The Truth About Pain

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“More than anything else, I learned to stop filling the gaps of my faith with religion.” Angie Smith – Chasing God

This quote hit me between the eyes this morning….probably because I have done it…I have tried to fill the gaps in my faith with religion.I have tried to justify my existence by existing solely for myself because existing for something bigger than me scared the heck out of me.  There were times I was so confused about who God is that I was tempted to deny Him altogether.  And even when I acknowledged His existence, I couldn’t imagine Him loving the broken vessel that is me.  And if I am honest about it, sometimes I still have trouble believing His unending, unconditional love applies to me….Because I am a mess ya’ll…and a HOT mess at that.

I won’t bore you with the details of my mess.  I am sure there are many of you who are dealing with things much worse than anything I have ever experienced.  And if you’re like me, when someone starts whining about their paper cut while you’re standing in front of them with a gunshot wound, it just doesn’t seem right, somehow. So, here we are, in the midst of my mess (and yours too, I’m sure) wondering where to go from here. I am going to be real with you….although there is a part of me screaming “WALK AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD!” and my palms are sweating, and my stomach aches, I am going to be real, because there is an even greater part of me that believes the world needs more real. We need to know we are not alone in our messes and that someone else experiences pain and tries to hide it from the world.

So here goes:

There are places within me that seem broken beyond repair.  There are cracks in my heart that run deeper than even I can measure.  There are nights I lie in bed on a pillow soaked with my own tears and there are days I cry with such harsh, gut wrenching sobs, my voice is hoarse for hours afterward.  I share these things because I believe there are others who speak with broken hearts and tear stained voices.  But somewhere along the way, we have convinced ourselves it is not OK to not be OK.  We feel we have to lie about our pain and go about our business as if everything is fine.  Ya’ll, WHY have we bought into this lie??? Is it because we want people to believe our lives are fairy tales? Do we see pain as weakness?  Or is it just too painful to talk about our pain?? I think it is a combination of all of these.

I know I hide my pain from pretty much every person who knows me, with very few exceptions.  On those rare occasions I choose to share, I almost feel like it causes me more pain to put myself out there.  I am very much in the habit of holing up when I am hurting.  Kind of like a wounded animal.  I hunker down with my God, my Bible, and my tissues.  While I see nothing wrong with hunkering down with God, I am convicted that sometimes I use Him as an excuse to hide.  I mean really, who is going to argue with you when you decline due to “spending time with Jesus”? 🙂

This last year has been tough for me, ya’ll, and just when I think I am on the other side of it, it gets even tougher.  But here is what I am learning.

God loves me….Every broken, messy, part of me.  And when I let Him, He begins to mend those broken places within me and He shines His light through those cracks in my heart.  He holds every tear I cry and He hears every gut wrenching sob that escapes me.  He even sends His people to minister to me through my pain and I am learning to let them in, little by little, bit by bit.

So for those of you who are hurting, let God do His work in you and heal your brokenness.  For those of you He sends to minister to us broken vessels, thank you, and please don’t give up on us even when we decline to “spend time with Jesus.”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Father God, thank You for Your unending, unconditional love. Thank You for healing our brokenness and mending the cracks in our hearts. Thank you Lord, that even when I feel alone, You are with me. I love You and I praise You in the midst of every storm. In Christ’s name, Amen

14 thoughts on “The Truth About Pain

  1. oh, thank you for your open heart and honesty … again, you have put into words feelings that I have had for so long.
    and I too bury them. Having always thought love was “conditional” I had to put up the “front”.
    because “unless you are perfect you are not loved” … and, also to put up an armor that if no one sees your weaknesses – you can not be hurt. (haha, or “kill or be killed” as we fondly called it.)
    Thank you Nichole ! Thank You, Jesus ! I Love Jesus for breaking down this part of me !
    I am still such a messy work in progress … but, boy, it sure helps to hear I am not alone.
    XXXOOO

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    • Thank you so much, Elise. I am so glad this post blessed you….it’s my heart, on paper 🙂 As scary as it is to share, I know it’s God’s will and it encourages me so much to read comments like yours! Keep them coming 🙂 XOXO

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  2. Wow…. Incredible honesty. Thanks for uncovering your truest heart so that COMPLETE healing can take place. You are beautiful, loved, and AWESOME!!! Much love and blessings to you, sweet friend! 🙂

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    • Thank you sweet Christa! Jehova Rapha, God our healer continues to amaze me with His redeeming love. I am so grateful for His healing…even if it means I have to share my stories (EEEEKKKK!!!) XOXO!

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  3. I can so relate to your post today. It’s like you have ripped a page from my life to write about today, Thank you for being bold, obedient, and stepping out in faith.

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  4. So beautifully said, thanks for being open and obedient to the Lord and writing this blog, I feel you put my heart into words, I feel so broken lately and such a mess, but I’m so thankful for how God is using you and this OBS to show me how much He loves me and He’s healing my messy heart 🙂 I don’t know when we got the message that we needed to look all together or God and other people weren’t going to accept us, Ugh, I’m very thankful God is showing us differently and He loves us so deeply. Thanks again for your beautiful writing ❤

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  5. Thank you for sharing your heart. Sometimes it is to painful to share your pain. There was a period of about 5 years that I wasn’t able to go out to lunch with any friends because I was afraid I would start to sob if anyone would ask me about my family. It was so broken. My family is not healed as of yet….we are still broken, but God has given me promises & I am not as broken as I was. Well at least today I am not:) Love & prayer Nicole♥♡♥

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    • Thank you Mary. I understand the need to isolate in order to avoid being put in a position to confront our pain in public….I pray God continues to heal you and use your broken places for His glory. I appreciate you! XOXO!

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  6. Lovely post, enjoyed reading it. However, I have to disagree with paper wounds and gunshot wounds. We all have our cross to bear in this lifetime…what’s a breeze for you is a thorn in the flesh for others and vice versa especially when it’s got you doing gut wrenching sobbing. I sooo feel you, and I realised that opening up and making myself vulnerable helped me heal. Now, I’m using my messed up life story as a testimony…everything for His glory. I wish you a blessed journey in the remainder of this study and His Word…grace covered! Music to my ears!

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