Thursday, November 16, 2017

leaning into the pain

it has been an intense season the past couple months. there are trials that everyone goes through - i am not going to pretend like mine are anything harder than anyone else or that i haven't had past seasons just as hard and much harder personally. this has just been a peculiar kind of hard. a hard that hits a specific tender spot in me and is challenging for me to walk through.

i have asked the Lord to take it from me. like pleaded. we have done what we can in the practical to deal with the trial, but it remains at this point. it has been almost 2 months and i feel worn down and struggling to believe anything will change. i mean, quite honestly, i have to deal with the thought that maybe it won't and i will have to decide what i do from here if it doesn't. but, i am still asking the Lord to bring us to the other side of this issue.

and though, as i said, my trial is nothing compared to what so many people are living through or what i have even gone through in my life. yet, i am facing that it really is a trial and i want to get whatever i have to out of it so that it isn't a trial in vain. you know what i mean? maybe it is my particular upbringing, but i think, "oh God, teach me what i need to know so we don't have to go around this mountain agan!" i was listening to a podcast of a gal who had a stroke about 10 years ago and she was talking about how life altering it was and how she has made it this far with a heart free from resentment or anger. she talked about leaning into the pain. in my comparatively light trial, i am asking myself if i have leaned into the pain, or if i have tried to stuff the pain because i feel so silly that this issue has caused my heart pain? how often do we look at others' lives and decided that the things that really do weigh our hearts down aren't worth dealing with because they make us look foolish? i mean, maybe i am foolish for having such a hard time these past couple months, but the fact remains that i am having a hard time. a very hard time. i am questioning why God isn't delivering me from the trial. i am going through all the same questions in my mind of why is this happening to me as i have in trials that others would look at as huge ones.

someone sent me the verse today, "I, even I, am He who comforts you..." from isaiah 51:12. i think i have had in my heart an accusation against God that He hasn't delivered me from this trial yet. the other day, in the heat of the moment, the words slipped from my mouth half in jest, "why do you hate me?" directed at God. i say half in jest because as i think about it, i am ashamed that my heart questions if God is somehow against me in having to deal with this issue. what is it i truly believe about God? do i believe He doesn't care for me, know my peculiar weaknesses, and is patient and kind towards me, or do i believe as this verse above states that He is the one who comforts me in the midst of my trial? could it be that He absolutely could deliver me from this trial this very moment, and i pray He does, but that He is tender and caring and gentle towards me in the middle of it even when He hasn't yet provided a way out?

i have listened to this song by shane and shane over and over again in this trial. the words that john piper speaks in the middle particularly speak to my heart in the middle of being discouraged. not one tiny moment of my suffering and pain is meaningless. God will bring good from it. i believe that He will bring the good both in this age and in the one to come. the passage this song is written from is from the book of job. if job could lean into the pain so fully and trusting, then how can i not? my trial is so much less than what he walked through, but it is no less that i choose to trust God and commit myself to not stuff or run from the pain, but to lean into it.  doesn't even human wonder if his/her suffering and heartache is meaningless? i know i have asked that question so many times in my life. what a comforting statement that our pain has meaning. i feel like i have been hiding from God in my pain and He wants me to draw near Him and let Him comfort me. He is a tender daddy who cares even for a skinned knee or small cut on his little girl.

i am positive that every person who reads this post is going through a trial of your own, or about to go through one. i hope that this song, that this message that your pain is not meaningless will encourage you to not lose heart. lean into the pain with me. He is the One who wants us to come to Him for comfort.

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