Today’s guest post is by Anita Agers-Brooks, author of Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over: Moving Past Your Pain into Lasting Freedom available for pre-order on Vyrso. Agers-Brooks is also an inspirational business and life coach and an international speaker.
We live in a world of makeovers. People, relationships, homes, careers—it seems there’s nothing reality TV won’t reconstruct. By the numbers of viewers, it seems everyone wants a change. But no one wants transformation to take place through pain.
This makes me think of Christ’s plea in Luke 22:42. As he anguished in the Garden of Gethsemane, I imagine his knees ground so hard into the dark soil that his imprints remained once he stood. His eyes looking to heaven. His hands gripping his scalp as he cried out, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
And yet, without his death, there could be no resurrection.
According to Merriam-Webster, to resurrect is to bring back to life, to cause (something that had ended or been forgotten or lost) to exist again, to be used again, etc.
As defined by the dictionary, how many of us long for a resurrected life? A transformation? A makeover? But what are we willing to give up in order to receive it?
Just over a decade ago, I went through a period I call my Jobette years. Think female version of Job. Near death, betrayal, financial challenges, prodigal child, loss of my eyesight over an extended interval, a tsunami of painful events that threatened to break me. But I have a confession.
Prior to the start of this deeply painful period, I had offered a prayer. “Lord, I know I fail you. You are the potter and I am the clay. Too often I don’t look like someone made in your image. Please break me down and remold me.”
Yes, I now know—be very careful what you ask for.
But I also know something else:
- The power of complete and total submission to God’s will
- The transformational ability of Jesus’ saving ability to transform the ashes of our lives into a crown of beauty
- The comfort available through the supernatural touch of the Holy Spirit
In the midst of my sorrows—mask off—I cried out in raw and honest anguish, much like Christ did in Gethsemane. My prayers were a bit different, but the core message was the same.
One night in my living-room floor, I fell to my knees and prayed, “I know I’m supposed to forgive, but right now I really don’t want to. I need you to rip the roots of bitterness out of my heart and plant flowers of forgiveness in their place.”
Another time, as a thunderstorm raged around me, and rain pelted my face, I stood in my front yard, arms raised in desperation, and said, “I know I’m supposed to thank you in all things, but I can’t imagine how I’ll ever be able to thank you for this.”
Though there was no instant flash of healing or magic wand–waving improvements, God absolutely heard my cries.
Over time, He corrected my want to.
Then He taught me to forgive.
And today, I not only thank Him for every experience, but I praise Him for resurrecting my life through them.
Today, the messages that resonate the most with audiences I address, come from that excruciating period. My latest book, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, was born out of my sufferings, and the true stories of many others who endured things many can’t imagine. We each discovered purpose through our pain.
It’s interesting that Job received a double portion blessing after going through multiple tragedies. I’m sure he would not have chosen that path. I wouldn’t have chosen mine either. But today, I am grateful.
In the final chapter of Getting Through, I share many key things I’ve learned from enduring things I’ll never get over. One is a Twelve-Step map I follow today.
Number three says this: “Take a risk and believe God. This is different from believing in God.”
Jesus demonstrated more than belief in God, he showed us what it looks like to trust Him. To die to self. And as a result, Christ was raised from the dead to do greater things.
One day, our troubles will become memories of the past. If we allow Him, God the potter can take the dust of our pain, mixed with tears from our sorrow, and remold us.
Our pain is not wasted. It is the foundation for transformation. It’s true we may go through things we’ll never get over, but with Christ, we will be made new. God is still in the business of resurrecting clay.
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Want to read more from Anita Agers-Brooks? Pre-order her new ebook—scheduled to ship April 1—Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over: Moving Past Your Pain into Lasting Freedom for just $9.74 on Vyrso.