God is using your deepest pain to launch your greatest calling. The very thing that threatened to take you out serves to bring you in closer. Maybe from where you are today, you can look back and see for yourself how the hardest times brought you to a greater purpose. And if you can see it for your past hardships, perhaps it makes your current hardships more of an assigned mission than assigned misery.

One of the greatest threats on my life happened at precisely this time, 28 years ago. Today, I will share my story with you, not for pity or praise, but to show specifically how God uses pain for a purpose, a mess for a message, and chaos for a calling in all of our lives.

I was a 19 year old newlywed, living on love and ramen noodles in Georgia with my cute, young husband. We had just settled into our lives together months before, and I had landed a job as a receptionist at a real estate office. On this particular morning, I had decided to have my husband take me in to work early. I remember sweet moments before leaving our little apartment. I made his breakfast and sat on his lap while we shared eggs and orange juice. I kissed him goodbye, and walked into a virtually empty office to await the official office hours to begin.

At this early hour of the morning, there was only one other person in the office. His name was Lew. He was a gentle older man whom everyone loved. Lew had asked me into his office to help him fix his voice mail. When I stood up to leave his desk, everything went dark. Kindof like when you stand up too fast and your blood pressure drops, but times 100. I suddenly became dizzy and disoriented, and the darkness and spinning just wouldn’t go away.

Lew got up to get me a drink of water, and when he returned, he found I couldn’t control my hands to grab the cup. Now, what are the odds that good ol’ Lew would just happen to be a retired Army medic who knew a medical emergency when he saw one. He immediately called 911 and worked to keep me calm.

An ambulance took me to the Army hospital at Ft. Stewart, and there they saw I had lost all control of my body. My speech, my coordination, my balance, my vision. Everything was gone in an instant.

I distinctly remember 3 thoughts going through my mind:

  1. Was I going to see Jesus today?
  2. Did I tell all of my family that I loved them?
  3. Was that nurse really cutting my pretty purple bra right off of me?

Soon my cute little husband arrived and stood by my side, helpless to do anything to stop what was happening.

It was decided a larger hospital was needed, so they loaded me in another ambulance and told cutie husband to meet them an hour away in Savannah, Georgia. He went home to grab a few items, while they sped off with me a hot mess in the back.

They tried to take a short cut on back roads, then came to a low bridge with a large tree laying across it. Precious time had been wasted and they had to turn around.

I remember the paramedic telling me I was so lucky to be the very first person to ever ride in this brand new ambulance. Minutes later, there was a loud noise from the engine and we were broken down on the side of the road. The brand new fan belt in this brand new ambulance had just broken. So much more precious time wasted as we awaited another ambulance to pick me up and start again.

By this time, cutie little husband had already arrived to the meeting point in Savannah, but there was no Pamela. What was he to think? I’m sure his mind raced to all the possible scenarios of me not making the transfer. But, I finally arrive, with continually worsening conditions.

8 hours after the onset of the room suddenly going dark and spinning in the office of good ol’ Lew, it was finally discovered on the MRI that I had a massive blood clot lodged in my brain stem. It was a stroke, and the worst possible kind of stroke. The odds of survival are minimal. The odds of complete recovery are even less.


Against all odds, here I am today. A girl once unable to walk, now with a few full marathon medals. A girl once unable to talk, now the ridiculously peppy voice that helps you wake up every day.

Let me tell you, the enemy thought he was taking this girl out on that morning 28 years ago. He thought for sure he had ended this story. He tried his best to end this. BUT GOD took every ounce of harm the enemy delivered, and turned it around for a greater purpose. God used my deepest pain to launch my greatest calling.

I went from the girl who wasn’t supposed to live another day, to the girl who refuses to waste a day. Why? Because I know what a precious and priceless gift each day is. The very thing that threatened to take me out has brought me closer to the purpose for which I was created.

Can you see the same is true in your life? Have you allowed God to enter the space of your deepest pain and bring purpose there? Have you allowed him to use the very thing that hurt you the most to help others who are hurting now? That’s what he wants to do, Sister. Will you let him?

I have the honor of mentoring a woman who became a young widow with 2 small children. She now leads a group of hundreds of other young widows in finding joy and purpose in their lives after loss. And isn’t she the perfect person to lead it? Only she could know that journey because she has walked it.

I also mentor a woman who recently went through the horrific pain of divorce in a marriage she was completely happy in for over 20 years. It nearly broke her. It threatened to send her to dark places where she couldn’t find her way out. But instead, she is now a certified Divorce Coach, helping other women navigate the loss of their marriages. And isn’t that perfect for her? Only she could know that journey because she has walked it.

Pain becomes purpose when that pain is placed in the palms of God.

Hurts are healed and become healing for others when surrendered to an Almighty Creator who always saw beyond the hurt to a greater plan.

The times of chaos and confusion God leads you through become your calling, so you can be his hands and feet to lead others through their own chaos and confusion.

It’s just how God works. He takes harm and he turns it for good.

One of my favorite scriptures is a line from Joseph, spoken to his brothers who tried to kill him. Years after their attempt, he has survived being a slave and being imprisoned, and he has risen to a position of power in the King’s house. Now, his brothers are there to beg for food during a famine where they are starving, and Joseph has the ability to save them. And he says to his brothers in Exodus 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Joseph was only in the King’s palace in this powerful position to save with storehouses of food BECUASE of what he had gone through. Because his brothers had plotted to kill him. Because his brothers sold him into slavery. Because he was thrown in a pit, then in prison, and now in a palace. It had all served a purpose. God had turned intended harm into good to accomplish the saving of lives.

That’s a BUT GOD moment.

And that’s exactly what God has done in my life! Every attempted attack and intended harm has been turned right around into my greatest calling. Could this be what God is doing in your life?!!! Could this be your “BUT GOD” moment?

It’s a shift of perspective to see God is working through pain and hardship, that helps us not just survive the hardest of times, but find purpose through them. Something that tells us life is worth living and this will all be used for something so good it reaches far beyond us.

I have a friend who also suffered a stroke, but her recovery looks different than mine. Although her healing appears to be less, her calling is even greater. Katherine Wolf has a book called “Hope Heals” and a podcast called “The Good Hard Story”. I recently heard Katherine say something that has been resonating in my mind since. She said, “We are each here with our hardships on assignment.”

On assignment. Chosen for a mission. How you handle this is your assignment. Others need to see God’s grace in action. They need to see what living in faith really looks like. They need to see the hard stuff in a real life, met with the mercy of a real God. They need to see what it looks like to go through what you’ve gone through, and receive God’s healing and joy once again. They need to see it, and you’re the one God wants to use to show them.

This is your assignment.

God is working in this and through this. He may not have personally brought it into your life. That may have been of your own doing, or a scheme designed in the pits of hell, but no doubt, God can take every single thing intended for harm, and he can turn it around for good. Not only can he, but he WILL. Every single time.

God is working right in the middle of your hardship and struggle. He is here, and his good plans still aren’t cancelled, they’ve just been made bigger!

Today, I celebrate a new day of life because I know what a gift it is. I’m here to help you recognize what a gift this day of life is for you as well. That’s my assignment. An assignment birthed out of the very thing I would never wish upon anyone, but wouldn’t personally trade for anything.

What is your assignment? How are you using what you have going through, or are still going through, to fulfill your calling and walk in your divine purpose?

Follow Pamela on Instagram – https://instagram.com/headmamapamela
Find out more about BIG Life – http://biglifehq.com