Lots of things go wrong. Lots.
… but lots of things go right, too.
Pain threatens to kill the part of you that wants to live. Don’t let it. God has wonderful surprises tucked away for you that will make you smile. Yes, even in sorrow there is joy. Don’t take my word for it. Go look!
Humans have a longing to be validated.
We spend much of our time discovering who we are, and explaining to others who we are. When your heart is aching it’s normal to want people to notice and to care. We’re wired that way.
Yet, far too many avoid people facing painful situations. Some just run the other way. It becomes a socially awkward nightmare, leaving the one in pain …. in even more pain. If this is you, read on.
When pain comes, it’s alright to pull away. You reach out and touch the handle of a hot dish. It hurts. You pull back. You reach out towards a cat. It hisses and swipes at you. You pull back.
Why is heartache treated differently? Because physical pain is visible and can be measured. People want so badly for you to be well or be who you were before the pain. So, depending on your pain, don’t expect people to know exactly how you feel.
But, there is one who does get it. God. The Creator of humanity, the Creator of you, knows. You may be blaming Him for the pain. He’s got the shoulders for it. But then eventually, one must come to terms with God’s part or you will continually spiral downward to cynicism and bitterness (leading to even more pain).
As I have faced deep sorrow in my life, I have learned what works and what doesn’t work. And most of the time, it is this: be patient with yourself even when it feels like the people around you are not.
Are you in pain today? Be validated. No strings attached.
Some pain is so deep that there are no words.
In the book, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, the author wonderfully explains what I had personally discovered:
“We recover from broken limbs, not amputations.”
There are some awful things in life that change us forever. If a tree falls to the ground, we cannot put it back up. Yet, when someone is in pain, we try to put them back up. We mean well. It’s just what we do. We want them to be well for their sake. And sometimes, we want them to be well for our sake. Pain scares us.
The amputee will never have his leg back. What is lost is lost. And it is much better for a person to face that truth. Only then are they able to go through the pain.
We can throw prescription drugs, antibiotics, bandages, and ointments all we want at a missing leg and it won’t reappear no matter how hard we try. But, we can help someone walk again.
“But it hurts.”
Yes, it does.
Pain comes to all of us. It comes in the form of physical, emotional, and mental. The physical pain we get. It’s visible. We understand it. The crutches explain the broken leg and the bed explains the flu. Mental pain we get. It, too, is visible. We may not understand it completely, but we accept it for what it is.
But emotional pain is more elusive. It slips through our fingers when we try to understand it. A broken heart is not healed quickly. We may see the effects of it but cannot readily define it. We just want the pain to go away.
I am not going to pretend I understand the pain of famine, genocide, or the pain of watching a loved one suffer with a terminal illness.
I do understand the pain of losing a child, abandonment, rejection, disappointment, loneliness, discouragement and more.
And I’m not going to tell you, “Pain is pain.” It isn’t.
But I do understand what hope is and how it feels to have it … and not to have it. I also understand how a little encouragement, in a small gesture such as a hand on my shoulder, a smile, or a few caring words, can keep me going for days!
If you’re inclined, it would warm my heart if you were encouraged through my Monday, Wednesday, and Friday passages … real words about real pain … for real people, like you.