Joy in the Middle of Pain

Pain is a word we are all so familiar with. We’re always faced with some magnitude of pain, grief, loss, sadness, loneliness, and depression. Pain is a result of this broken world and we’re bound to face it, but God defines how we face it.

On December 23, 2014, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. This was the day my entire world changed. The pain of my reality is/was unreal…but yet so was God’s peace. The Bible talks about how peace passes our understanding, and ever since the diagnosis, that is exactly what has happened. Despite the diagnosis, I literally have no understanding as to why I can sleep at night and remain at peace. But what I do know is that God is with my mom and the rest of us, and He’s with you too. He’s with you no matter what your day has looked like so far, or maybe even the past month or year.

Some days I feel on top of the mountain like nothing can ever shake my trust in The Lord. Other days, I feel defeated and beaten by my circumstances. On these days, one of the most beautiful things I’ve learned is to just pour out my heart to God and know that He is with me. Know that He catches every tear, that He’s right there with me as I hurt. I can rest in the fact that He knows the deepest parts of me, and He’s just working behind the scenes of my life as I run to Him. It’s in those broken times that I feel closest to Him. But hear me clearly: this peace does not excuse sadness. It means God’s comfort is closer than ever as we walk through difficulties.

“He bought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.” -Psalm 107: 14

While this is the hardest season of my entire life, I know that God is not surprised by the news, and this brings me so much comfort. He knew the diagnosis before my family, before the doctors, and before any machine could see what was going on, my God all ready knew. And though it’s time for treatment because we have found this news, He was already starting to fight for us when we did not even know we had to fight. I find peace in the fact that this didn’t throw God a curveball. God wasn’t scratching his head in shock when the doctors told us this news! He has a divine plan, and I have no clue why on earth it had to take this route, but even as I’m typing, I am reminded of His grace and sovereignty at my weakest moments.

I’m glad I don’t have to hide my pain and be strong for God. That brokenness is what draws me to Him, and it can draw you to Him no matter your circumstances. There’s no perfect way to walk through pain except by bringing it to Him, and I urge you not to have it all together. Let yourself be a mess; God is pretty awesome at cleaning up a mess. There is such strength in bringing your weak, human, sinful self for God to redeem.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

There has never been a better time for me to recognize that joy is not circumstantial. It’s a true gift that God gives us through the pain, and it is our biggest strength. If there is anyone who knows pain better than you and I, it’s Jesus himself. He was tortured, beaten, abused, neglected, and felt sadness and temptation. He had a journey of his own to get through. He paid for that pain you and I naturally feel, and instead we can choose thankfulness and joy, give that pain to God, and walk in victory. That’s all because Jesus chose you and me. He chose us to be free despite the pain that this earth brings. We don’t have to carry the load of our circumstances. I’m thankful that we serve a God who is FOR US and who fights for us while we are still (Exodus 14:14). He’s not done with me, and He’s not done with you. He is molding you into who you were made to be, just like gold is refined in fire.

No one can fill the void that pain does except for God and God alone. We don’t know the depth of this unless we let him show us. Everything else that can possibly fix the pain we feel or take our minds off of it is only temporary. He is our source of life forever. And He is literally all that we need. He is the source and He is the fix. He comes to give you life, and He comes to allow you to experience His love, His fullness, and to see how deep that will go. This is all for you to experience if you grab hold of it. Isn’t it awesome that if we seek God, He’s there? We can have this love and fullness and all we have to do is take it. It’s that simple. God is so cool. He allows us to experience a taste of Him all because the pain of Jesus took the place of ours.

When we have a full understanding of who God is, that He is on our side and we already have victory, we can walk in freedom and not live as a slave to our bad days. God is behind the scenes of every aspect and when we remember He’s out to do us good and not harm, we can rest in His love. We can count on Him to turn our sorrow to joy (Isaiah 35:10) and our mourning to dancing. He’s good always.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace [Who imparts all blessing and favor], Who has called you to His [own] eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself complete and make you what you ought to be, establish and ground you securely, and strengthen, and settle you. – 1 Peter 5:10 (AMP)

You may also like


  1. God bless you. …through all your families struggle your words will help someone somewhere ….we are praying for your families strength during this time of challenge and prayers for complete healing for your mom and many others suffering from illness. Our son CJ has just been diagnosed with an illness…Dysautonomia w/P.O.T.S…and we share with you how blessed we are to know that we can turn to a living God that will comfort us in the most difficult times but remind us to smile in the smallest of things. …Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. Your momma and I are 12 days apart, childhood friends raised and I’m sure teethed together on the back of a pew at Mascoutah First Assembly of God. Our parents were the very best of friends as well! Very fond memories of Don, Diane, Russell, and my girl, Mary Beth?. Thank you for sharing your heart. Can not express how they touched me and can only imagine how proud your parents are of you and your faith. What a beautiful young lady. I am praying, praising, and believing with you on your mommas behalf. Haven’t met ya, but know that I love you and your family. -Melody McCoy Michael

  3. Beautiful!! His peace is our strength. Thank you God! We too are praying with you!
    I am so convinced that we are truly surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses cheering us on, even louder as the race gets harder. Bless you!

  4. In the midst of everything you & your family is facing. I find it amazing how you have shared this with us. Thank you for allowing us to see how good how God truly is. It’s so easy to praise God when life seems great but when faced with a trail like this it is then without a doubt that we know how Awesome our God truly is. Know that my family & I stand with you in prayer for the will of God to be done in your mothers life. May God contiune to be with you all. I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

  5. Bingo! It reminds me of the Christmas theme a couple of years ago. The son of God was born I to a messy world. HE MAKES BEAUTIFUL THINGS OUT OF ASHES. God is faithful. You have a wonderful gift..Thanks for sharing it.

  6. Breanna
    Sorry to hear about your mom, we will keep her in prayer. I must commend you on your words of wisdom your emotional maturity is far beyond your years. I am glad you are rooted in the word of God to help you during this season. May the Lord continue to give your family the grace as you embark on a new journey. Trust that God is ahead of you and is leading the way. Blessings!

  7. This is amazing Breanna, thank you so much for sharing your God inspired wisdom, my how you have grown with such insight. This will minister to so many lives. I remember you as a little girl when you lived in Green Bay and we loved your entire family. We will keep mom in our prayers and hope you will keep us updated as I will be putting this on our church prayer chain. God bless and keep you in His care!

  8. Your faith in God is inspiring and your maturity is far beyond your years. Thank you for sharing your inner most feelings. I know God will be with you and your family through this difficult journey. His devine plan is perfect. I feel certain that God will use you, and your mom to bring Him glory. Through this trial, all of you will be given the grace you need. Thank you again for being such an inspiration! We are lifting your family up in prayer every day.

  9. Wise beyond your years. Would recommend your blog to anyone going through tough times. Spoke to my heart. Your faith in God is evident. Proud of you and love you.

  10. So young, so powerfully and utterly dependent on God! I love it. I’m inspired. Continue on young lady.

  11. I found your blog through my college friend Emily, on Daughter of Delight and I must say that you are great! I love reading your blog and I think we have been through similar struggles! My mom also had breast cancer twice (she is doing awesome right now) and I empathize with almost all of your posts! Thank you for sharing your heart 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Yes, I’m so glad I connected with her. That’s incredible that your mom is doing well. It’s such a tough situation. Thank you for reaching out, it means a lot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *