Pain will change you more profoundly than success or good fortune.

"You do not get to choose the events that come your way, nor the sorrows that interrupt your life. They will likely be a surprise to you, catching you off guard and unprepared. You may hold your head in your hands and lament your weak condition and wonder what you ought to do. To suffer, that is common to all. To suffer and still keep your composure, your faith, and your smile - that is remarkable. Pain will change you more profoundly than success or good fortune. Suffering shapes your perception of life, your values and priorities, and your goals and dreams. Your pain changes you. Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain."

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I have always known that this pain would change my life, but I never knew how it would come about. The past few days I have truly opened my eyes to see how my pain has changed my perception. I believe each one of us has different pains in our lives that build our character and allow us to grow. We only know our own experiences with pain, but all pain has a purpose. I firmly trust that. Any one can be positive when all is right in their world, but when things completely fall apart, that is when true character shines. Things in my life are different in many aspects and adjusting to that is a work in progress. Sometimes it is hard to take a deep breath knowing how incredibly blessed I am to have this opportunity to wake up to life every day. I find myself torn between trying to celebrate life and fight for life each day, but as time goes on, the easier it becomes to find a balance. I know that this pain has brought me many amazing things: a healthier life, a deepened faith, an ability to realize what is most important in life, and a way to help others in spite of their pain. Which is why I encourage anyone battling chronic illnesses, wanting to improve their health, or who know someone who could use help fighting their "pain," whatever it may be - to consider reaching out. I've had a couple of people contact me over the past few days for some guidance, resources, or support, which has been WONDERFUL. I am so glad that I am able to give back in that way. One of the biggest blessings I've received is the ability to use my pain for greater purpose and any opportunity to do so is a gift.

With love,

Jessica Lynn