From: Mary Zimmerman
I donít have all the answers to the question, why suffering? I donít want to come across to my readers as a ďknow it all.Ē I just humbly write as the spirit leads me.
However, I do firmly believe in redemptive suffering. We can offer up our sufferings in union with those of Jesus for some special cause, perhaps our children, poor souls in purgatory, etc.
I believe God first sends a lot of us through the school of suffering so we can understand and help others. And sometimes sends us a refresher course as well - insomnia, heart issues with the possibility of a pacemaker.
I remember years ago while giving birth to my children I offered up the pains of childbirth in union with the sufferings of Jesus on the cross. That somehow gave me comfort.
I have wanted to write this for a long time. I dedicate it to everyone who is suffering in any way, most especially my family and friends, also all the suffering children including the babies feeling the pain of abortion. I assure you God is aware of your pain and suffering, it doesnít pass unnoticed or without reward in some way.
As far as that goes, suffering isnít foreign to me either. I have endured much - losing six children, one of which was Elaine. As Iím putting finishing touches on this letter itís April 26. I want to especially share the pain of losing our daughter Elaine because it is her birthday. She was born on this day into the world but it was also her birthday into heaven. She lived only a few hours. Oh, the sadness of losing a child. My thoughts today focused on wishing I had at least a picture of her. I only got to see her a short time after she died and that was it. But it seems we all go through the valleys of life in one way or another but God gives us the strength to again start ascending the mountain. The Blessed Mother is surely taking good care of Elaine for now. Eventually I was able to say ďthis is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad.Ē
Some of my other sufferings were many bouts with depression (not a valley but a hole). My family and friends all watched lovingly, perhaps prayerfully, as I slowly emerged from this deep, dark hole of depression. I am so sorry some donít make it out of that hole. I was such a negative person during that time, but with the help of God I am now quite a positive person and much happier because of it.
I also got migraine headaches years ago, a gallstone surgery, heart surgery two years ago (May 24 to be exact). Many years ago I had a bout with eating disorders, compulsive disorder. My latest illnesses have been pneumonia, conjunctive heart failure (sounds worse than it really is I think), and some more heart issues - nothing God canít fix and I trust He will. I know Heís got work for me yet. Oh yeah, insomnia has gotten friendly with me for quite some time now. And maybe I should mention that we moved at least 16 times in my married life. Iíd call that a bit painful. For sure it was no picnic. Anyone moving a couple times will vouch for that.
I do not share my times of pain and suffering in want of any pity from anyone, but just to tell you I am a recovering survivor and encourage the same for you.
It hurts me to see my children suffer in any way. Duane went through so much pain and suffering prior to his death at 16. He had unfortunately gotten into drugs. But Duane always kept his faith and contact with God and Iím sure God is with him also.
As a mother I prayerfully walked the road of pain with him as I have done with my other children as they needed me to. I still do with my married children. Their pain is still my pain, their joy is my joy, so closely entwined is a mother to her offspring.
It seems there is so much pain in the lives of teenagers nowadays. I think the world is partly to blame. Parents, we must strive to give our children the firm foundation of faith to sustain them through their difficult years of transformation into adulthood.
Again, to mention redemptive suffering, who gave us a better example of that than Jesus Himself. He didnít have to die for His sins (He didnít have any), but for our sins. Yes, God the Father sent His only Son, Jesus, to die shamefully on a cross so we could reap the joys of heaven some day.
To anyone who is suffering in any way, my heart goes out to you, most especially to those who have experienced the loss of a child or those suffering depression. I can truly say I know how you feel. There is a way out of depression - I found it and so can you.
I ask all of you, how can I help? If you contact me I will pray for you, encourage you if I can, and share the love of Jesus with you. God loves you and so do I.