You know the old saying, “Hurt people, hurt people.”
How true. When we are carrying pain from traumas from childhood, or other pain from rejection, or any reason at all, and we do not allow it to be healed, it’s easy for us to “project” our pain onto other people. We can have a hair trigger, be easily hurt and offended, being triggered by current issues that connect to old pain and hurt.
This does not help you or the people around you. It insulates you from receiving help, emotional connection and emotional intimacy, and mutual healing. It keeps you potentially in a place of anger, victimization, and blaming, while you never allow yourself to get to a better, new place in your own life, and freedom from pain dominating your life.
So how do we allow our pain to be transformed into purpose?
It starts with your thought life. We need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. But how? By taking our thoughts captive to God’s Truth.
But what does that mean?
There are many areas in our mindsets that have become “strongholds”, or patterned ways of thinking that have ingrained themselves into out hearts. These are called strongholds because they keep a grip on us, causing us to think in patterned, negative ways that lead us into destructive cycles, like victimization, blaming, fear, anger, resentment, unforgiveness… never allowing us to let our pain be healed, so that I can allow the pain to be transformed into faith essentially, and even have it be a benefit for someone else.
There are, of course, many extreme examples of people who have faced devastating pain in many ways, that have not only oercome the pain in their lives, but have allowed it to be transformed into massive healing for multitudes of others.
Joni Erickson Tada, for example, was paralyzed at the age of 17 in a diving accident. Now 71 years old, her work and ministry have touched the lives of millions through the years.
Another notable example would be Nick Vujicic. Born without limbs, he reaches millions all over the world with his “Life Without Limbs” ministry. He is powerfully married with a beautiful and prosperous family. Truly a continuous story of daily life transformation.
Here are just a few of some of Nick’s inspirational quotes. If you can finish this reading today and not be grateful for your pain, realize the same God who gives Nick the perpetual grace he needs moment by moment is available to you too… to heal and transform your pain, and have it emerge as purpose.
1. “No matter who you are, no matter what you’re going through, God knows it. He is with you. He is going to pull you through.”
2. “Often people ask how I manage to be happy despite having no arms and no legs. The quick answer is that I have a choice. I can be angry about not having limbs, or I can be thankful that I have a purpose. I choose gratitude.
3. “I don’t want to be someone’s reason to hate their life. I want to be someone’s reason to seek something more in their life.”
4. “Often times we feel like either we can’t make a world of difference, or we feel that it’s not going to change anything anyway. The truth is you can change someone’s day, you can change someone’s life, but you have to show up and do what you got to do to actually see any fruit coming from it.”
6. “In life, if you don’t know the truth, then you can’t be free, because then you’ll believe that the lies are the truth. But once we realize that when we read the Word of God, and you know the truth of who you are, then I’m not a man without arms and legs. I am a child of God.”
7. “I was never crippled until I lost hope.”
8. “In life you have a choice: bitter or better? Choose better, forget bitter.”
9. “Don’t put your life on hold so you can dwell on the unfairness of past hurts.”
10. “You can either be angry for what you don’t have or thankful for what you do have. Do your best and God will do the rest.”
May we receive the same grace that Nick expresses here to transform our pain into purpose.