Surprised by Pain
By Tammye Hamilton
On our first day in Italy, I made a special memory. I tripped and fell in the lobby of our hotel, sprawling not so gracefully across the travertine floor. I lay there for a minute, wondering if I was hurt, but I was up shortly hurrying back to our room to nurse my dignity and ice my throbbing knee.
The ice and rest did the trick and I walked quite a bit that evening with very little pain. The next morning, however, as I tried to get up, I realized I had actually bruised my hip when I fell. It hurt! I hadn’t felt it at all when it happened.
I think life‘s challenges often hit us this way. We get knocked down, suffer emotional pain and think we know where the pain hit us and how badly we are wounded. Then, as we move through our lives, we have experiences that reveal wounds or emotional trauma we didn’t know we had.
Maybe the pain went deeper than we were able to grasp or perhaps the enemy is lying to us or pressing on an unhealed wound. This can surprise us and throw us off. We thought we were healed. We worked through forgiveness and yet, the pain is real.
I have found that I like all of my issues wrapped up with neat little bows. “OK, I‘m done with that, it’s over.” Unfortunately, if we don’t deal with these things when they come up, they will begin to control us.
We know people who have been miraculously healed from severe trauma and others who forgive easily and never struggle, but if that is not your story, I’m here to tell you there is hope.
First of all we have to realize that sometimes healing is miraculously instantaneous and sometimes it is a process. One day you will wake up and feel so victorious and think it’s all behind you and the next morning you will not want to get out of bed. This is reality for many of us.
So the first thing is to acknowledge that something is going on. Whether you have unhealed wounds or the enemy is yanking your chain, something is happening.
This is when we turn to Jesus. The temptation is to start self-analyzing to figure out what is going on. While some soul searching can be beneficial, we can get bogged down here if we try to figure everything out with our minds.
I find that if instead of focusing on me I focus on HIM, the way out is much clearer. Meditating on His Word, especially when it’s the last thing I want to do, brings clarity and strength to face the battle.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
I prayed with a woman recently who experienced unspeakable abuse as a child. She is a brave believer who must walk in forgiveness every day to stay free. Declaring the Word is not a religious exercise for her, it is survival.
Recognizing that experiences can trigger past traumas brings us to a place of total surrender to Jesus. We can’t compartmentalize. We must lay everything that has happened at His feet and when we feel pain attached to the past, we don’t condemn ourselves for not being “over it”. This is the enemy’s scheme to cripple us.
No, we remember that what they meant for evil, God meant for good, (Genesis 50:20)and that in our weakness His strength is made perfect. (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When painful thoughts bring us to our knees, we declare that, “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39