Fruit in the Land of Suffering: Sharing struggles, using your pain for good, and taking back joy | Sara-Lane Boudreaux

Fruit in the Land of Suffering: Sharing struggles, using your pain for good, and taking back joy

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For the past few months, I’ve felt a tug at my heart telling me to share something Stevie and I have been going through. I’ve tucked that feeling away as often as I can, mostly out of fear based reasons, and kept myself focused on other things. But the past 2 weeks post-surgery have provided lots of down time for that little tug to creep back up. 

I haven’t kept up reading my devotional much since my surgery and my inbox has been backing up with each daily message going unread. Post surgery I have felt so out of sorts and off of my normal schedule, and devotional reading has been part of it that got out of sync too. But today as Stevie and I were relaxing on the couch and he fell asleep, I picked up my phone and went to an email from Proverbs31 Ministries that had been sitting there for a few days. What I read kiiiinda blew my mind.

It was titled “A Good Purpose For That Bad Story.” And it was all about choosing not to forget the suffering you’ve been through, but to instead share it with others. To show them they’re not alone, to be there for them and comfort them. It talked about Joseph’s story in Genesis and how he named his second son Ephraim, meaning “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering” (Genesis 41:52b). As I was reading this, I couldn’t believe how much I could relate. I started feeling that tug I mentioned and kept on reading.

The author of the devotional, Sharon Jaynes, went on to talk about her personal struggles with infertility, and how as she read Song of Solomon years ago she realized that God wanted her to use her pain and loss to help others going through similar experiences. My mind was fully blown at this point. Heart tugging to the max.

Y’all know how they say “God works in mysterious ways”? Okay, but sometimes his ways are not so subtle!

Which is why I’m here sharing about our own infertility journey… We had no idea in 2017 what we were about to walk through, and there are still many unknowns we face today as we long to have a baby. But I have this belief in my heart that if I share our story, I can pass some hope along to someone else in great need of it. I can create some fruit in my suffering.

For so long now, TTC (trying to conceive) has been at the center of our entire lives. We’ve gone through many tests, procedures, doctors, decisions and so on. If you’ve ever been there, you know how quickly this struggle can take over every aspect of your life. I want to take back some of the joy, hope, and community that infertility has robbed me of. And to give others that same chance too. “So don’t rip out those painful stories & try to forget them — allow God to heal them & then use them.”

Here’s to using our bad stories for good. ✨    

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© saralane & stevie 2020

Sara-Lane & Stevie Boudreaux are Tennessee and Destination Wedding Photographers based out of Nashville, TN with a focus on capturing connections artfully and honestly.