Friday, July 24, 2015

Diagnosed with an Unexpected Love

I've known for awhile, but I confess, I am deeply attracted to suffering. But, my question is... why?

  • In 5th grade we had an assignment to write a book. My friends wrote about fun, exciting, princess/adventures things. My story was about a girl whose parents were fighting. She was so distraught one day she ran away to the ocean. She spent the night by the sea, then decided to return home and the conflict was resolved and they lived together again. The teacher had to talk to my parents and see if there was brokenness in the home that was coming through. There wasn’t. I just liked the story.
  • In 7th grade my class took a trip to D.C. One afternoon we spent at the Holocaust museum. My teacher had to actually take me away from watching the videos/photos of the concentration camps because I had been there too long ‘for my own good’.
  •  Last fall especially, I dreamed often about being raped or murdered, or both.
  •  I had a dream this year about my sister and I being hunted by a serial killer. We were both shot, but we did survive in the end.
  • I had a dream where I was stranded in the middle of the ocean by my tour guides while shark diving, and had to spend the night in the terror of isolation while predators I couldn’t see slammed against my legs.
  • I had a dream where I was martyred in Chicago; a terrorist strapped me to the bombs he had strung across the building.
  • Multiple other dreams of being shot, stabbed, tortured, my family being killed, etc.
  • All my optional-topic papers this year were written on suicide.
  • In middle school I contemplated running away just to have a hard, somewhat scary, experience
  • I like having a terminal illness
  • I love hospitals
  • We had a persecution simulation here on project, and I wanted more abuse (for me, not others) just so I could feel it more.
  • I loved experiencing the slums/poverty of Haiti for 4 weeks last summer

I am passionate about pain and death. I enjoy thinking about it. It is a great interest of mine. (I don't want to be institutionalized.)

I’ve been trying to crack that question for awhile; an answer more than “God made me that way”.

*Possible answer to why I want to suffer more: I’ve had a little taste of sacrificing for my Lord, and it’s left me with an insatiable desire to do so more.

            *I do ask to suffer more, I have asked before. (I even dream about it, if you couldn’t tell haha.)

Okay, so what do I like about suffering?:
  • There’s no b.s.. We’re all the same when we’re in deep pain. We cut the crap of life.
  •   There’s, once again, deep meaning and worth in life. No flaky, boring, everyday, mundane, fluffy-ness. Suddenly everything matters. I love that.
  • People stop judging and start caring. People get over themselves and think about life being bigger than satisfying their own pleasures.
  • God meets me there. I have never felt so loved, understood by, or close to God as I have in the midst of terrible pain. I learned dependence on Him. I learn just a step more of what the cross meant. I get a glimpse of the beauty of the Man of Sorrows.

There is so much beauty in suffering.

  • I was worshipping in a church in Haiti one time. Those people worshipped SO powerfully, it moved me. My mom commented on how there’s not enough need/suffering in the U.S. for us to worship like that.
  • I want to experience that deep pain because that makes God more real. I want to experience an underground, illegal house church because those people had to sacrifice a lot to even be there (safety, comfort, friends, family, etc.). They do this because they understand who God is and that He’s worthy. God means so much more to them because He’s needed so much more. I want a passion for God so strong, born out of a need so deep.

There’s so much beauty in pain.
  • God’s love and goodness is magnified when brokenness and despair are increased. The deeper more intense pain shines an even brighter spotlight on His beauty and love.
  • Suffering is an honor because it’s an opportunity to show my love for Christ. Suffering glorifies Him. Why? Because it magnifies His grace and love. It demonstrates His power. If this is true, and I believe it is, then let me suffer MORE.
  • (James 1) Trials produce perseverance which produces maturity, completeness, and wisdom.
  • I love wisdom and understanding. I feel like there is so much wisdom in suffering because you shake off childish ways, ignorance, carelessness, surface-leveled-ness, and you begin to see depth and understand life more. You begin to question things like why you’re even alive, what you’re living for, etc. Things I think need to be questioned.
  • It gives a compassion; a stepping out of yourself and your own world. A love that comes with meaning and depth.
  • I am fascinated with suffering. Because it is something seemingly so terrible, yet by far has been the best part of my life. Not because it made me the most delighted, comfortable, or safe- but rather because it has taught me, imparted wisdom on me, grown a character and perseverance within me, grown a compassion for others, and made me question and find what I’m living for and why. I love suffering because it has pushed me off the cliff of my own safe little world, thrusting me into a deepness and darkness that hurts, but I love so much.
  • Why do we think the best things in this world are those which immediately make us feel good? Do we not have patience or understanding enough to wait for deep beauty? To see true value?
  • I think some people really are happy/content living at the surface. But they miss out on the unexplainable beauty of the reef and world below the waves. Venturing even farther, one must face fear and pain to go into the darkness and depths of the ocean. Yet, those who do experience and see the most amazing things, things that are so beautiful, and strike awe within us. Things that actually make us shut up and see the world around us. Things that are rare; are beautiful. Deeply meaningful, valuable, priceless things aren’t found with ease, nor are deep, meaningful lives lived in the safety of pure happiness with no risks or pain.
  • I’ve found priceless companionship in suffering. I have found the One who never leaves and always understands.

