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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When I Invited God Into My Pain

I was a Psych major in college, but I hate talking about feelings, and over the years I have tended towards stuffing them way down deep. I struggle with ebbs and flows of mild depression. Not the "I can't get out of bed" kind, but more of the mind-numbing, soul-sucking kind. I came to follow Christ about 5 years ago. I know Jesus, and I love Him.
Growing with God has transformed my life, my marriage, and our family.

At 38 years old, I began counseling at my church a few weeks ago. I was excited to see what God would do, but frankly I didn't really see any big breakthroughs coming for me. Well, once again, God shows me that I know nothing and He sees so much more than me. And for that I am very thankful. One of the first things my counselor asked me after I shared my story with her was if I had ever invited God into my pain. Had I ever talked to Him about it, asked questions to Him, cried out to Him? And the answer is NO. I never had. And I had no good reason not to. So I did. I took all my ugly feelings and sad things, pain and tragedies and set them before God. I sat and wrote them down, and asked God "Lord were you there when...?" "Did you love me when...?" "What do you think about...?" "Why?" And I sat with God with my past, and my pain, and my anger and confusion, my doubts about His goodness. And this is what He gave me:

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name,
you are mine.
When you pass through the water, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
Isaiah 43:1-3

He loves me. I am chosen. I am his beautiful daughter. He wept with me when I hurt. But He could see where I would be going. He does not promise that our lives will be without pain, but He does promise to carry us through it. When we are faithless He remains faithful. His goodness doesn't always look like goodness to my eyes, but He sees the rest of the story, and His story is GOOD. In attempting to hide my pain from Him, I was holding myself captive to the past, I was willfully choosing not to let Jesus into the ugly places, places where only He can bring light.

I may still have sad days, soul-sucking days, but now I know I have a good father who wants to sit with me in my pain. And I have found Him to be the One who gives me comfort.