Allow me the grace to be a bit transparent…
Not too many years ago, I thought to myself, “I can’t do this anymore. It’s too hard. I will never get out of this pit. It would be better for me to die.”
The reality of living was too hard to handle.
This reality stared at me in the face every day. Whether it looked at me in the mirror or through the eyes of a stranger, I couldn’t help but see its disconcerted lines on every face.
It became blatantly obvious to me that life required more out of us than we wanted to give. That there’s more disappointment than we bargained for. And, more rejection than we expected.
As a pastor, the depth of my brokenness was hard to understand in myself. I was supposed to be better than that…stronger than that. More mature than the rest.
But, here I was in the despair of my pain anyways.
He showed me a difficult truth. I had to learn the hard lesson that my peace…and my joy…does not flow from answered prayer, but from an identity that has been made whole by a greater grace. That there is more to living than having everything turn out perfectly, especially on my time table.
I am who I am regardless of when, where, and how I find myself. In Christ, I have been recreated. I am filled with His Spirit. I have been healed, restored, and released to be the person God saw before time began.
I must be greater than my pain. If not, I will become addicted to it just like any other soothing substance or entertainment.
What does that addiction look like?
Well…We want others to know about it; so, we talk about it all the time. We want others to soothe it; so, we display our wounds before those who would follow us on social media. We want others to say how right we are to feel what we feel and to validate our dysfuntion. Truly, we want others to be as consumed with our pain as much as we are; all the while we never allow ourselves to be healed.
It sounds and feels right to do so; but the truth is, we want someone to validate and acquit us of our brokenness while we remain in bondage to our pain.
I know how all this sounds. But remember, I’ve been in those shoes, and those shoes don’t wear well.
Life is found in our living…no matter our weaknesses! God has given us a great gift—life flows from within not from without.
So…how can we begin, today, to break our addiction to pain?
- Set your mind on the truth of the Word. You need a perspective greater than yourself.
- Live from the innocence of the blood of Christ. His sacrifice, has for all times, made you whole. Declare it over your life. Praise Him for it.
- Cut your tie to isolation. Our pain is not unique to us. We are actually partnered with an entire world full of people with pain. So don’t hide out. Believe with others for their best life so that we can ALL move forward.
- Keep moving. Life is in front you. The past is only a memory. Keep moving even if you have to live from one minute to the next.
- Do what you can. No matter your limitations, imagined or real, you can always do something to fuel dreams, love, and creativity. You can always build bridges somewhere that lead to something greater.
- No one can rescue you like Jesus. Humans can sympathize, but only Jesus can recreate.
So, let’s go live. And no matter what the battle is, you are better than what it’s telling you.