Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Moving Out of the Corner of Pain

There are times in life where we all have wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits.  Life can get overwhelmingly difficult and the word hope is no longer in our vocabulary.  We feel defeated and question our choices, our circumstances, and even our faith.  Times like this can leave us feeling so alone, unheard, and unseen.  

This past year was one of those years for me.  Someone I love experienced some gut-wrenching pain and I crawled into the trenches to support, encourage, and love on this person.  While the experiences did not happen to me personally, watching someone you absolutely love suffer and question his/her existence is devastatingly painful.  At times, life became almost too hard to handle.  Because the person and I were so close, the pain that was felt by my loved one was often turned into hateful anger directed at me.  My level headed mind knew it was just deep-seated pain and was never a personal attack.  I won't lie, there were many times that the anger became too much and it cut my heart into a zillion pieces.  On top of that, I was painfully heartbroken for this person and felt so much anger, betrayal, hurt, etc.  

As I woke each morning, and often throughout the day, I prayed for my loved one.  At first, my prayers were to surround my love, comfort my love, and heal my love.  I prayed that God would set a table before my love in the presence of the enemies.  I prayed that those who caused the pain would suffer greatly and feel exactly what they had inflicted.

As time went on, I realized my prayers were filled with bitterness.  They were also very limiting.  God can do so much more than we can imagine and I needed to praise Him for this, as well as pray loving prayers over the enemies.  At first, I gritted my teeth as I prayed blessings over those who caused such heart devastation.  It was unfathomable to me to pray that those who had caused so much harm would receive blessings.

The more I prayed for them, however, the more God opened my heart to feel empathy and forgiveness.  I began to pray for my loved one to grow closer to God in the pain.  I prayed that my love would recognize God's sovereignty and constant presence, even in the trenches.  I also prayed that the inflicters would know God's love.  I began to realize that those who are hurting hurt others.  I prayed that rather than feeling pain like I originally prayed for, that they would feel freedom and peace.

As God always does, He heard my prayers and answered them.  My loved one has more strength, courage, and drive for life than I ever imagined possible.  My love experienced true feelings of forgiveness and mercy.  There are no grudges, no retaliation hopes, and no ill will.  My love is truly free, joyous, and happy.  So many opportunities have presented themselves and so much growth has taken place.  

While I would never wish for my love to suffer so greatly, so much was gained from this experience.  Life lessons about God, love, forgiveness, strength, and a will to live happily were gained.  I no longer feel anger about the situation, but rather grateful for the growth that has taken place.  

Life lessons often come from pain.  We can stay stuffed in a corner with ridiculously bitter hearts or we can open our hearts to God's leading, growing, and healing.  Am I ever grateful that my love chose the latter!

You may be wondering what became of the offenders.  God is definitely at work in their lives.  A couple of the people actually accepted responsibility and apologized.  That is huge!  I continue to pray for them and have great hope that they will feel God's love and mercy with such force that they will know the source.  My love offers them forgiveness and mercy, which I truly believe they feel.  

If you find yourself in the trenches and feel alone, abandoned, hopeless, and helpless, know that you are not alone.  God is with you and waiting for you to ask for help and guidance.  Pour your heart out to Him and trust that He hears you.  He created you to love you, not to hurt you.  Often, lessons hurt like major heck, but the growth that comes is worth it.  We will never grow hiding away with bitter hearts.  Growth and healing are results of lots of knee time in prayer.  Be honest in your pain and in your prayers.  Look for the teeny blessings that God provides for you each day.  Those teeny blessings add up.

One moment at a time in trust and you will feel and see God direct your heart to Him.

Loving you so much-