Many of you good aunts know that being a good aunt doesn’t always come without pain. Sometimes not having children can be accompanied by physical pain (miscarriages and endometriosis come to mind), and other times the pain can be emotional or mental anguish or spiritual disillusionment.
Today’s guest blogger Allison Cain talks about dealing with pain through prayer, as you revise the expectations you had for your life. Her message comes from her personal experience during the recession, when her family’s economic reality forced a dramatic downsize and, ultimately, a revision of her heart. You can read about her journey in her latest book Revision of a Heart. And be sure to check out her blog: The Whisper of God.
Now, here’s Allison:
“I am in pain and distress; may your salvation, O God, protect me.” – Psalm 69:29 (NIV)
I was in the kitchen chopping potatoes when my newly sharpened knife slipped and sliced a nice gash in my thumb. It shocked me, and I instantly dropped the knife and grabbed my thumb, unable to even look at it as my husband came in and said, “Are you going to need stitches?” It just needed a little super glue. Thank goodness!
When you experience pain from an external injury, wounds are usually quick to heal. You can see the healing occur as a scab or bruise forms. You can also determine if you are healing correctly and, if there is an infection forming, quickly take action to continue healing.
However, with emotional injuries we can’t see the scars and infection. It is easier to leave these wounds unattended or simply ignore them because they aren’t on the surface. Leaving these internal wounds unattended can lead to catastrophic results.
“Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?” – Jeremiah 15:18
Pain can be deceptive. Many times a painful experience we believed to be resolved can rear its ugly head and cause pain years after it occurred. Often we think we have forgiven and moved on, but sometimes we have just pushed it to the back of our minds and hearts. It may sit dormant for months or even years, but if not resolved it will eventually come back to the surface. Then it has the power to destroy friendships, marriages and the lives of those around you. It can lead to depression, divorce, addictions or other sinful habits.
When I first began my ministry God gave me this acronym for the word LOVE.
Let it go, On your knees, Very passionately, Everyday!
At the time, I had no idea how important this would be in my life and in the lives of others. If we will follow this guideline and truly let it go everyday, then there will be no room for shame, guilt, resentment, anger or sin in our hearts. God will reign in our hearts and handle it all so we won’t have any long-term side effects from our sins, disappointments and pain.
Would you consider (if you don’t already) documenting all the times God has come through for you. “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:8-9). God comes through for us more than we realize, but the big ways are always obvious – so at least write those down. Do this so that during times of trials and challenges you can look back and see the evidence of God’s loving, healing presence in your life. It will turn disappointment into praise, sadness to joy, and tears to laughter.
A prayer for healing pain
Heavenly Father, search our hearts and reveal any past pain we might be harboring in our hearts. Please give us the insight to find it, the courage to face it and Your power to resolve it. However difficult, give us the power to put it behind us so that we can experience the joy that comes along with complete healing. “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:5). Amen.
Just a reminder that there are just two weeks left to enter the “Thank your good aunt” contest. If you win, you could choose Allison’s book Revision of a Heart as your prize.
So get those entries in to describe and thank a wonderful woman in your life (an aunt, great aunt, family friend or former teacher). Get all the details for how to enter here!