It was time to confront her.
I suspected it would be one of the hardest–and weirdest–conversations I would ever have.
I was right.
Knocking on the door of pain is hard. I don’t like to. It’s easier to keep eyes closed.
The woman wouldn’t be expecting me. As I stood outside her front door, I was afraid but convicted. There was a question I had to ask. Only she held the answer. To get it, I had to look eye to eye into pain.
She opened the door, surprised. She welcomed me in. We sat in her living room and began to talk.
We dwelled little on the past. What I needed to know was the future: Was she finished inflicting pain or not?
That’s often the most difficult question of pain.
“Okay, you’ve hurt me, you’re still hurting me, but now what?
Are you done or is there more?”
Rarely does pain respond definitively.
She did answer: I’m done.
Could I trust her?
No. But I wanted to. We want pain to tell us, “I’ll let up now; the worst is over.”
That gives us hope.
But can we trust it?
No. We can only trust God, not to end all our pain, but to stick with us in it until it finally is gone.
His presence is our hope.
Not skirting around the pain, pretending it’s not there.
Not trying to alleviate it at all costs, as if it’s our enemy.
Our hope is in knowing he’ll hold our hand as we look pain in the eye to see what it has to say, and trust him to show us where to go from there.
After I left the woman’s house, I sought advice from family and friends. I decided to trust one more time.
But in the end, it still didn’t work out.
However, I have no regrets about the day I sat with pain in her house. It was hard. But it was healing.
Not because of her words. Not because of mine. Not because the pain ended.
But because God proved his presence mattered. He’d motivated me to go, strengthened me to confront, then advised me well on how to deal with the pain.
He gave me hope, and eventually gave me healing.
And that’s always the answer I need.
* * *
What pain are you dealing with today, physical or emotional? How have you been given hope in it?
“Lisa notes…” is now on Facebook. Join me there if you’d like.
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