Marian Helper Spring 2024

Painful endurance, Redemptive Suffering Marian Helpers in Action Justin enjoyed cycling, both competitively and recreationally with his family. And he was good at it. The pain was worth it. But when an illness, which had been gradually progressing since he was a teenager, forced Justin to trade his bicycle for a cane and ankle braces as a young adult, the purpose of pain suddenly was no longer clear. Justin “was increasingly agonized” by the question of why this suffering had come into his life. The mental and physical anguish “led me away from God,” Justin, now 30, admits. As he wrestled with the apparent meaninglessness of this new trial, Justin “didn’t look to God” for a long time. By Marian Friedrichs As a competitive cyclist, Justin Koelbl knew that suffering can have meaning. During training, pain often told him when he was pushing himself hard enough, and in competition, he says, “Usually the one who won the race was the one who was willing to suffer the most.” 4 Marian Helper • Spring 2024 •