How god uses pain for positive change

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Pain is something that we all try to avoid. There is typically a major disconnect that we have when it comes to pain. It’s something that is usually interpreted as bad or negative. 

Sometimes our habits, attitudes, and even the people in our lives hold us back from being the best person that God intended for us to be. These habits, attitudes, and people may have been in your life for a seriously long time and you find yourself not wanting to do what it takes to remove them from your life. You have simply learned to live with them. 

God wants to wake you up! God wants to move you to the next step in life and pain may be the way he does it. 

I arrived in China in September of 2011. I quickly got into the nightlife scene and before I knew it, I was an alcoholic. For three years, I was drinking pretty much every day. I would even mix a cocktail for breakfast before heading out to work. 

I was late for work and meetings. I often showed up unprepared and reeking of whisky. I would randomly pass out while on busses or in taxis. I could not remember conversations, faces, and crucial details. My money seemed to vanish without a trace as I picked up wine coolers and beers throughout the day. I had no goals and my ambitions had come to a grinding halt. If you knew me at all at that time, you would have thought that I clearly did not take my life seriously. 

God wanted me to change. 

In 2014, the symptoms of gout started to become more evident. I was in Thailand with my wife when suddenly a sharp pain in my ankle prevented me from walking. Doing daily tasks became increasingly difficult and I had to look at my life. My ankles were swollen and something had to change. Not only was I risking my health, but I was also risking losing the love of my life due to my passiveness, immaturity, and lack of focus in life. In December of 2014, I just stopped drinking. Cold turkey. 

God put pain in my life at the right time because my old habits, my attitude towards life, and many of my old friends were holding me back. I started to distance myself from friends that would call me at 3 am wanting to go party and I cleaned up my life. I have been sober for six years now and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. God knew that I was too stubborn to change on my own. That’s why he put pain into my life. Gout was my wake-up call….

Terrance Thomas

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