The Profit of Pain
Posted January 24, 2013on:
It’s all around us. Everywhere we look we can find someone who has been hurt, is being hurt, or will be hurt in the future.
Pain is a fact of life. We deal with it in adolescence, and we deal with it in adulthood, and moments in between. From the time we’ve squeezed through the birth canal, it’s guaranteed, we won’t get out of this life without shedding a few tears of hurt, heartache, disappointment, sorrow or loss.
Recently, someone very dear to my heart was forced to face deep heartache. A relationship ended and devastation occurred. There were many questions. Tears. Lots of tears. Deep sorrow. Pain, almost too unbearable to handle. There was depression too. Lack of energy. Not wanting to think.
Why do we have to face pain? Is it because of something we did, or did not do? Is karma biting us in the butt? No. Personally, I think pain and heartache are a normal part of this life we live. A symptom of the fallen-ness of our world. It is not, however, something we should dish out to others.
There are lots of hurting people in the world. Someone will hurt us, just as my dear one found out. But, the question is: When we are hurt, do we hurt back? The answer is no, we don’t. Oh, the natural instinct is to hurt the offender worse than we were hurt. To validate our pain by causing pain. That’s what our flesh wants us to do. Cause them pain and make it hurt so good. Right?
The problem with wounding those who are already wounded is, Jesus isn’t in it. He told us, in Matthew 5:44 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you;” (KJV).
Our flesh doesn’t agree with that scripture, but, restraining ourselves from adding insult to injury is the road we are to travel.
Apparently this life isn’t about us. I don’t say that to make light of what has been done to anyone in the past. Some of us have experienced major violations against our bodies and souls; sexual abuse, marital infidelities, violence, rape… the list could go on. But, if we were to look backwards, we would see that Jesus has already taken care of those things, and because he did, we have to move forward. We need to be about the business of the Kingdom of God.
We need to do his work.
Again, I don’t make light of what you, or any one else, may have had to endure in this life. This blog is dedicated to helping women and men recover from the effects of childhood sexual assault. But, if, because of the atrocities that I was forced to endure as a child–until I was 15 years of age–I remained angry and vindictive, seeking ways to avenge myself, my honor, continuing to wish and pray for an opportunity to kill those men who treated me wrong, I would not have started this blog. I would not have written Whispers From My Heart. I would not have started a page for my book on Facebook to encourage women and men who struggle with the issues of sexual assault. And, I would not be in the position to help people overcome the trauma of sexual abuse. If I remained wrapped up in my pain and did not move forward, I would not be of use to you because I would not be able to get over me.
This life isn’t about me. It’s about you.
The focus of my life is now helping others. It is my job to proclaim that freedom from an abusive past is available through Jesus Christ. It is my job to shout from the roof tops that God is still in the business of healing the wounded soul. I can’t do that if I am focused on me. I have been where you are at. I’ve experienced the places of despair from which you came. I have cried those same tears. I have felt those same fears. That same pain.
Pain is useful.
My pain, as bad as it was—and it was extremely bad—has become the very avenue by which I now counsel others. My pain has afforded me compassion where I might not have otherwise acquired it. The pain we have suffered in the past, once we have allowed healing to take place, becomes useful in the work of the Kingdom of God. People who have deep wounds want to talk to people who understand their pain. In that sense, pain is turned into something glorious. Something beautiful rises out of the ash heap.
Can you see that?
I love what Romans 8:28 says. “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose.” What once was life stopping pain, God turns into something that will be for our good and for his purposes.
I wrote a poem about the abuse I suffered—it’s entitled “Mercy Heard and Mercy Saw.” In that poem I wrote, “What Satan meant for evil child, I’ll use for good this day.” It’s true. Satan meant to destroy my life by the rape, molestation and incest I endured until I was 15 years old. For the better part of my life, he accomplished that goal. But God came to heal me and deliver me, and now I use my past for his glory.
Pain hurts. But, pain can be good tool in God’s hand.
Use your pain for the glory of God.