Purpose in the Pain

Written by Rachel Denison

I have been struggling lately. Certain seasons unfortunately carry with them a weight of pain that sometimes feels unbearable. For me, recovering from childbirth has been one of those seasons. Most new mothers would tell you these first several weeks are more difficult and painful than anyone could really warn. It’s unfortunately not something you can truly prepare yourself for, and no amount of advice keeps you from actually having to walk through it. 

I needed to write this today for myself. I came before God with desperation yet again, and he filled me with fresh perspective I did not see coming. I usually start my times with the Lord with honesty. I come before him and tell him how I really feel. This has helped me get breakthrough in my moods and hopelessness faster than anything else I’ve tried. Today I was feeling particularly crummy and honestly plagued by physical pain. 

Some of the ways I described my state were bored, tired, in pain, spent, lonely, scared of the future, focused on my pain, in need and hopeless. I realized it could all be summed up in one simple word: purposeless. It was a good thing I had caught the ear of the Giver of true purpose. 

As I cried out for purpose in these days, I heard the Lord speak quietly, “There is purpose in your pain.”

Asking God for said purpose flooded my heart with the hope that I needed. God initiated a perspective shift that I am overwhelmingly grateful for today.

Death in me and pain in my physical body in this season means life for Wes. I was gently reminded that I have brought a person, a human life into this world. That is a huge, beautiful deal. He is a life that will love God and serve God. He is a life that will make an eternal impact for God’s kingdom and purposes in the earth. He is a life that will bring love and joy to so many over his days. He will love a wife and children as the Lord and fill a gap in their lives only he could fill. Most importantly, he will bring joy to the heart of God.

God did well to bring Wesley life, and he chose to use me. What an honor and joy. This may seem obvious or simple, but I deeply needed to be reminded of this truth.

It is so easy to lose perspective as a new mom sitting at home with a crying baby all by herself all day. It is too easy to wonder if any of this was worth it. Your body is shot, you don’t get to do many of the things you used to, good sleep is a distant memory and hospital bills pile sky high. I won’t lie and say I haven’t struggled with wondering. But God is saying today there is purpose in every bit of pain us new mothers are going through.

Ask God for a new lens to see through—one with perspective for the future and all that your child’s life holds in store. In reality this is a short season compared to what’s coming. I know I need to be reminded of that every single day. There is purpose in the pain that far outweighs the present. The life your child will lead is far worth any lick of pain you experience in these early days. I am just learning this now, but boy am I thankful for a fresh place to fix my eyes. 

Lord, thank you for our new babies when it is easy to resent this season. Thank you for the process of dying to our own selfishness that we may be all they need for now. Thank you for using us to bring lives into this world—lives that are going to change the world for the better and release joy and love to all who meet them, lives that deeply matter and have eternal value.

This season is not easy, far from it, but it is exceedingly worth it. I pray God gives each of us that perspective when we need it most and continues to whisper to us, “There is purpose in this pain. It is not wasted.”