I love suffering because it has pushed me into these depths where I see things I never would have even imagined on the surface. I see more clearly the face of God, because I’m looking at my own less. Because, for once, I am NOT ENOUGH; to survive I’ll need something greater than myself. I can’t carry myself through deep pain.

I love suffering because somehow this almighty God has turned something terrible into something deeply valuable, that even blesses me.

I love suffering because of, and only because of,  who God is.



  1. Beautiful. The deepest thoughts. This is so inspiring. This is the true life. Thank you.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. "They that yearn for the abode of the Beloved, they that circle round the sanctuary of the Desired One, are not apprehensive of trials and adversities, nor do they flee away from that which is ordained by God. They receive their portion from the ocean of resignation and drink their fill from the soft-flowing stream of His mercy. They would not surrender the good-pleasure of the Friend in exchange for the kingdom of both worlds, nor would they barter that which the Well-Beloved hath decreed in return for dominion over the realms of the infinite. They would eagerly drink the venom of woe as if it were the water of life and would drain deadly poison to its bitter dregs just as a sweet and life-giving draught. In the arid wastes of desolation they are stirred with enthusiasm through the remembrance of the Friend, and in the dreary wilds of adversity they are eager and impatient to offer themselves as a sacrifice. Unhesitatingly have they renounced their lives and directed their steps towards the abode of the Best Beloved. They have closed their eyes to the world and fixed their gaze upon the beauteous countenance of the Friend, cherishing no desire but the presence of the loved One and seeking no attainment save reunion with Him. They fly with the feathers of trust in God and soar with the wings of adherence unto His Will. In their estimation a blood-shedding blade is more desirable than finest silk and a piercing dart more acceptable than mother's milk.

    "'High-spirited souls by the myriad are deemed necessary in this path. To lay down a hundred lives with every fleeting breath.'"

    It behoveth us to kiss the hand of the would-be assassin and to set out, dancing, on our way to the habitation of the Friend. How indescribably pleasant is that hour, how immeasurably sweet that moment when the inmost spirit is intent upon sacrificing itself, when the tabernacle of fidelity is hastening to attain the heights of self-surrender! With necks laid bare, we yearn for the stroke of the ruthless sword wielded by the hand of the Beloved. With breasts aglow with light, we eagerly await the dart of His decree. Contemptuous of name, we have detached ourselves from all else but Him, we shall not run away, we shall not endeavour to repel the stranger, we pray for calamity, that thereby we may soar unto the sublime heights of the spirit, seek shelter beneath the shade of the tree of reunion, attain the highest stations of love, and drink our fill from the wondrous wine of everlasting communion with Him. Surely we will not forfeit this imperishable dominion, nor will we forgo this incomparable blessing. If hidden beneath the dust. we shall rear our heads from the bosom of the tender mercy of the Lord of mankind. No trial can suppress these companions, no mortal feet can traverse this journey, nor can any veil obscure this countenance." - from the Baha'i writings

  4. "The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. Man is, so to speak, unripe: the heat of the fire of suffering will mature him. Look back to the times past and you will find that the greatest men have suffered most." -- Baha'i writings

  5. "Thou knowest full well, O my God, that tribulations have showered upon me from all directions and that no one can dispel or transmute them except Thee. I know of a certainty, by virtue of my love for Thee, that Thou wilt never cause tribulations to befall any soul unless Thou desirest to exalt his station in Thy celestial Paradise and to buttress his heart in this earthly life with the bulwark of Thine all-compelling power, that it may not become inclined toward the vanities of this world. Indeed Thou art well aware that under all conditions I would cherish the remembrance of Thee far more than the ownership of all that is in the heavens and on the earth." --Baha'i writings