They died. Someone left you. You had a miscarriage. They cheated. Your marriage ended. They went to prison. They lied. Your heart was broken. You found yourself in a situation you should have never been in. You messed up. You had the wrong crowd in your corner. You found yourself in an abusive marriage. You gave up. You didn’t finish what you started. You didn’t get that break. You didn’t get that gig. You didn’t get the promotion. You lost your job. You lost everything.

So what happens next? Where do you go from here? Who are you after all of the trauma? Who are you after the emotional and physical abuse? The truth is, no one will ever know if you don’t survive it. There are people waiting to hear your story. You have a story to tell. There are people’s lives that are depending upon your survival. There are people that need to see you come out of the tragic and dreadful mishaps of life. There are people watching. Though our experiences may be painful, we have to remember that our experiences are not for us. They’re for other people.

It is what it is. It happened. It was real. It almost killed you. It almost tore you apart to pieces. It literally almost snatched the life out of you. But you survived. You survived the pain. You survived the loss. You survived the hurt. You thought you’d never smile again, but you did. You thought you’d never laugh again, but you have. You thought you’d never make it through, but you made it. Though you may still have the scar, you made it and you have earned every right to try to help someone else. At some point, we have to learn how to turn our pain into purpose or our pain and suffering will go to waste. How do you turn your pain into purpose? How do you make something good of the very thing that seemed so bad? How do you smile after the storm? How do you keep getting up and pressing forward in the midst of your daily internal struggles and battles? Jesus. Jesus is the answer.

Your strength lies in Jesus Christ. Not humans. Not cars. Not jobs or careers. Not money. Not materials. Not clothes. Your strength is in none of this. Your strength is in Him. If you don’t have Him, go find him and go seek after him diligently. Spend time with Him daily. Give Him your whole heart. You need Him. Having a relationship with Christ is undoubtedly necessary. He will show you who you are in Him. He will place your feet on the path created for your feet. He will help you find your purpose in Him. Despite the pain, despite the unfortunate circumstances, despite the people who walked away, despite the people said you would never amount to anything- He will help you fulfill your purpose and become all that He created you to be.

Remember, everything that God allows you to go through was known and ordained by God before the beginning of time. Our purpose depends on the pain. Pain is the beginning and the first stepping stone towards your purpose. If you would have never gotten hurt, you would have never been able to minister to other people and help them. If they would have never left you, you wouldn’t have learned who God is and how He is enough. If they would have never looked over you, you would have never known what it was to be truly chosen for something that was designed for you and you only. If you would have never made that mistake, you would have never learned that lesson. If they would have never died, you would have never truly valued the lessons that they taught you. There’s truly value and purpose in pain!

While pain is extremely uncomfortable, your pain has purpose. Allow it to teach you. Allow it to grow you. Allow it to help you become all that God has called you to be. While everything may not have gone the way you planned it, it still happened the way God ordained for it to happen. Nothing just happens. Everything that God ordains is in perfect order. While we sometimes step out of His plan by choosing choices that are not in alignment with His will for our lives, not all pain is a result of something that we did. Sometimes, He just wants to teach us something. Job did nothing to deserve the loss of everything he had. Joseph did nothing to deserve prison for 13 years. Jesus did nothing to deserve crucifixion. Job would have never received double. Joseph would have never become the Prince of Egypt. Jesus would have never saved you and I had he never gave Himself for us.

You can’t help someone else if you haven’t been through it. Don’t despise the pain. Don’t despise the struggle. Grow through it gracefully. Don’t despise the setbacks. They’re there for a reason. Use them on purpose! Don’t waste the lessons this season. There’s someone waiting on you to share. There’s someone waiting on you to tell them how to make it out. There’s someone waiting on you to speak life into their situation. All is not lost. Don’t waste this season. Somebody is waiting for you.