Growing Pains

I turned 26 this week.

Funny, wasn’t I just 16?

When I stop and realize I’m a real life adult, I wonder who let that happen.

This year my goal is to stop thinking “real” life is going to happen one day and embrace the fact that I am living my life now. Each and every day is full of potential and opportunity, joy and challenges, and each day is a blessing.

Being the nostalgic thinker I am, I couldn’t help but reminisce over what has changed this last year. A year ago I didn’t know that I would be quitting my job, leaving friends and family, moving over a thousand miles west, starting graduate school… A year ago I didn’t know I would be back on the other side of the classroom experience, or that I would make incredible & inspiring new friends, or that I would fall in love.

I wouldn’t be living this life now if I didn’t have enough trust in God and His voice to make a change.

Yet, I feel like God is now focusing on trust in my life.

At first when I think about it, I felt almost sheepish about the topic. I’ve been a Christian for most of my life, shouldn’t I trust God? But when I stop to look deeper, it’s not that I don’t trust Him. I just believe He is calling me to trust him more. And that will require some uncomfortable moments or stretching moments.

I like to listen to podcasts when I run; my current favorite one (and has been for months) is Christine Caine’s weekly post. One of her messages is called “Growing Pains.” She refers to the need for God to stretch us in order to enlarge our capacity for Him to do more. My favorite quote is “There is a direct correlation to your ability to bear pain and your ability to grow.” The image of growing pains and being able to sustain un-comfortableness or pain or inconvenience helps me put into perspective how God is moving currently in my life.

I have learned to trust Him in many things. I trusted Him to quit my job and move to Missouri. I trusted Him when my dad was diagnosed with cancer and when the cancer returned. I trusted Him when I was fundraising for an internship in South Africa and I was anonymously gifted $1,000. He provides. I know He does.

Yet, He’s continuing to teach me. When I was a senior in high school, I received a tuition scholarship to Valley Forge. I remember hitting my knees when I got the call from my mom, in my friends’ parent’s bathroom. The Lord spoke to me in that moment. He told me that I would never need to worry about money.

I remind myself of that. But it’s difficult at times to live it out. I even have moments when I can live it out faithfully in action. Yet it’s my attitude that continues to struggle, whether with anxiety, worry, or guilt.

I am still procrastinating on turning in my change of degree program form. I’ve had it filled out (except for my advisor’s signature) for months. Every time I think about turning it in, fear begins to choke my decisiveness and I start a process of doubt. This main concern is money—the program is more credit hours so it would be a greater financial investment.

I was sharing my fears and questions with Dave this week, trying to decide if it’s worthwhile. It seems like a big jump when I personally don’t have a road map to see where I will go in life to be able to justify the need for this degree. At church Sunday, God quietly but clearly impressed in me that I need to be in the M.Div program. And that I need to preach. Which is another idea to tackle later.

I guess a step to trusting God more is turning in the request form…sooner than later.


My birthday wish is to grow this year. Because healthy things grow.


What Does It Take to Be Beautiful?

I’ve lived in Missouri for almost two months now, and I’m excited to say that I have found a church in which to serve and worship!

Yesterday as I was driving to the Volunteer/Membership Connection class, my brain haphazardly began to critique what I had chosen to wear that day. It was a mini-battle, a debate within my subconscious as to whether I looked pretty enough for this new place, whether I would make a good impression (whatever that means). Then I started remembering all the times this week I thought about going to the gym, and then something else took precedence, and I began to remind myself that this week, I would actually work out more consistently and eat better so that I could feel better…etc. My memory flipped through snapshots of the cute girls I had seen other weeks at church and their stylish outfits and beautiful faces. I let myself feel the pressure.

And then I stopped.

“What am I doing?” I asked myself (silently…you know the whole inner dialogue situation…I know other people must do this!) why this tirade of thoughts had begun.

Why is it that beauty is so often determined by comparison? What causes us to create a hierarchy within our minds, and rank ourselves in accordance with what we see, feel, or imagine?

Why have we allowed culture to define beauty as a status rather than an inherent trait?

Because here’s the truth. I know (in a certain sense of knowing) that I am pretty. I conclude that from knowing my value as a child of God, as a masterpiece He has created, as someone He views as lovable. Sometimes people take my confidence as pride (which I am prideful at many times about many things, I’ll admit to that) but really it’s the result of 25 years of Jesus working on my heart.

