Not again.

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed there it was, another “I did it” post. It’s a double edged sword. They’re excited to share their success and want to encourage the “others” who have yet to win a BIG victory.

Unfortunately, in the process their win can be discouraging.

When you’re just getting started and you haven’t achieved the big MO…momentum, you are emotionally fragile. Fragile is a gentle word. What would the word be exactly for something suspended in such a volatile state that it could easily rupture like a bubble? Maybe that’s the right word, volatile?

I wasn’t planning on writing about this today, yet it’s truth caught up with me – or did I find it while I was getting caught up on Facebook?

When we get all caught up in our negative emotions, death creeps in. Our small wins become losses. Our potential gets starved. Our dreams die.

In case you didn’t know the death of a dream can be as emotionally painful for a human as the death of a real person in their life. The loss is real. 💔

Our emotions are strong and unruly and if we don’t keep them in check they can do a devastating amount of damage to our lives. I say this from experience as I’ve looked over my shoulder and personally surveyed their destructive remnants.

My Facebook discouragement is legit. My emotions have a well rehearsed response when someone obtains something that I have yet to possess. We are possessive by nature. God is possessive. We’re made in His image.

My brain says abundance. My emotions say scarcity.

My brain says they’ve been working at it longer. My emotions say I’ll never get there.

My brain speaks words of truth. My emotions pour out a cocktail of lies.

Why do we have emotions anyway if they can reek havoc on us? Jealousy, envy, anger, why are they necessary?

Is it possible that they’re the mirror we must gaze at to discover who we really are and what we really want? I say, yes. More so than any book, podcast, webinar or personality profile, it has been my emotions that have informed me about who God made me to be and the purpose He has for me.

The jealousy and envy reveal to me – that’s what you want. Well then I say…go ahead. Put effort in that same direction.

The anger discloses – you’re not in control of the outcome. Hold everything with an open hand…do your part and let God do His and trust that He has your best interest at heart.

Pain is a great teacher of our hearts.

I don’t need to explain to myself what’s going on when my emotions are positive because my brain and my heart have aligned. Like a slot machine signaling JACKPOT with blinking lights and blaring sirens, my emotions are affirming the YES! YES! YES!

It’s not so with negative emotions. It’s not so with emotional pain.

I do believe God uses the pain to help us on our journey, it serves a purpose. All we have to do is discover that purpose. Physical pain and emotional pain are both opportunities for self discovery. Pain can change us for the better.

Taking the journey toward our pain takes courage.

It’s this deep dive into our emotions where we can find the desires of hearts, hold them carefully in all their fragility as we carry them to surface of our lives.

It takes oxygen to make this journey. Breathe.

I intended to write today about a recent reflection I’d had while getting a therapeutic message. However, today’s pain was real enough to share, I’ll get to that story another time. Just keepin it real friends.

ATTRIBUTE #3 : PAIN HAS A PURPOSE

This is our conversation starter for this week.

Where’s your pain point? Share what you’ve learned from pain with us – you’ll encourage someone along the way.

As always, be strong and courageous,

7 thoughts on “Pain is a great teacher

  1. God has been showing me some painful places this week that I had stuffed down in a previous season because of bigger, harder obstacles at that time. He showed me that I had not processed that pain because at the time there was too much going on. So when I listened and stopped I was shocked. I really was sad about what he was showing me. There really was unresolved pain. (Was I surprised He knew what Je was talking about?).
    He is so gracious to want us completely healed!

    1. Betsy- He is so gracious to want us completely healed of our pain. I heard Susie Larson teach in a video study something close to “Jesus needs healed disciples.” We sure don’t want broken/unresolved pain mixed into the ministry He calls us to. He loves us enough to keep working on us. Love your support of Moms 😊

  2. Okay, first of all, I’m intrigued by the whole notion of our feelings and emotions potentially being the conduit to discover who we are and what we want. Maybe “intrigued” is an understatement and “reeling” is more accurate? I’ve long held the belief that my feelings can’t be trusted–they don’t reflect the reality of what God’s doing in my life. Therefore, what do those untrustworthy things have to teach me? I need to take some time to unpack all this as it relates to me. Such an interesting perspective!

    All of that said though, pain is an excellent teacher, if you lean into what God can teach you through it. You’re right that it takes courage. I mentioned in the last attribute that I erected walls to protect myself from further pain–which is NOT the courageous thing to do.

    It’s easy to walk through life behind the protection of walls–devoid of deep emotion. But from there it’s difficult to develop meaningful relationships and it’s difficult to be obedient. My pain point is definitely wrapped up in vulnerability and my fear of it.

    As I walk through these exercises and where God has me now, he’s helping me take down the walls, one courageous step at a time. Such a hard thing to do.

    1. Janine-There is a book entitled Desire by John Eldridge…you might enjoy it. I once had a women come to me with “but God wouldn’t have given me that desire if He wasn’t going to provide me with _____.” I thought to myself, God doesn’t give us all of the desires in our hearts because they are not all from Him. Psalm 37:4 comes after Psalm 37:3 for a reason! Ultimately, she knew what she wanted and she pursued it…I haven’t heard that worked out poorly for her, so who am I to judge! There are the “follow” my feelings crowd which is not the same as listen to our feelings crown – I don’t believe that we can’t trust any of our feelings because, emotion + wisdom = love in action. I love hearing your perspective.

      1. I will definitely pick up that book! And as I’m walking through this week, I’m paying a little more attention to those “feelings”–asking myself where they’re coming from and what he wants me to do with them. Thanks!

  3. While reading this post today, I am reminded of all the times (especially recently) that I journal and pray that God rid me of my anger, bitterness, or negative thoughts. I know that the bitterness I feel because someone hurt me or the jealousy that someone else may have accomplished is my flesh and not of God. And I become disappointed at myself for these thoughts.
    After reading your post Melissa, I recognize that although these are not good thoughts at least I am acknowledging them and this acknowledgement is making me who I am becoming (a better person). And thank you for that!

    1. Danielle-I love that you shared your process. It’s unrealistic to think that we won’t have these feelings at all. But our growth is how we handle these feelings – and give them, like all things to Jesus. Thank you for sharing. 💛

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