How to Find Meaning in Our PainMay 26, 2021 ● 25 min
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We have all been wounded by this world and the scars we carry tell a story- one which can powerfully influence our perspective.
It takes our breath away and leaves us with questions that reach beyond psychological explanations. It is in these dark times, we are forced to face our feelings rather than reframe them. We are called to cultivate courage, rest upon resilience, and make meaning out of lost memories.
How we each choose to do this work differs from one another yet our process is most often aligned in seeking to find the answers to the question “Why?”
We call this distress, the friction of loss which propels us into the process of grieving.
Through my own grieving, I have been brought to the humbling reality that pain is a part of my story that cannot be avoided or undone.
It must be heard. It must be felt.
Pain left unfelt will surely strangle our souls, steal our joy, and suffocate our spirits. It is here, with the choice to press in or push away, our perspectives of pain are formed.
Let's choose to widen our lens and broaden our focus of faith.
As author John Green so poetically stated, “The good times and the bad times both will pass. It will pass. It will get easier. But the fact that it will get easier does not mean that it doesn’t hurt now. And when people try to minimize your pain they are doing you a disservice. And when you try to minimize your pain you’re doing yourself a disservice. Don’t do that. The truth is that it hurts because it’s real. It hurts because it mattered. And that’s an important thing to acknowledge to yourself. But that doesn’t mean that it won’t end, that it won’t get better. Because it will.”
There are four primary sources of suffering found in scripture.
1. Pain resulting from our sinfulness
2. The pain we experience from the sinfulness of others
3. Pain resulting from the fallenness of the world
4. The pain we experience for the sake of the gospel
There are also four steps in a pathway to make meaning of our experiences.
1. Hold space for your pain.
2. Name your pain.
3. Pursue prayer.
4. Press into the “and” – where we experience both pain and God’s promise.
Episode References Concepts from Theology for Better Counseling by Virginia Todd Holeman
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Episode Image Credit: Getty/Ponomariova_Maria
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