Yet I still at times operate in this misconception that it’s not about being pretty but being the prettiest.

Why do we try to be the “most beautiful” when we can all just be beautiful? And not just “in your own way” but in the truest sense because everyone is truly beautiful. Beauty is not a quality that needs to be weighed against something less beautiful to be deemed verifiable. Beauty is.

You are beautiful. And I am beautiful. And that does not take away from either of our own beauty.

How can we as a society, as the church, as women, create a better way? What needs to change in our language, our attitudes, and our actions? How can you rest in your own beauty, and encourage other women to become more of who they were created to be in Christ?

“I’ve never met a person I couldn’t call a beauty.” -Andy Warhol

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

Lean In & Jump

It’s been over 4 months since I first considered moving to attend grad school in Missouri. I can picture myself standing in Duggan’s classroom, leaning on a desk, hearing myself say “what if I quit my job and move to attend school full-time?” First person I saw, first person I told, and I couldn’t stop myself from saying so after that moment.

However, for a planner like me, there were countless things to consider. I decided there would be no harm in testing God in what I felt he had put in my heart. I created a to-do list of “things that would need to happen” and concluded that if these things began to happen (with some steps requiring multiple steps for that one thing to transpire) that the door was opening.

Not only did the door open for AGTS, I feel that it was swung wide open and people were ushering me through it. I am amazed to be here on August 1, 18 days from moving day, and be able to proclaim all the blessings and acts of kindness and favor that have been shown to me to be able to pick up and go.

Normally not one to “test” God or put out an ultimatum, I did hold this list as a sort of proof of reality. When issues would arise or it seemed impossible to find housing or budget, I was reminded to lean in to God. Lean into his goodness, his provision. To lean into faith, and trust that he has a grander perspective than mine.


Here’s the list as it stands today:

“To Do List: Things that would need to happen for AGTS to be a reality

  • Apply
  • Ministerial reference
  • Academic reference
  • Summer income
  • Visit AGTS
  • Resign from PWCS
  • Switch health insurance
  • Get out of lease/make arrangements
  • Find MO housing
  • Potential MO employment
  • MO budget
  • Adjust car insurance
  • Move belongings”


May seem simple. Straight forward perhaps. But these were giant individual leaps for me as I started taking each one, making a dream or idea into reality, one day and one task at a time.

Sometimes that’s what you need to do to “live the dream.”

One step, one day, one door closer. Until you see yourself standing at the threshold of where you never could have found yourself on your own.

Lean in to God, and jump. Lean in & jump into his promises.


To quote Dr. Meyer’s quote for graduation…

“Come to the edge, he said.
We are afraid, they said.
Come to the edge, he said.
They came to the edge,
He pushed them and they flew.”



Throwback Post: Graduation, pool parties, & being perfected through trials.

I stumbled across an old blog I started in college (which I will promptly be deleting) with only 3 entries. But I remember distinctly where I was and what I was thinking as I wrote each. I was approaching graduation from Valley Forge, and I was completely unsure of what the future held.

Here I am a few years later, preparing to step into another new season, but this time my footing is much more secure.


Senior roommates picture 

Photo 786

That one time we had a pool party… #sorrynotsorry


So, enjoy this throw back post:

“Learning How to Die- March 2011

The things God asks us to do are age, or maturity, appropriate. Apparently picking up a puzzle seems like a daunting task to a two year old. I asked the boy I babysit to do this and he worked himself into a fit. I can easily accomplish this goal in 30 seconds without thinking about it.

What are the things in my life that God puts in my path to do, but I view them as incredibly difficult or too big for me? How does God see these things? And what about years later when I look back, what perspective will I gain about the trials I was facing at that time? It’s our tendency at times to scoff at other’s ‘trials’ or over exaggerate our own, yet each are fit for our current place in life and the goals God is directing us to learn and achieve in this time of life.  Ultimately my goal is to be refined into the image of Christ.  This is not something that can be accomplished easily, or without pain, or passage of time, or discomfort.

Scripture likens my spiritual state to the process of refining precious metals.  Gold is not found as beautiful gold as we know it.  Rather the material must be literally put through the fire; before it can reach it’s purified state.  In the same way I am a lump of clay, of dirt.  To become like Jesus Christ, the perfect one, I must be put through the fire time and time again.  I am to be molded and crushed, broken and rebuilt.  Impurities, which are a part of my life, will be ripped away.  I will feel the pain of being destroyed.  I may experience the joy of being made new but ultimately fulfillment will not come until Christ comes to take me home.  Until that day I will be in the process of being made new, of being refined.

