A Few Lessons Learned from Pain

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Pain can make us better or bitter ... the choice is ours.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

The enemy is a master at manipulating our pain and suffering.

Our emotions are a direct reaction to the pain that we go through. Those negative emotions can build up a toxic fog making our thoughts murky and leading us astray.

The more we dwell on the negative thoughts the more we will rebel.

Coming in tune with my emotions and how they carry either truth or lies has been a hard but needed lesson over the last year and a half.

I can clearly see how experiences, good or bad can build a case for any offense (real or perceived).

I recognize how dysfunction and the past finds a place to nest within our emotional vault in order to weaken the spirit.

I understand how warfare goes hand in hand with the pain, the past and negative emotions.

The devil is counting on our ignorance and how we react and deal with pain to wreck us because he knows that pain changes us.

I know this pain has changed me … I’ve been told I am different … many times.

Though I wouldn’t wish all that our family has endured over the last year on anyone, I am grateful for some real-life lessons that involve human behavior and Jesus.

Learning and watching other’s deal with pain in their life has been eye-opening for me.

I’ve resolved I don’t want to become bitter, period.

And I don’t want to react from a place of hurt that causes others harm.

I refuse to get stuck in a toxic fog and lose sight of the future.

Nope … I’m not a prisoner of unforgiveness no matter if a few want to believe that for their own consciences’ sake.

Forgiveness is a choice, period.

I choose forgiveness every day before I roll out of bed … and it’s not based on emotions.

Does it still hurt? Yes, it does.

Is trust gone? Sadly, yes.

But … my Shepherd is minding my heart well and the peace I am finding comes in making more healing choices that are good for me.

Pain doesn’t just change the person … it changes the way one lives.

Pain weeds out what needs to be weeded out.

Pain gives you a clear view of who is for you and who is not.

But one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is … the enemy wanted the pain to devalue who I am in Christ … in order to keep me down.

Nevertheless, this life-changing pain and emotional muck have merely made me more desperate for God.

The enemy wanted the pain to ruin me … but I have a loving Creator that has been pursuing and fighting for me every day.

And HE has patiently shown me what to let go of and why.

So … pain has many lessons.

I’ll be learning from this last year and a half for the rest of my life.

But I want to encourage you …  if you are in a place of great pain that makes you want to give up on life, faith, and even those around you …

The most important thing you can do in the middle of a life-changing painful season is to cry out to God, rest, grieve, and learn to let Him comfort you.

Being patient and learning to trust Him is key to healing.

Ask for protection over your emotions to not react.

Find an activity that brings joy and a change of pace in your life.

Ask Him to lessen the hurt and help you forget a little more each day.

Seek Him in knowing what to let go of.

Ask Him to bring something good out of that which has broken your heart … and believe HE leaves nothing undone.

Pain can make us bitter or better … the choice is ours.

We know what the enemy wants … but we have a choice to let pain make us all that the Father wants us to be … for His Glory.

Father, may we seek your healing in places that our hearts can’t even fathom. Make us wiser to see where the enemy wants us to linger in harmful emotions. Help us choose forgiveness every day and trust your timing to bring healing in your way. Amen.

Praying for all those bound in the bondage of pain tonight.

love mel

“Fixing Our Hearts”

Everything in life flows through the heart

The walls of our hearts are so scuffed up and damaged….

Unaware we paint bitterness or anger over the damage.

Some of us let fear….

Apathy…..

Defeat…

And even hatred fall into rhythm with our heart beat.

If only we could see our hearts the way GOD sees them….

Maybe we would be careful to keep them soft…..

Surrendered….

Humble.

GOD wants us to be honest about the rubble in our hearts….

So HE allows the life jolts.

The truth is our hearts don’t harden overnight….

We make gradual choices to cover up the pain….

The secrets….

The resentment….

The pride…

The sin….

Everyday we decide to hide the hurt…

Or blame another…

Or push it far away trying to ignore it….

But what we are really doing is giving up the battle for transparency with GOD.

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Just like we tell a doctor about our sicknesses….

We must tell our Heavenly Father about the hard places in our heart.

When we let GOD have his way in the deepest part of our soul…

There is healing and peace…

Even when the tears and lasting consequences remain.

There is something so beautiful in that first moment of breath when I have just let go of a deep rooted hurt…and confessed my sin….

I feel so free…

So clean…..

So hopeful.

We can’t be hopeful or live the abundant life HE came to give us when we carry around the junk.

As long as we keep parts of our heart from GOD…

HE can’t fully use us…..

There won’t be any real peace….

And we won’t be able to hear HIM clearly.

We have no control over the circumstances paralyzing our lives at times…..

