When my small group schooled me.

on January 21, 2015 in Gal Stuff with 13 comments by

I just have to tell y’all what happened last night at small group because while it makes me look like a bit of a buffoon, it shows how incredible my small group is.

So we are doing Joy Eggerichs’s Illumination Project. It is incredible and I think any small group would benefit from it. This week was all about how Joy entered into ministry and the catalyst that got her there.

And during this week’s video, she spent good time talking about a painful breakup and how that launched her into a new season and eventually into ministry.

When the video ended, we discussed a host of topics, asked questions, shared some heart stuff. And when things got quiet, thinking about Joy and her ministry birthed out of a really dark time, I said, “sometimes it makes me mad that God uses the painful things in my life. Like, it’s hard for me that some of the things I don’t want to write about- like singleness- are the posts that really matter to people. I don’t always like sharing the things He asks me to share. Sometimes I don’t like sharing the parts of my life that are hard.”

And then Jordin, one of my girls, looks at me and says, “yeah. I get that. But we live in a fallen world, and we don’t get everything we want, and bad things happen to good people. I guess I look at it like a gift that God takes the bad things and redeems them to good things. It’s like when you share your stories and people are impacted, God is redeeming the hard times. God using your pain is actually really Him being kind and making your pain matter.

And then she dropped the mic.

(Not really. 🙂 We don’t use a microphone in small group.)

But man did God convict and speak to my heart in that moment.

He brings victory in my life by going right to the place where I feel defeated and asking me to share from there.

What I was viewing as an unfair use of my pain? God is actually seeing as His redeeming hand.

What I get mad about? It’s actually God’s grace in my life.

What I wish He would leave alone? He uses FOR MY GOOD.

I call it a disappointment, a pain, a hurt. He calls it a gift.


. . . . .

I needed to be reminded of allllll of that.

Maybe you needed that reminder today, too. That God is good and right and true and using all things for the good of those who love Him.

Maybe you needed a good solid reminder that the gal on the other side of this screen (me!) is far from perfect.

Or maybe you need a reminder that your pain matters. And God will use it.

So here is your reminder:

Your pain matters.

God will redeem it.

He uses all things for His glory and for your good.

. . . . .

Happy Wednesday, friend. Praying these things for you today. Really.

. . . . .


  1. Sara
    posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 7:30 AM  |  reply

    Love this! Thank you….

  2. Heather
    posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 7:49 AM  |  reply


  3. Melissa
    posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 8:47 AM  |  reply

    Wow, that really changes my perspective on my chronic pain. Thank you so much for sharing this. God bless you and God bless your small group. 🙂

  4. Jenna
    posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 4:04 PM  |  reply

    Oh, Annie. Thank you.

    p.s. I’ve been sharing your name/blog/books with a newly forming girls ministry at my church. They are going to start with “Let’s All Be Brave” (because the moms already know/love it) and read through the others over the year! <3

  5. posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 4:11 PM  |  reply

    Thanks for sharing that Annie. Last year God asked me to write from my brokenness and I really didn’t know what to do with that. I didn’t really even want to know. This has helped give me a new perspective. And please pass on my thanks to Jordin. 🙂

  6. posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 6:38 PM  |  reply

    Yes! This is so wonderful. And so full of truth.

  7. KR
    posted on Jan 21, 2015 at 10:52 PM  |  reply


  8. posted on Jan 22, 2015 at 5:56 AM  |  reply

    “Your pain matters.
    God will redeem it.
    He uses all things for His glory and for your good.” Thank you for this reminder. Needed to read that this morning. He truly DOES.

  9. Sandy
    posted on Jan 22, 2015 at 8:48 AM  |  reply

    Thank you so much for this reminder! I really needed to hear this,…to see this in print. On Monday morning, after 11 years of working at my church, I was told that my services were no longer needed. I was on day 4 of feeling abandoned and alone when I read your blog post. My focus is now back where it should be and I know that I will survive this set back (Job 23:10).

  10. Jess
    posted on Jan 22, 2015 at 9:38 AM  |  reply

    I needed this so much! Our small group is starting up a new session tonight and this will be HUGE to remember as I share my hurts and victories with others. I already sent this post onto the rest of my small group! Annie, thanks for bearing your heart for us to learn!

  11. posted on Jan 22, 2015 at 5:44 PM  |  reply

    There’s a part of a my life that is definitely fallen and pain, and although I haven’t felt any leading from God that He will use it, I’ve been afraid He will use it. Or worse, turn it into a ministry. I would rather just heal and move on. But maybe that’s because of my pride. I guess I forget that when I ask God to use my life, He will use all parts of it. Oh well. 🙂

  12. Sharon
    posted on Jan 22, 2015 at 10:04 PM  |  reply

    Thank you Annie! I needed to hear that today.

  13. posted on Jan 24, 2015 at 6:46 AM  |  reply

    […] When My Small Group Schooled Me at Annie Downs: Because sometimes I need a reminder that pain isn’t just a side effect of life but that it has a specific purpose.  […]

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