I am flawed. I am redeemed, but I am in ruins. Christ promises me wholeness and wellness, but these are of a spiritual manner, and even these blessings are not absent of testing and tribulation.  As in our physical bodies we grow and we develop strength our muscles ache and are strained.  So it is when I am growing in Christ, I will be sore and wounded and tired, but I am becoming a more mature follower.  I am being perfected, an endless process until I pass through the last purifier, death, over which Christ has already proclaimed himself as victor.”

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Who do you resemble?

If my brother ever makes the movie about his life, he has casted Zooey Deschanel to play me. Which I would gladly accept. However, if I had my way I would choose Eva Mendez (or Eva Longoria, I would be fine with either). But then I would actually need to resemble one of them…

Reflections and mirrors are in many a fairy tale. When I was in 4th grade I sang Reflection form Mulan for a school talent show with a friend. I dressed up in a kimono and had the painted face and red lipstick. My friend wore a warrior costume. We practiced our lines and moves for weeks. And I don’t remember it at all. I do remember being terrified. I think I may have just stood there and stared, so perhaps I blacked out the memory because it was that embarrassing. Later on in life I learned my gifting is not in singing. The only line I remember is “when will my reflection show, who I am inside.”

Who do you look like?

When I look in the mirror I see my mom. And if I look even harder I can see her mom in my reflection as well.

That’s what happens when you’re the child of someone. Often you resemble one of your parents in some way. You bear their likeness on your face, your form, your expressions or essence. Whether it’s physical, emotional, intellectual similarities or shared talents and tendencies, we are all influenced by who our parents are.

So also it is with us and our relationship unto God.

“for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith” Galatians 3:26

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” John 1:12-13

If we are the image bearers of Christ, we, as children of God, begin to resemble him. As we grow and age, our likeness becomes more like His. Throughout different stages we can see different similarities. Our nature reveals itself to be evidence of who our Father is, of who’s child we are.

As you become more of who you were meant to be, you will have your own defining characteristics but these traits should ultimately resemble Jesus. We have a God-given identity as a child of the living God, adopted into a great eternal inheritance. 

I may look like my mom, and joke like my dad, and emote like my sisters, however my goal is to ultimately be defined and known by my resemblance of Christ himself.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

“For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” Romans 8:29

Photo 187

Dear 15 year old Me,

15 was the “it” year for me.

Being an awkward tween and adolescent (being 5’5″ by 5th grade didn’t do alot for my self-esteem, believe it or not), I had idolized 15. Not 16, like movies and culture would lead you to expect. I think it was because I entered youth group at 12 or 13, and the girls right above my age seemed so glamorous and beautiful and always appeared like they were having a fun time, that I equated being as fabulous as them to turning 15.

ambi and me


[Danielle & I at 15, on our way to Firepower. I remember that night because I thought my outfit was THE coolest. Not only had Danielle let me borrow one of her AE (or Abercrombie…can’t remember) skirts that I had never owned, SOMEHOW my mom had allowed me to wear it to church. I was ecstatic. Note my awesome suede hat.)


This summer I am “teen-sitting” (as Ryan & I have affectionately coined our hang out times). And if you’ve met my spunky blonde friend, you know, she likes to ask questions.

One (of the hundreds…haha) question that Ryan asked me this week was “what would you tell yourself 10 years ago?”

And I basically knew my answer, right away.

I would tell 15 year old me, or 18 year old me, or 25 year old me, almost the same thing.

Don’t be afraid.

I’m an outgoing, extroverted, friendly person. Yet I had the tendency in high school to look at upper classmen and be intimidated because they seemed so much older, experienced, seasoned with life. I assumed they wouldn’t take me seriously or have interest in me.

I was often intimidated by the pretty people, the popular people, the sport stars or the party kids. I assumed that since we didn’t have much in common, that my comparatively straight-laced lifestyle would immediately exclude me from friendship or interaction with “their kind.”

What I have learned, with about 10 years perspective, is that people are people. They want to be treated kindly, they want to be noticed. And for the most part, once you break that barrier of introduction you realize you have much more in common than you thought. So often the people that seemed like they had it all together, were those who needed a friend or kindness the most.

