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2020 - Pain and Suffering

Good Morning! I apologize for the long absence and silence. Just like all of you, I've bben impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic (among other things), not to mention the fact that I work in emergency management so I've been rather busy. As the title of this post suggest, this year is undoubtedly one that we will not forget anytime time soon, and not for good reasons. The whole them of my personal growth philosophy is change, but when change is violently forced upon you, it can be excruciating. Sadly, I have seen first-hand what this crisis has done to families with lost jobs, finances, homes (some from the wildfires), and marriages and even lives (due to suicides).

But how do we deal with such pain when our whole world is turned upside down or even destroyed? I was reflecting on this question when I came across a book called "Walking with God Through pain and Suffering" by Timothy Keller (yes, reading is one of the best ways to grow yourself). This book does an amazing job of explaining why God allows suffering from both a biblical perspective as well as a philisophical one. The book offers several cultural points of view of suffering but the one that struck me was the christian veiw that pain and suffering are challenges that help us grow (pain and suffering refers to the aforementioned, not losing a loved one - that's another book and blog). This book made me remember when I was discharged from the Army with Fibromyalgia and out of work for the next few years (while my wife worked 2 full-time jobs). It was the absolute toughest period in my life but looking back, it was arguably the best thing to happen to me. I was able to change my perspective and values, ultimately growing into the man I am today (happily married). Now when your in pain, you never see the light at the end of the tunnel, but that's where faith comes in - postive outcomes almost always come at the 11th hour. I've encountered numerous people that have turned their pain into a success story (losing a job and starting a new career or business, losing a home and late rmoving to australia to start of career, etc). The point is that if you push through your pain, you will see the light at the end of the tunnel, but don't just take my word for it, read "Walking with God Through pain and Suffering" - it will give you the strength and perspective that you need to overcome any challenge. Take care and be safe.

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