What Does God Do With Our Pain?

Photo by Sam Burriss on Unsplash

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55: 8 – 9

There are days when it seems like we are all alone in our pain. We feel like no one understands our burdens and the things we are going through. We feel isolated, pained, alone, and hopeless.

A few years back, I felt that way. I felt that my world was falling apart around me and God had chosen to punish me for something and He was not hearing my prayer. That had to be one of the lowest points in my life. The sheer terror of hopelessness breeds every negative feeling that can exist in our minds and in our bodies. I must admit that I stayed in that space for a long time and had no idea how to come out of it.

In times like these, you create a mask for your face and a shell for your outer body. You feel like no one understands and no one ever will.

It took me a long time, a long time, to start to understand that I had a choice in the way thoughts were controlling me. It took a long time to recognize that, yes, I had those thoughts, and they were difficult to deal with, and yes, I did really feel hopeless, but I had to begin to acknowledge the small part of me that wanted a better way. When I hit the lowest moments of my life, I did not know what to do.

Out of sheer frustration and pain, I yelled at God. I told Him how mad I was at him for punishing me. How annoyed I was at Him for his sheer silence in the midst of my pain. I pretty much unloaded my pain onto Him in frustration. The funny thing is I didn’t feel that He was responding back to me, but I noticed that my burden began to feel slightly lighter and just a little lighter the more I unloaded on Him. ...

Stepping Outside of Our Comfort Zone

Sometimes there are things that we really want out of life, but we are too afraid to go after it. I believe it was Will Smith who said that he realized that “the best things in life are on the other side of fear.” One of the lessons that I have experienced over the last year or so, is that to gain something, you have to lose something; on the flip side, to have something different, you have to do something different.

For many of us, there are things that we want to achieve, whether in our personal lives or professional lives, but we go after these goals from a scarcity mindset. That means that we focus on all the things we do not have, all the things we do not know, all the things that we think must happen before we go after this goal. And if we approach our goals from this mindset, we will have talked ourselves out of the urge, the desire, and the energy that we had to go after this goal. The truth is that in pursuing a desire or a goal, there will always be a chasm between us and that goal. This is where the growth happens. This chasm is the journey. This chasm is the difference of the person you were before you began pursuing your goal and the person you will become after reaching your goal. Every goal goes through this process. The journey is where we develop ourselves, develop our skills, develop our knowledge, and practice our skills and revise them.

Fear will have us focusing on all the reasons why we cannot achieve our goals. Please also understand that fear can come in the form of shame as well. We can shame ourselves into thinking: “Who are we to deserve this thing?” We can tell ourselves all the things wrong with us and why we are not deserving. We can accept what others tell us about all the reasons why we cannot do something. We can let roles and norms outside of us dictate what should be standard and what should not be. Or we can listen to that tiny voice inside of us that is begging to be heard. We can listen to that yearning inside of us to make a change and to step outside of our comfort zone and to try something new. ...

The Value of Change

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Change is the most constant thing about life. It is probably also the most feared thing in life for many of us. Change brings about a wide range of emotions for many of us. Fear sets in many ways: fear of failing; fear of missing out; fear of being judged by others; fear of letting ourselves down.

The list of fears is far-reaching and never-ending. It is easy to get caught up in our fears, but we do not realize that fear is there to protect us. It is there to help us scan for danger and ultimately take the safe route. This response is built into our brain and has withstood the test of time. The thing is that society and life has evolved, and fear can now become paralyzing as the ‘safe’ route is not always the ‘best’ route. The thing about fear is that as soon as we manage to get enough courage to work through one fear, another 5 is created in its place. Fear is never gone. That’s why there is bravery and courage. That’s why being brave and being courageous does not require us to be fearless. It just means that there is something other than fear that is of value to us. The question comes down to which one has more value to you?

I started this blog in July 2017. Fear was rampant. Fear of all the things I didn’t know, fear of all things that I couldn’t do, fear of all the things that I could or would do wrong, and every other fear that I can’t remember right now were all present reminding me of why it was an awful idea to try this blog thing and I just kept thinking about it. One day, I had to make a decision about what mattered more to me. I had to think about the future I wanted and realized that being fearful was not a characteristic I wanted to be associated with. ...

Why Do We Need Faith?

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“And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8: 28 1 (KJV).

For many of us, this picture above represents many moments for us when we have felt low or lost. We have felt alone, unworthy, unheard, unappreciated, invisible, and everything in kind.

If we could be able to step outside of the pain for even just a moment, we will realize that the biggest pain and trauma that we go through, could be the biggest catalyst in our lives. These unwelcome pains and hurts could be the force of change in our lives. These ‘negative’ things if given the chance, could encourage us to make big changes in our lives.

The most painful things in the moments when we are going through them feel like the things that will end us and end our lives, and just swallow us in unknown depths of despair. The clinician in me wants to remind everyone that everything in life has a season, so do not give in to the urge to make these moments of pain the sum total of our lives. The human in me knows that this makes the trauma feel trivial, this makes the pain seem less than. But the growth in me, who has been there in my own pain and hurts, have learnt that God closes many doors for us. The person of faith in me has learned that when God speaks, and we do not listen, like any parent, He will keep finding ways to get us to listen. The faith in me has learned that God does not cause everything to happen; evil exists, pain exists because we live in a fallen world created by the human choices of Adam and Eve. But though He may not cause everything that happens, He will allow things to happen to help us develop our character. And most importantly, the pain in my hurt hurts Him too; recognizing that because I am made in His image, He feels my pain too. ...

2018 You

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So now that you have created your 2018 goals, let’s talk about staying on track. Whether your goal is to start a blog, start a business, start school, plan a trip, make personal changes to your life, or changes within your family, let’s talk about you!
Goals are meant to help keep you focused on the thing you that want and help you achieve it. Motivation can be a tool to help you cross the chasm between you and your goal. But let’s be honest, you are your most valuable tool. You create the goals, you carry out the steps to help you achieve your goals, you measure your achievements and re-evaluate your goals accordingly; you are solely responsible for whether you complete your goals or not.

You
Once you set goals, of course, fear and doubt will go into overdrive. Everything that can go wrong, probably will. Every distraction that could occur, probably will. Every fear you’ve ever had, probably will surface. Every negative thought that can tell you that you do not deserve the thing you are desiring will occur; every negative thought that can tell you that you will never achieve that goal will occur. Because we are wired for self-preservation, the fear and doubt will magnify to keep you safe and cozy in your comfort zone.
To combat these feelings, I remind myself and my clients that change does not come from being comfortable. If we seek to obtain something different, we must develop new thoughts and behaviors that are compatible with the thing we seek. We must understand that if the things we desired were compatible with who we are now, we’d probably have it already. ...