Laurie Coombs is a follower of Christ, wife, mommy, author, public speaker, and the founding director of A New Song International. She is the author of Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness, an incredible true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God. Her story was featured in Billy Graham’s film, Heaven, as well as on many other national and regional radio and television programs. She is a contributor to Zondervan’s NIV Bible for Women and writes at LaurieCoombs.org. Laurie and her husband, Travis, make their home in Nevada along with their three daughters.
Isat with some family members a number of years ago to tell them what Jesus was doing in my life. How He was redeeming all the losses we share. Taking our moments of indescribably pain and using every bit of it for good not only in my life, but in the lives of others as well. My hope was that Jesus would give them eyes to see Himself for who He truly is, to see what He was doing in my life, and to want it for themselves.
I told them about it all. How I was bought to my knees when the anxiety and depression threatened to pull me under. How I was quite literally drawn “up from the pit of destruction” and was saved (Psalm 40:2). How my faith ignited the moment I answered Jesus’s call to follow Him and was transformed by the power of His Word. How He called me to love and forgive my family’s common enemy, the man who murdered my dad, which led to correspondence that still continues to this day. And how our God had not only healed me in the process but had brought this man to his knees in repentance and was now living to the glory of God in prison.
They all looked a little stunned, when I finished my lengthy monologue. I’m not sure they knew what to do with what I had shared. This was a weighty topic no one really cared to discuss in my family. And so my aunt seemed to search for words for a moment before she finally said, “I’m glad you’ve come to a good place again, Laurie.”
But then my cousin jumped in to say, “No Mom. Laurie’s not saying she’s come to a good place again. She’s saying she’s better than she ever was before.”
You see, the world often labels the ability to overcome hardship with the word resilience. It’s a fine word, I think, but it doesn’t take the work of God in our lives into account. Webster defines the word resilience as 1. the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens 2. the ability of something to return to it’s original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.
But what if when something bad happens we were never intended to return to our original shape? What if the very thing we thought would destroy us is the thing God intends to use to strengthen us and allow us to live more fully? What if it’s the platform God intends to use for us to bring light and hope to others?
What if it’s grace disguised?
My pain has made me better, there’s no question about that. And I am beyond thankful we get to walk with a God who gives purpose to our pain. A God who works all things for good for those who know and love Him (Romans 8:28).
So, bring your pain to Him today. You will be amazed at what He does with it!
“He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
– Ecclesiastes 3:11
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Share them in the comments.