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I used to think of myself as someone who could withstand pain.  I played through it in sports.  I challenged people to “games” of enduring pain and always walked away proud of myself for what I could take.  I thought I knew pain and had it whipped.

Then I met real pain.  A family lost.  Loneliness.  Silence.  The feeling of abandonment.  I met real pain and learned I am not so tough.  I have learned how deep pain can go and I have learned that there is no amount of mental effort I can exert that will make it easier or even bearable.  Real pain isn’t at the muscle level but at the heart and at the soul level.

As the pain has intensified, I have gone through a litany of emotions.  Anger with God.  Pleading with God.  Abandonment of faith.  Faith is all I have.  Hope.  Fear.  Failure.  Unworthy.  Loved.

I’ve called a couple of close friends lately and let them know I feel like I’m at the end of the rope.  One prayed with me that I would hear a new word from God soon.  My current situation causes me to shed lots of tears, to SCREAM out in pain that goes deep, into the core of my being.  That prayer from my friend and the next day I’m on a call that is giving me hope.  I don’t know that it’s the way out of my pain but it was a conversation that led me to believe there is hope, that there is a new and brighter day coming.  It cannot come soon enough because each day that I wake up, I want to hide under the covers and not face the day ahead of me.  There are a couple of situations I can pinpoint as the cause and there is no easy away around them.  So I pray for a new word, a new outlook, a new understanding of where God is leading me.  I pray it will be a journey out of this pain and into the light, into the sunshine and cool breeze.  I pray it will be a walk that is closer with God and closer with someone I love dearly and with my closest and best of friends.

This pain goes so deep and it hurts constantly.  No amount of Advil or alcohol could take it away.  Only God can.  Only God can take me somewhere that allows me to feel renewed and revived and pain free.  I read something today that said God is closest to us in the darkness, that is where his power is most evident.  I long to see it and pray he will give me relief very, very soon.  The pain is deep.  It is crushing my spirit.

It is because I know this pain that I can imagine what it is like to live without it, to live in the pure and total joy of God, to soak in the blessings he has without these things that attempt to destroy me.  I want to live a life full and free with his purpose for me as the guiding light and to revel in the unburdened freedom of his love for me.  I want it because I know that feeling of freedom and love goes deep.  I know it can and will go to the core of my being.  I know that it will fill me up and I pray that I will overflow from the deepest recesses of my being with the joy that comes from being a child of God and walking in his goodness.

Grace and peace.