If I could go back (not that I would necessarily want to) to high school, I would want to let go of that fear and take advantage of every opportunity to meet a new person or befriend a classmate. If I could go back to college, I would hope to do the same thing. Perhaps in this next season of life, I will be even more compelled to set fear and insecurity aside, and to meet people where they are at.


What did I have to lose? What do I have to lose today?

So 25 year old Amber.

Be brave. Be bold. Live life and love people to the full.


Professor Grandpa Smith

I remember my first memory of Smith.

It was the first week of Greek. I felt like I was drowning in a sea of sounds and symbols that I couldn’t articulate or interpret. Conveniently poised in the middle of the room, in the middle of a row, in the middle of friends, I observed the older gentlemen and I tried, I tried, to learn.

But I was distracted. Well, more accurately I suppose that I was disconnected. I hadn’t yet caught on to the alphabet, and Smith was moving at what seemed to be the speed of light. And there were stories, and tangents. He must have been making a joke or two as well because he would snicker to himself, but I’m not sure we knew enough yet to join in honestly. At some point he made a comment about women that I, in my unknowingness of who I was dealing with, misinterpreted and immediately jumped to the incorrect conclusion that my new professor had a bias against women. Being one of 3 females in the class, I set out to prove him wrong.

Soon, I would realize how foolish my assumption had been. It’s comical now, because of how he became one of my greatest encouragers.


Quickly, Professor Smith transitioned to Grandpa Smith in my heart. He was a home away from home. A sense of family, guidance, wisdom, and stability. He teased me when I needed teasing, praised me when I needed uplifting, and reminded me to become the person God had designed for me to be. He celebrated my accomplishments. And by celebrate, I mean we went out to ridiculously fancy dinners where I wasn’t even allowed to look at the price, but was instructed to order every single thing my heart desired.

I think he was easier on me than the boys (by boys, I mean those left in Greek II & Greek III), not in grading but in communication. I could get away with saying anything, unscathed. He would chuckle, like he was trying to fight it, and shake his head telling me I needed to “be good!”

He was always telling me to be good. After I graduated from Valley Forge, I was adrift in more than one way. He would always end our conversations, whether in person or on the phone with, “be good Amber.” I would say the same to him, and he would laugh like the idea was slightly ridiculous and then remind me to call if anything monumental changed in my life. And then nothing monumental would happen so he’d call me anyway.

One of the first questions he would ask me would always be [like any of my grandparents], “is there a boy in your life?” My answer was pretty much always “no.” And if it was a yes, it was always tentative and he didn’t approve of that. He would remind me that I am the one making the choice, and to choose well. He would regale me with tales of highly driven women with great minds and bright futures who ended up in a dead-end relationship, unhappy and unappreciated. 

His most humorous piece of advice was always, “Go to a big church Amber. Find a large AG church with plenty of single men. That’s what you need to do.” 

And in my own act of rebellion, I of course attended a beginning & growing church plant in Virginia. Not exactly what I had been commanded. 

Though he was mostly teasing me, I also know he cared. He cared about my future and where I ended up in life.


My regret, though mostly selfish in nature, is that I did not have the opportunity to tell Smith that I am attending seminary in August. I didn’t have the chance to tell him that this step into the next season of my life would not have been so uniquely inspired if not for the desire that he helped instill in me, through his life, teaching, and conversations, to learn and pursue God through the study of his word and theology.

You have left a legacy sir. A lasting one in my heart, and countless others. I rejoice that you are now with your two loves, your ἀγαπητός & your κύριος.


ἔσχατος ἐχθρὸς καταργεῖται ὁ θάνατος 

That One Time I Dreamed About My Death…Twice in One Night

I’ve written about my literal dreams before on this blog. If you haven’t read it, this is what you need to know: my dreams tend to be realistic. Sometimes so much so that I’m not sure if it really happened or not and I need to verify.


Last night I had one of the strangest dreams I’ve ever had. And though it could be realistic, it wasn’t the kind I wake up wondering if it happened. For obvious reasons.

Part I:

I was driving my car and something unexpected happened. My car went off the road and began to flip and roll. I remember going through woods and seeing the branches and leaves. To me, it was almost slow motion. My body was jolting around and I remember consciously letting go of the wheel, feeling the seatbelt holding me in place, and silently thinking “dear God, please, please, please don’t let me die.”

