Finding Meaning in Suffering

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Exactly a year ago from today was the first time I considered possibly having clinical depression. Since then, it’s amazing how much of a difference God has made in my life in the span of a year. Every time I think of it, I am speechless.. completely in awe. I could cry from the joy I feel.

Only now, as I reflect on my experience, is it really sinking in of how blessed I am to have been put through that suffering. Only now do I realize how timely it had been–that the peak of my suffering occurred during Lent & Easter season … a chance for me to join Christ at Calvary, carrying my own cross along with Him.

I am in love with the beautiful contradiction that out of death comes life; that out of darkness comes light; that out of sorrow comes unexplainable joy. And I know this promise of joy, the way days of rain promise days of sunshine; I know it because I’ve witnessed it. And now that God has lifted the cloud from my head, I feel like it is only right for me to give back by sharing with you what I know is true.


We all suffer. It’s a fact. For some, this suffering is incredibly immense; for others, it’s fairly light. Yet most of us find ourselves fluctuating between the two. But hold on and keep your chin up: there is a greater purpose for our suffering.

  • “If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that he has great designs for you, and that he certainly intends to make you a saint.” – St. Ignatius of Loyola 
  • “The saints suffered everything with joy, patience, and perseverance, because they loved.” – St. John of Vianney
  • “Your lot is indeed a beautiful one, since our Lord has chosen it for you … The greatest honor God can bestow upon a soul is not to give it great things, but to ask of it great things.” – St. Terese of Lisieux
As these saints have testified, suffering is the necessary prerequisite to growing in holiness. It is through our suffering that our character and faith are strengthened, the way a muscle grows stronger with more strain. It is through our suffering that we become spiritually helpless–more beautifully dependent–on God. It is through our suffering that we finally stop trying to hold ourselves together and allow God to do it the way he always wanted to.  It is through our suffering that our walls come down, finally leaving us vulnerable to receive his love more fully. It is through our suffering that we learn who we really are and what our purpose is.

So if you are going through a rough patch, take courage: This will not be your forever. A beautiful Spring always emerges after a harsh Winter. Until then, remember that it is through your suffering that you are blessed.

Romans 5:3-5 // 1 Peter 4:12-19 // James 1:2-4 // 1 Peter:5-10

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