I think lately I have a new perspective on suffering and pain. Throughout my life, times of trial and storms have shaped me and marked a time in my life of change and growth. It never happens in an instant–for character and growth take time. In processing my thoughts in the last few months about struggles and painful trials, I know for me, I often search for someone who has truly been through what I may be going through–someone who can say, "I know exactly what you're going through." For some reason, at least for me, it validates my pain, making it easier to manage.
Recently, I've been reading a couple blogs by two families walking through some major suffering. One family, the Stanford family just posted this video documenting the first and last moments they shared with their son, Maddox, who suffered from Spina Bifida and Trisomy 18. Another family just gave birth to their first child, Gwyneth, very prematurely because Tricia, the mother, has Cystic Fibrosis and is in great need of a lung transplant. Her husband, Nate, has been faithfully posting on their family's blog with photos and updates of Tricia and tiny Gwyneth. As I'm writing this, I checked Nate's most recent post and it has pictures of him holding his daughter for the first time. One of the most remarkable things he said, however, was his reason for blogging and documenting this time in his life. Here's what he said:
To God be the glory.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." –I Peter 4:12-13