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Pain. Hurt. Confusion. Loneliness. Betrayal. Sin. Failure. Disappointment.

If you’re breathing, some of those words literally replay painful memories of particular people and situations in your mind. Life, as a whole, has the potential to be amazingly beautiful, full and wonderful. But no one escapes the bitter times of  weariness and heartbreak that come with the journey.

And who ever said that’s a bad thing?

Naturally, no one waits in anticipation of the messy, chaotic seasons of life. Yes, sometimes life comes undone because our own foolish choices. But mostly we have a beautifully planned out picture of how our lives should be in our mind and things like pain, betrayal, failure and disappointment aren’t what we had imagined.

But what if those things are a part of His plan for our lives? Part of the bigger picture? Maybe He uses even our failures and self-made messes because He knew that for us to feel like we had succeeded on our own would have been even more devastating than failure.

What if that person we loved so much, that one our heart trusted in  who turned their back on us and left us alone in the dust when we needed them most – what if God allowed us to experience the sting and the loneliness of betrayal to turn our dependence to Him alone.

What if the disappointment of our past or present, the things out of our control, personal injustices or ones we’ve witnessed, are all just God standing in front of us frantically waving His arms saying, “There IS a better way!”

The complete loss of financial security or job status could be God gently redirecting our path. Or it could be Him demolishing the man made idols we’ve unintentionally been worshipping.

He truly is jealous for us. He won’t settle for just a portion of us here and there; he wants ALL of who we are. And maybe He’ll use even the hard stuff, the times when we’ve come to the end of ourselves – to look tenderly and loving into our eyes and say, “You are already mine, I redeemed you, I love you, and I will stop at nothing to have all of your heart.”

Maybe, in His God style wisdom, He knows that there are times when failure benefits our life more than success, and being brought low is better than exaltation. Always standing near with His gaze faithfully fixed on us, He allows us to have our own way and fall, unable to even pick ourselves back up, just so we will have no choice but to look up again.

Maybe God allows all of the props to be pulled out from under us, everything we thought we were and everything untrue we had believed about who He was, even if it causes us to come to a place where we question even our faith, so we can search for Him in the midst of the rubble and truly find Him for the very first time.

I think maybe loss, brokenness, disappointment and failure can at times actually be necessary at crucial points in our life. But we don’t have to hide, or hang our head low in shame because we can’t keep it together all the time. We just have to take the broken and shattered pieces of our lives and heart and hand them over to Him and He tenderly, lovingly pieces it all back together with threads of grace.

Maybe the low places of life serve a high purpose. Because when we’ve come to the end of ourselves, when everything is broken, when we’ve lost hope, when no one else is left standing beside us, when we cry out for someone to build us back again  – there’s only God.