This past week I have encountered friend after friend after friend who are sitting in a place where I have sat.
Two friends are newly pregnant and very ill.
Two other friends are dealing with infertility issues.
Another is struggling in her marriage after a difficult season in their life.
A lost job.
A lost loved one.
A lost dream.
I sit there. I listen. And I think, "I get it. I understand. I feel what you are feeling. I'm right with you."
And the only way I can feel that way is to have felt that way.
I recently read an article in Bethany Christian Service's newsletter for individuals dealing with infertility: Stepping Stones. Entitled "As Time Goes By" by Jessica Hiltz, she writes: "Seven months later I was sitting in an ice rink chatting with a friend while our husbands play hockey. We were discussing her medical situation, which was very similar to mine. She went on to explain the procedure she might have to have done. It was the same procedure that I had undergone seven months earlier. At that time, she was unaware of my situation."
"As I listened to her speak, her description brought to my mind all that I had been through. I never thought that I would be able to share my story, but I found myself talking with her about my situation. I was able to comfort and encourage her because I had a shared experience. Again, the Lord continued to heal my heart."
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us all in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. I Corinthians 1:3-4
"We know that God is the God of all comfort, and He often uses us and our experiences to bring comfort to someone who is going through a similar situation," Jessica writes. "He understands what we are feeling more than any human friend could. But often as we struggle, He sends someone to help bear that burden."
God uses the difficult roads we travel to help someone else. He has done it with me time and time and time again. I am not happy I went through five years of intense infertility. I hate that I spent the last year of my life so sick both mentally and physically.
But now, on the other side, He is using it. It is my ministry. I will let it be my ministry.
Will you let it be your's?