuals, creating more awareness and depth.  Experiencing the full extent of the pain of loss, disfigurement, disease, death, divorce, loneliness, or rejection cannot help but impact our personality, molding us into someone different.  Pain changes us.

 You may say, “But I don’t want to be ‘stretched.’  I already understand the suffering of others.”  And while you may, going through hard times will create the potential of increasing depth and resilience.  Something related to Christ’s suffering.  A different way we can understand Him.  Hebrews 2:18 says, “Since He Himself has gone through suffering and temptation, he is able to help us when we are being tempted.”

 God comforts us.  It may be through another person, scripture, quiet time,  the most common or the most unusual event.  It may take a week, a month, a year, a decade.  It will take the time that it requires for you to adjust and accept the circumstances and to heal into who you will become.

 Sara eventually was able to cope with her pain and loss even though she still had days where she struggled.

 All of these issues and so many more “grow” us in ways we would never ask for if we knew what was involved in the growing.  But God knows.  He knows what each of us needs in order to become more Christ like, more seasoned, more empathetic, patient, and persevering in this life.

 In prayer that God would meet you where you are, with compassion and His healing love,

 Mary