How I wish I'd known that I could offer up my suffering while I was pregnant! Maybe then I would have had more graces to handle it, especially when I was pregnant with Little Girl. Instead, I just felt abandoned and confused. I did find a prayer a while back that offers up suffering, including that of the past, for the good of the Church and the intentions of Jesus Christ. But I just wish I'd known back then.
Julie D. has up a beautiful quote that puts our sufferings into an interesting context, and since it seems that suffering is a theme of sorts today, I wanted to pinch it.
Notice that the risen Jesus still bears his wounds. How can it be otherwise? In our own lives, times of suffering may lead to times of peace and joy, but we cannot escape the lingering effects of suffering. It permanently changes us -- we cannot pretend that it never happened. That the risen Jesus still bears his wounds is good news, for it tells us that there is a continuity between the lives we have now and the lives that we will enjoy in the Resurrection. Jesus is the same person. His wounds, though, are different: they are not a source of suffering but a source of recognition. It is only through seeing Jesus' wounds that Thomas recognizes him. In the Resurrection, we will still bear the effects of the hurts that have been done to us, but they will no longer cause us pain.