Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us – 2 Cor 7:8-9
Right now i’m writing this lying on my back with my laptop on top of the couch, usb keyboard on my thighs, mouse on the coffee table, because I hurt my back in a pretty major way and sitting is probably the most painful position for me.
I don’t mean to be melodramatic, and I’m not looking for sympathy (though I’ll always take prayer), and I know many others who have suffered much more severely, but I haven’t been in this much pain, for such an extended period of time ever in my life. But God is speaking to me so much through it, and I love Him so much for that! He is such a good God!
And it’s funny, but God spoke to me through my chiropractor numerous times through this.
He told me to stop taking the anti-inflammatories that I had from a previous time because i needed to feel all the pain so I wouldn’t keep hurting myself. He told me that pain was my guardian. Just like how we don’t touch the element of the stove because it will hurt us.
I knew instantly that God was telling me that the same thing applies to emotional or spiritual pain. As difficult as it is to accept, emotional pain can be a Guardian. Just like with touching the stove, emotional pain can keep us from hurting ourselves much more severely by getting us to stop doing something destructive.
He also made it clear that I’ll be in pain for a number of weeks, but if I re-aggravate it, I start right back at the beginning again, and that’s why I need to feel all my pain.
So if you put those two together, my reality is that the only way out of my pain is through it.
Even as I write this, I’m getting the sense of how big this message is as I know for certain that that concept applies to emotional pain.
Anyone I’ve ever gotten to know on a deeper level has, or is currently medicating an emotional pain to try to get by. and this is certainly the story of anyone who’s ever come into Overcomers in Christ (soon to be Celebrate Recovery®) including myself. They experienced some massive pain or heartbreak, probably many in fact, and instead of feeling the full pain of it, they began medicating to avoid the pain, and instead only prolonged the pain and hurt many other people in the process.
And the medication is also usually specific to the hurt. For me, for instance, my major hurts were all around a sense of feeling unwanted, and my addiction was pornography, which gives a false sense of feeling wanted. Some alcoholics were neglected, but when they were drunk they were the life of the party and got lots of attention so they kept drinking. Most codependants were denied affirmation, so they seek it to the destruction of their own health.
From personal experience,I know that in both he physical and spiritual/emotional worlds that the only way to finally completely get out of our pain, is to be brave enough to go through it.
And I can tell you personally, since I’ve been brave enough to go through certain emotional pain, things that used to provoke either anger or tears in me, now don’t provoke me at all, and I can talk about them easily. Those years of dull pain are over, and I no longer need to medicate because the pain is gone in those areas. (still have other areas to work on though)
But we absolutely cannot muster the bravery to go through our pain alone. We need the intimacy of Christ, and the fellowship of other believers to walk along side of us.
So my hope is that you will take the courage to go through your pain, so that you can finally, once and for all be out of it.