And... it continues. Recently, I considered whether--if I had a choice--I would change my past to alleviate the pain I have felt (whatever that might mean). I knew my answer before I had finished the question: No. It is only in living on pain's edge, in being exposed to its reality and its possibility, that I connect with the deepest part of who God made me to be.
There aren't many words I can put to this idea, but there is a song that represents the idea for me. You can click below to hear it. There's something about the constant forward motion of the song that feels like the passage of time, while its quietness sounds to me like the quiet determination that settles in after a long, exhausting cry. (Keep listening after the first 17 seconds, even though at that point it sounds like it's just going to be a simple arrangement of a hymn... and I highly recommend listening until the climax at 2:30).