Can’t Start a Fire Without a Flame: Exchanging Pain for Purpose

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No matter the magnitude of a flame, it’s painful to touch. It can create a wound that is sore for a few days and takes time to heal. Chances are it may also leave a lasting blemish – a constant reminder of that wound.

Life experiences are no different. A flame in this scenario is a metaphor for anything that has hurt you in your past or is currently hurting you. It could be a relationship that ended and has caused you great pain or even a decision you made, which you regret. Whatever the flame may represent, it’s something that leaves a lasting impression.

I’ve had a few flames in my life; a few that have left some pretty deep scars. Sometimes, I think I have gotten over the pain but then something happens, or I see someone and the flame flares up again. All of the anxiety, self-doubt, and sadness resurface. I’m left feeling broken.

But I was reminded recently that “Pain can produce purpose” and our “sufferings are not worth comparing the glory that will be revealed to us.” (To see this post click here.) Wow! Do you mean God has a plan to turn this flame into a fire that can be a beacon of hope? That those flames can create a fire that burns bright enough to guide others through the darkness? If this means that my pain can be a light and that my flames can be sparks that ignite courage, then bring it on!

I will no longer feel sorry for myself and let those scars remain hidden. Those burn marks are experiences that can light my way as I carry on with life, shamelessly. Sure, the torch will cause blisters and singe aspects of my life from time to time. But it will also bring warmth that is worth it!

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever (Psalm 23: 1-6).

I don’t know about you but that brings me hope. It gives me the fire in my heart to press on. Now, I know that when life brings more flames, I’m not going to coward down and just take the pain. I’m going to add those flames to my torch. I’m going to let it kindle a life with fervor, growth, acceptance, and courage. Then, when it’s time to lay that torch down, I will lay it at God’s feet where He will wash away the ashes and soot.


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Megan Bouchillon | DPW Guest Writer

Megan Bouchillon’s days are full with being a working mom, wife to her best friend and an owner of many plants. She somehow manages to fit her passions into the cracks of her day; which are, writing, podcasting, thrifting, spinning in circles with her son and laughing with her hubby.

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