But we do have control over our hearts.

And we can determine that disappointment isn’t going to jade us….

Or break us….

Harden us….

Or lead us away from our faith….

Causing us to drift farther and farther away from the sacred closeness our Heavenly Father desires.

Everything in life flows through our hearts.

So perhaps its time to identify the hard places?

 

We can’t fix our hearts by ourselves….

Or another’s heart…

But we CAN surrender to the only one who can fix us…..

Are there places in your heart you need to surrender to JESUS today?

harden hearts

Oh GOD….Help us surrender the obscure places in our hearts where we hide the things you want us to release.

Soften our hearts oh GOD….

So that we may be in your will.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Letting Go Of The Hurt”

My heart was as hard as stone.

I had built a wall all around my fragile emotions.

I didn’t trust anyone….nor did I want friends.

I allowed circumstances to poison my heart toward all people.

I withdrew from relationships and checked out of the only social scene I participated in… which centered around church.

My husband accused me of being unfriendly.

He would go out to eat with friends….I would not.

My job became more demanding requiring me to travel….I stayed tired so it was a good excuse.

I allowed myself to only care for my immediate family.

Thank GOD I did not give up on church.  HE kept me engaged with the drama ministry I served.

My broken heart kept me desperate for GOD.

broken heart

In the midst of my internal pain, I knew GOD was the only solace for help.

I lived in this fog for about 6 years….disillusioned with loyalty….friendship….trust.

As time passed….I smiled and put on a good front…but I kept my distance.

Let me just say….distance is never good.

Distance just keeps us farther away from facing the root of our heartaches.

The LORD did many things in my life during those dark years of living in isolation.

First HE showed me how deceitful my heart was.

the heart is deceitful

I was so weak in reality….I believed the lies my feelings were telling my mind.

Not everything I felt was true.

Second HE helped me see….I can’t fix others…but I can fix my heart if I will listen and obey HIM.

HE forced me to identify the true root of my heartache…and I finally surrendered my brokenness to the only one who could restore.

You see….sometimes we spend more time looking at others hearts instead of looking at our own.

It’s so easy to pray for GOD to fix another’s heart isn’t it?

HE showed me regardless of whether certain people in my life are loyal….trustworthy….or not….HE will always be loyal…. and trustworthy.

I’ve learned not to judge all people from the hurtful experiences life throws my way.

Just because someone betrays or lets me down today….doesn’t mean a new friend will do the same tomorrow.

When I realized GOD wanted me to have friends whether I wanted them or not….I knew I had a spiritual problem.

HE let me waller in my misery until I felt the need for GODLY friendship.

HE created us for companionship…to bear one another’s burdens…to encourage….to be accountable….to love.

GOD started speaking to me about letting go…and letting others in.  One day I found a great quote by C.S. Lewis….

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art….It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.”

 

friendship

 

We don’t need friends to survive…..

but we need them to be able to walk the path GOD has planned for us….

because HE knows the rocky roads we will encounter…..

the great fogs we will get lost in….

and the deep valleys that will threaten our existence.

HE knows the value of the friend who will listen…guide and pray for us.

I grieve because I isolated myself from so many.

I grieve because I probably appeared apathetic….maybe even arrogant.

Heartache changes us…..makes us become something GOD does not want us to be…..

Bitter….

Hardened…

Alone.

So I send these thoughts out to the big blog-o-sphere with this encouragement for you to think about…..

If you have unbelievable hurt or betrayal you are carrying around….

if hurt is causing you to isolate yourself from others…..

and pain is making you view the world through the lies of feelings….

Friend….give yourself a gift….

Let it go.

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and realize…..in the grand scheme of things….the situation really didn’t matter in regard to eternity.

Are you going to care about this hurt when you are with JESUS one day?

If you know JESUS….the answer to that question is NO!

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and realize…you lost precious memories and experiences you could have had with new friends….family….or restored friends.

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and realize…..

Your heart was as hard as stone…..

And that stone heart made you cold….apathetic…unapproachable….unfriendly….judgmental….lonely.

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and realize….

You have regrets….and should have done things different.

You don’t want to get to the end of your life and realize….

It could have been so much different….if only you had let go of the hurt.

Letting go is a gift you give to yourself…..

And the great gift is…. you are no longer allowing hurt to jade your heart or rob you of peace and joy….it means you value your life and existence more than the negativity in your life.

Letting go is an act of obedience to GOD.

GOD’S blessing will come to you when bitterness is excavated from every layer of your heart!

Letting go of the hurt…is the beginning to restoring you.

letting go of the hurt

Tell me friend…….what do you need to let go of today?