so last week we talked about pain. the reality of it. the realness of it. the inability to escape it. but how can we process it? as i watched some cheesy show on netflix today one of the characters said something and God spoke so clearly.
often the only way out is through.
this secular show has hold of an eternal truth. so much of our lives is often spent avoiding going through the pain because it is well…painful. but what if the only way out of the pain is straight through the pain.
but how do you do that? how do you live through it? how do you not let it eat you alive?
i don’t have all the answers nor do i want to say i do but i want to share some of my journey.
it isn’t always pretty. let’s be honest…it’s never pretty. the crying and the tears. the coping period, whatever your drug of choice, alcohol, netflix, sex, drugs, food, etc. somehow we think those things will help. my default is often food or netflix. it sure doesn’t fix anything but it distracts me long enough to stop crying for a minute. or numb the pain for just the 42 min that whatever show lasts.
but the pain always comes back when i go to something else. it’s always there. no matter what door i try to go out of, the pain is there, begging to be dealt with.
FEEL THE PAIN
i think one of the most important things i have discovered in processing my pain was that it simply had to be felt. i tried to avoid feeling it and skip to the truth of whatever the situation was. but i don’t think i actually accomplished anything. if i don’t feel the pain, i can never be comforted but the great comforter, God. if i don’t feel the pain, i am missing out on a a huge part of who God promised to be to me.
feeling pain is the hard part for me. i have not historically been super emotional. these days as i intentionally engage emotion, however, i can’t seem to not be emotional. i talk about something minor in the grand scheme of things like being frustrated about my bum knee and start crying. but i would rather feel the depth of the pain so that i can feel the height of the joy than feel neither.
i think something else i learned is that it is a choice. i have to intentionally choose to walk through the valley of the shadow of death. in that place He is uniquely something for me that He isn’t in any other time. thomas aquinas talks about the dark night of the soul, this process of feeling abandoned and left in a wilderness to the most beautiful union with God.
like we talked about last post, there is pain. there will be pain. Jesus even promised us there would be pain. but we get to choose to face it courageously (walking into it regardless of fear or pride or whatever could be holding us back) and come out knowing God in a whole new light. we get to experience His love in a new way.
i think you also have to ask the hard questions. not because God needs to give you an answer but because if you keep it locked up it will cause your bones to rot.
God created us. not even just created us Psalm 139 uses this language of knitting us together. He knew just the pitfalls we would have. He knew where our personality could get us in trouble or do exceedingly well. He knows. but sometimes, we don’t know. we have to ask the questions of God because if we don’t, they sit there. like a pipe in iron. it gathers rust and soon dissolves away because it wasn’t cared for.
in the end we can choose to walk through the pain or keep walking in a maze, hitting dead ends trying to get around it. it isn’t for the faint of heart. it isn’t for those are ok with feeling nothing. but if you want to live an abundant life and experience a relationship that can not be compared, you have no choice but to go through it.