I've been through a few hard things in my life, and I firmly believe that God has allowed me to walk those roads for my good. I never thought much about the fact that He might use my challenges for someone else's good as well.
I was reading in Genesis today and this struck me...
Joseph says to his brothers at their reunification, "And now don't be worried or angry with yourselves for selling me here, because God sent me ahead of you to preserve life. 6 For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there will be five more years without plowing or harvesting. 7 God sent me ahead of you to establish you as a remnant within the land and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8 Therefore it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt." Genesis 45:5-8
Joseph was able to see God's bigger plan in his brothers' jealous act of selling him into slavery. He was a slave and spent two years in prison because of their sin. Yet he was able to say, "it was not you who sent me here, but God." When I'm hurting as a result of another person's actions am I able to forgive them and trust "it was God who sent me" there? Can I withhold my frustration and pity party in the midst of a terrible life circumstance and trust that "it was God who sent me here?" He recognized that God sent him there ahead of others to preserve life!
We've struggled with infertility, thus far unresolved. We have long-term depression in our family that has us wading in deep waters. I have three sets of food allergies to cater to in the kitchen. I've had extended family upheaval I never thought I'd see. But you know what? The Lord has allowed me to be in places to share this hurt with others who are in the thick of it themselves. He's brought me women begging God to carry their own little one, friends and family stuck in the shock of a new diagnosis as they try to navigate new (very long) lists of foods to avoid, friends I knew long ago who are going through family situations the likes of mine, and the list goes on.
Because I've been there, I can share that it gets better. God will draw you nearer to Him if you allow it. He will shape you in a way you'll never imagine, if you'll give Him full reign in your heart and hang on with all your might. He will give you wisdom in places you'd never look. And then when it's time, He'll use you to share His love with another hurting child of His. It will be your turn to say, "it was God who sent me here" so you can bless a sad heart and be a balm to a troubled soul.
Let Him take you there. Press into Him and let Him heal your wounds.
Let Him use the horrible place He sent you for His glory by loving others who are there too. He just may have sent you there first for their sake.