Next I lost consciousness, and as I was coming to in my mind I was realizing I was indeed still alive. But when I opened my eyes I saw an unexpected sight. I saw my reflection in the hospital mirror (conveniently located across from my bed) and discovered that my body was not only wrapped in bandages, but I was a quadriplegic amputee. Yes, I survived the crash, but I had lost my arms and legs. I screamed, and then the dream ended. Yet right before the dream faded I remember an instantaneous thought of “this is my life now. For some reason God wants this to be my life.”

Part II:

These dreams were not continuous as my body was in it’s normal state now. I was hanging out with friends, and everyone was being exceptionally nice to me. This guy (that I know in real life) came up and was walking me around, gathering a flower for my hair, fetching me a drink. He was then interrupted by my boyfriend (who is not real life) and sister (she exists) who took me aside from the party. We were watching a movie, and I overheard them whispering about me.

“She only has a few weeks left, so, we might as well just do what we can with her now. Cherish what we have.”

Apparently, I had a terminal illness and no one wanted to tell me.


Here’s the fun part. Let’s interpret that dream!

1. Stress? Stress is always a good answer for weird dreams…but I don’t feel super stressed. I mean I have things to do at the end of the year but I don’t feel particularly overwhelmed. 

2. I hear your get weird dreams from food. I ate a kiwi and frozen coolwhip before bed. So…not sure what that means…

3. Change.

I am going through a series of changes I suppose. Maybe the car crash was me letting go of control. Maybe the cutting off of my limbs represents all the things that are getting “cut off” of my life in a way. Yet I survived. So that’s a good sign I suppose.

4. Someone at work suggested (after hearing the terminal illness part) that I go get a check-up. Is that a thing? Can your body let you know that somethings wrong like that? Interesting perspective.

5. Maybe Part II is based on the fact that Fault in Our Stars opens in theaters this week.

6. Death

Not a literal death, but a death to one life and the beginning of a new one. New place, new people, new goals. Maybe.

7. [open to suggestions]


Do you think dreams can carry meaning? Are they a result of our subconsciousness, randomness, providence, or a combination?

The Big Move

It’s official. I turned in my resignation and confirmed my acceptance. Resignation from Prince William County Schools, and acceptance to the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Masters of Arts in Theological Studies. Both of those things occurred by signing a piece of paper. So by official I mean, what’s been brewing in my heart for two months is now written in words on documents for other people to see.

I believe it became official for me, the moment I audibly said “I’m thinking of resigning from my job and going to seminary” to the first person I saw after the idea dropped into my heart and mind like a brick. But that’s probably not right, it was more like a seed, and the more I considered the idea and spoke it into existence, the more this far-fetched dream shifted from “idea” to “reality.” The more I contemplated moving halfway across the country to study theology, the more the idea blossomed and flourished, until there was no room for any other reality.

As I write this, I am sitting in Missouri. Approximately 1,000 miles from the east coast, the only home I’ve known, and my greatest friends. When I post this, it will be Tuesday after work, a few hours after turning in my resignation.


Some people will probably not be surprised by this change, some inevitably will be, and some will not understand, I know this.

As a child (maybe 11 or 12 years old) I believe God put the desire in my heart to work in overseas mission, specifically with children. My desire to obtain an elementary education degree was purposed for this goal. I wanted to use education and teaching to foster relationships, enrich the lives of children in impoverished areas, and create opportunities to show and share the love of Christ to those who are least likely to have heard the name of Jesus.

Somewhere through my college career that desire began to fade, not because it was less true, but because I allowed it to recess in my attention and motivation. My identity became encompassed by other wishes, thoughts, pursuits. These were not even inherently “bad” things, but the effect was I slowly became less of who I truly was, until I didn’t quite recognize myself anymore. If you asked me one on one I would confess this to be my same dream, but I wasn’t investing into that dream much anymore. Hence, friends I made those years were not privy to this part of my life.

When I started teaching for PWCS, I had a general plan to teach for 5 years, pay off loans, and then consider other options (aka where I felt God leading me to go next). However, in His providence, now in my third year I am facing a period of transition. Because I was obligated to switch school locations, I lifted my eyes from my current placement and began to consider various new possibilities. I applied to at least 5 school districts, including Washington D.C. I researched overseas placements, DoD schools, volunteer schools, teaching English overseas, etc. And yet, though I was willing to go, I felt a check in my spirit to wait. To be at peace with where I was. And so I did, I stopped seeking.

