Monday, March 21, 2011

Do You Let Suffering Transform You?

I love quotes! Quotes tend to stick out in our minds when we encounter situations, are inspirational, and express sometimes what we want to say but can't find the words to verbalize. I tend to love quotes because they teach and provide wisdom. If you click on the "quotes" label at the bottom of this post, you can find some of my other favorite quotes.

"I discovered in that moment that I had the power to choose the direction my life would head, even if the only choice open to me, at least initially, was either to run from the loss or to face it as best I could. Since I knew that darkness was inevitable and unavoidable, I decided from that point on to walk into the darkness rather than try to outrun it, to let my experience of loss take me on a journey wherever it would lead, and to allow myself to be transformed by my suffering rather than to think I could somehow avoid it...The decision to face the darkness, even if it led to overwhelming pain, showed me that the experience of loss itself does not have to be the defining moment of our lives. Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss. It's not what happens to us that matters as much as what happens in us. Darkness, it is true, had invaded my soul. But then again, so did light..." (A Grace Disguised, pg 43-45).

These words were penned by Jerry Sittser, who, in one moment of time, lost his mom, wife, and daughter in a car accident. This has been a favorite quote of mine for a number of years. I love the idea of being transformed by our sufferings. Things happen to us in life, and sometimes these things are horrible and painful. Allowing these things to change us, grow us, and transform us doesn't negate the pain, but it allows there to be something good that comes out of it as well. Facing the darkness is scary! We tend to want to try to outrun the darkness, but ultimately the darkness catches up to us, and we have to experience the pain. So instead of trying to run away from pain, can you turn around, stare it straight in the fact, and walk through it?

What do you like about quotes? Do you tend to try to outrun pain, or do you face it & deal with it?


  1. I LOVE that! "experience of loss itself does not have to be the defining moment of our lives. Instead, the defining moment can be our response to the loss." It's so applicable to me. So many times in the last few years there was some challenge, some negative experience that I could have turned into something totally devastating...slipping into old eating habits, gain back the weight. But I realized I came too far to just give up. I try to see everything as a learning experience now.

  2. I couldn't agree more! Suffering should be faced with all courage and might. I've had my share of difficulties in life and there are times that I just want to give up. However, support from loved ones kept me going on. It is not easy dealing with it but eventually it passes. Then I move on. Quotes like these keeps my spirits high every time I get one that I can relate to.