“The universality of our struggles drives the universality of our intrinsic worth” – Brooke Ellison
Many people have gone to their graves without discovering their purpose in life. And many are pursuing things outside of their purpose. So we often come to the conclusion that understanding the one reason God created us remains a mystery; that to most people, it is not only difficult to identify this but impossible. But is that really the case? Why would God conceal from us the very reason he created us?
In our search for purpose, we have looked everywhere except in situations of pain and suffering. But we have ignored the fact that Pain and suffering could present to us the possibility of identifying what we are called to do. Most people expect to achieve their purpose only under the most “pleasant” conditions. However, a “pleasant” life does not always mean a purposeful life.
I could point to many great men and women who found purpose in the midst of pain and suffering. Among them is Brooke Ellison – a paraplegic (paralyzed in the legs and lower body) who has inspired the world with her message of “resilience.” Brooke was paralyzed at age eight. Through resilience, she became the first paraplegic to graduate from Harvard University. Enduring such adversity and rising to greatness, Brooke has become what I would describe as an “epitome of resilience”. Her story gives hope, that in life adversity is inevitable but resilience is always possible. Brooke believes that “the universality of our struggles drives the universality of our intrinsic worth”.
If we must go through some form of pain to identify what we were called to do, isn’t that rewarding than living life devoid of pain and finding out we only lived life for ourselves and not what our creator intended? Pain and suffering can bring meaning if we stop questioning, “why me”? And start asking, “What is God trying to accomplish through me”?
In a nutshell, if we want to live a purposeful life, then we must pay attention to every aspect of our lives. While it is difficult to have a “challenging” life and still find hope, one thing is certain, if we decide to look beyond the pain, we would find purpose!