Turning sadness into hope

img_2570-1I attended a women’s retreat this past weekend.

I listened to the saddest, yet most inspiring stories of pain, tragic loss and heartache.

I learned that in the sadness, there was hope, when it was given permission to enter.

Through this hope, they found encouragement and promises.

As tears dripped down my cheeks, I watched their painful journeys unfold in raw, genuine, and real ways.

Their honesty allowed me to feel my pain in theirs. Bare. Exposed. Mask-free.

Innocence was shattered. Identities hidden. Dreams stolen. Hope lost.

Somehow, in the midst of the pain, they knew that God was there, with them. They spoke of moments where they knew their only strength flowed down from God.

The reason for the pain is incomprehensible, yet they accepted that it had a purpose.

God turned their pain into a vessel, a remedy, to help others who’ve experienced the same.

Sharing led to deeper healing. Deeper healing led to a passion to share.

We developed a strong connection. Our common denominator: pain.

I have a new admiration for women, and for their Creator.

Strong, bold women who walk alongside each other, hand in hand, supportive, and beautiful.

It is a beauty that lies deep within the pain, that blossoms when it is exposed, shared, permitted to be used.

Once used, it turns sadness into hope.

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