Then one day, preparing to speak at The Echo (our youth group at The Sound Church), I had a fleeting thought, “you know Amber, if this is what you’d like to do for the rest of your life, wouldn’t you like a little more training?”

That was a Tuesday evening. Wednesday morning driving to work, as I sipped my coffee at the Clover Hill light on the bypass, the idea fell into my head like a stone into water, “what if you resign and go to AGTS?”

Yeah, what if?

I told my coworkers the idea when I got to school. I told my best friend Lydia that night what I was considering. I told everyone I saw over the next 72 hours. “How are you? “Good! I’m thinking of resigning to go to grad school.” I called my parents Thursday evening. I made a to-do list Friday of everything I would need to do or have happen to make this idea a reality. And then I just started with the tasks I could start with. My 95% sureness quickly swelled to 99%, only inhibited by my desire to visit the campus first (oh, and to be accepted!)

So here I am, sitting in Springfield, MO. Yesterday I visited the campus, spent the afternoon with a fabulous tour guide (aka Michelle from enrollment), and heard myself switch from saying “if I attend” to “when I’m here in the fall.”

I am, very excited. I am. I am excited to learn and grow and be challenged. I am excited to read and write and meet new people and discuss ideas and share stories. I am delighted by the names of the courses I will be taking, and curious as to which will be my unexpected favorite. I know this season, though new and challenging, will be a season of life like no other.

Yet I am also a realist. Believe me, I know what I will be leaving behind. I will be leaving my hometown, my proximity to my second home in Philly, the east coast and the ocean. I will be leaving my family. I will be leaving my church that has become my family. I will be leaving my friends who I cherish and thank God for daily. I will be leaving a good paying, secure, comfortable job and benefits. I will be leaving my beautiful townhouse and independence and suburban casual living.

I will miss the familiarity. I will miss having a classroom filled with 26 eager, energetic, curious faces. I will miss their notes and pictures, their funny sayings and their random hugs and onslaught of questions.

And as I consider this, I asked myself. Can you leave all of this? I know it’s not gone, but it’s far. These things I love won’t disappear from existence, but the proximity will. Stepping out into grad school isn’t just stepping away for a moment, it’s taking a step into the next launching point for my future.

I am not trying to overdramatize the choice, but this is how I view it. One step toward the rest of my life. It’s the question I’ve asked myself silently for 14 years, can you give it all up? Will you give it all up?


Yes, for You Jesus, I will.

The Problem of Pain (wait, I think C.S. Lewis already used that title…)

This week I read “The Fault in Our Stars.” One line that resonated with me that is repeated in the novel is “pain demands to be felt.”

And I believe that. Pain demands attention. And you can do two things, you can ignore it or you can experience it. Either way, there are consequences. 

Pain is inevitable. Growth cannot come without it. When children are young and their limbs are growing we call it growing pains. But if we didn’t experience this discomfort, we would all still be toddler sized and unable to reach the top shelf (where the cookies are). 

Change often requires pain. Change can be uncomfortable, uneasy, or unsettling. When I first got my braces put on, I felt like I would never eat again. The pain was frustrating, every word or bite was uncomfortable. It was all I could focus on. Yet after a few days, or weeks, I didn’t notice the pain anymore. Yet each adjustment the same cycle began, but I was able to remind myself that the pain is only temporary. 


Sometimes pain is necessary for survival. If we didn’t experience the pain, we would experience death instead. Surgery is painful. To remove that which is killing or hindering, there has to be an incision, an extraction, a wound, before a mending and healing. 

Spiritually, you can experience the pain of God’s surgery. Whether it’s an extraction of pride, self importance, lust, hate, envy, greed, sloth, complacency (and these are just the things I’ve noted ripped from my heart). The road to health is filled with pain. We feel the wound afterward, not because we are dying, but because we are being made more alive.

We experience pain because we are alive.


Though we flinch and fight and even may terrorize our surroundings due to pain, many times, physical and spiritual pain serve a purpose. It is for our benefit. Whether for growth, or change, or redirection, or sanctification, the pain is temporary. It may linger, or fester, or fade, or increase, but each day is an opportunity to take a step forward. To walk in the light. To live.


His powerful word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.” Hebrew 4:12 msg