No Pain, No Gain.

Sometimes life just hurts. We lose people suddenly to tragedy, sicknesses come upon us, friends move away. Sometimes things hurt so much that you just ache, inside and out. Recently, I’ve been dealing with facing a painful situation in my life and have gone through a lot of different emotions. Now I just hurt. And believe it or not, it’s a good thing.

My entire life, I have avoided pain. I completely blocked out something that happened to me when I was around 3 years old (the memory returned in my early 20s). Then, when I was about 9, my grandfather died. I refused to go to his funeral. We were really close, and I guess subconsciously I thought it would just go away if I avoided it…. This began a destructive avoidance pattern in my life. So many choices I made in my thoughts and actions were from attempts to avoid pain. (Look back at this week’s RE:FOCUS for more about how important our thoughts are.) For years, I have kept a wall up and held back love for fear of being hurt. I’m FINALLY getting to a point where I am actually letting my husband have all of the love that he has deserved, yet not completely received, for 12 years. It’s definitely been a growing process. And a sure sign of growth is when I realize that I am actually feeling something and not trying my best to avoid it.

In America, we tend to want to “feel good.” Whatever is right for the moment. This is the force that leads us to seek pleasure and avoid pain (well, that and our sinful, selfish nature). God allows circumstances for a reason. He’s always trying to grow us… but we have to let Him complete His perfect work in our lives, no matter how painful.

What is going on in your life? In your heart? Are you facing something painful, yet you’re trying to avoid the pain? Don’t go to your “happy place.” (We’ll talk more about that in RE:FOCUS in a couple of weeks.) Let go of your prideful wall and feel the pain. Then give it to God. You will grow stronger for it.

… But every falling tear is always understood.
Yes, life is hard, but God is good. – Pam Thum

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