“Every little ache or pain I wonder, could this be the thing that does me in?” she said.
The conversation turned to death when the eldest in our conversation explained how, after watching her friends die in their old age, she now fearfully analyzes every ache and pain as a possible nail in her coffin.
Her words stunned me.
“I never thought of that,” I humbly uttered.
In my youth, I never imagined how the chronic pain of growing older functions as a constant reminder of death.
Looking her in the eyes she continued with a sense of urgency, “Well, it’s true!”
She continued, “At our age, doctors don’t try to cure anything; they just strive to find balance between your major organs.”
Endure pain while finding balance.
While listening to this elderly woman describe every little ache and pain, I connected with her emotionally.
None of us live pain-free, and most of us spend great energy trying to develop balance in our everyday lives.
During different seasons of my life and times of healing, I have wondered, is THIS the trigger that’s gonna make me feel like I’m going to go crazy?
Earlier in my healing journey I journaled about my anger and how minor events instantly sent me into a panic-stricken rage. Sometimes these things still bother me.
- Panic choked me if I allowed myself to be in loud, crowded situations for any length of time, and I often found myself barking at people when forced to be social.
- Finding myself alone in a room without easy access to an exit evoked a debilitating fear and fury, which I have often misdirected onto others, damaging relationships.
To cope, I focused on the manifestations of my pain (my actions, my words) instead of naming the core of my fear (feelings, thoughts, memories from that dark, dark time of abuse).
Facing the crux behind the action requires divine strength. Ignoring core wounds leads to disease.
“Deadening the pain merely deadens our souls, while the pain lives on as a monster lurking in the basement. The terror of it is as devastating as the pain itself,” (D. Allender, The Wounded Heart Workbook, 39).
Rarely does one heal significant, festering injuries in isolation.
When I began sharing some of the pain, memories, and present-day hurts from the past, they stunk.
My wounds reeked.
I howled with pain.
Even through exposing the pain, God was tender. He was loving and nurturing to me through His body of believers.
Safe, mature, God-fearing people–who weren’t afraid of a pus-filled soul–held my hand throughout the process. Just like a good nurse or surgeon, they saw the wound as a wound, but also saw the promise of health and healing once the infection is removed.
Healing is a journey, and I white-knuckle every bit of God’s promises of making “all things work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8.28).
We don’t have to live in constant fear and panic, like the woman who fretted about every ache and pain in her body.
Our balance while facing pain is the grace and peace and joy found in a relationship with Jesus, as experienced in community with other believers.
As we heal, we get stronger.
As we get stronger, we mature.
As we mature, we can be those hand-holders of others who just can’t face the pain of their past alone.
That’s the life I want. How about you?
What’s your next step?
What are the little aches and pains you notice in your every day life? In what ways might they be related to your past? Allow the Holy Spirit, through prayer, to guide you to face the monstrous pain lurking in the basement of your heart. Seek one or two safe, godly, mature Christian believers to walk this journey with you.
Join me on the healing journey.
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