Writing contribution by Kate Sorel of the Today I Choose blog
Last summer my dentist discovered a giant tumor in my jaw that had been slowly hollowing out the bone and weakening it. The day after my high school graduation I had major surgery with a two-month recovery and my mouth wired shut for stabilization. It was wild, unexpected, hard and painful, but by God’s grace and after many tears, I made it through.
At the end of this summer my face began to hurt again. We got in touch with my doctor and flew home from our family cabin for an emergency next day exam and surgery; the tumor had returned. I was devastated. I knew that it could come back, but I never quite believed that it actually would.
“God why?! Why why why why why? I don’t understand.” I was sobbing this in front of my dad when he reminded me of something. He said, “Kate, don’t ask God why. Instead, ask yourself what you will do with it.” (Well, shoot Dad, way to burst my pity-party bubble…).
But I began to consider what he said. What will I do with this?
Will I whine and feel sorry for myself? Compare my hardship to the seemingly care-free lives of my friends? Or will I see this as a possibility for growth, for strength-building, for an opportunity to empathize with others’ pain? Will I allow God to use this, or allow it to destroy me?
In what beautiful way will you weave this into your plan for good? And instead of getting mad, thank God for drawing you closer to him. Thank him for all he is going to teach you through this. Thank him for being the one dependable constant in your life. Because I guarantee, He can and will use even the most devastating things in the most incredible ways. (Romans 8:28)
Let me tell ya, God has already used this in my life:
I met two other people with wired jaws at the end of my recovery and was able to commiserate, understand, and encourage them that it would not be forever.
I feel that I am now able to empathize and understand a kind of pain and uncertainty that was foreign to me before.
It also knocked me down to my knees, stripped me of worldly dependencies, and revived my faith in the God of Miracles.
This awful emotional and physical pain got me out of a dry season of disbelief and lack of motivation to pursue God.
I am just amazed that God has already used this. He is so faithful!
I challenge you to thank Him for not just the good days, but also the bad.
Watch as He works and moves in your life. You will be amazed at His goodness.
Kate is the writer of Today I Choose blog, which she created to share about Jesus and all that He has been patiently teaching her. She is a psychology major at Cal Poly and hopes to eventually become an equine-assisted therapist.
You might find her cooking something yummy in the kitchen, hanging out at the barn with her horse Gabby, or drinking an almond milk latte and studying at a coffee shop downtown.
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