How To Deal With Pain And Anger
I have been going through hell lately. It’s been over half of a year now since I began a journey into discovering why I have had a life filled with intense pain. I had gotten to the point where I felt much better than I ever had, because Jesus unconditional love and saving grace had brought me transformation. Yet I discovered that as time went on, I wasn’t doing as well as I thought I was. After the initial transformation (which was huge) I started to decline. Don’t get me wrong – all the changes the Holy Spirit inspired me to make, and all the growth I achieved were still there. Yet I came to a place where I was finally at the end of my rope. I had tried everything to get better with prayer and healing and deliverance. Yet somehow I could barely make it through a day and take care of myself, let alone homeschool my kids and make dinner. I was drowning in pain and anger.
I knew there was something deeper going on, and so I decided to explore options for counseling. Once I began to dive into the emotional and spiritual depths of my soul, I found the answers I had been seeking. I was horribly abused as a child, by the people who loved me and were supposed to be taking care of me. This was a shocking blow to me, because the abuse was so severe that I actually completely blocked it out. I mean I had no memories whatsoever of any of it. Yet the information I began to receive as revelations from the Holy Spirit, finally started to put my life together like a puzzle that had lost the corner pieces.
I have always been drowning in deep pain. Pain deeper than I think one person should ever have to bear the burden of. Yet somehow I did bear it, and continue with life. I think not knowing the source of that pain (aka denial) was very helpful until I could get to a point where the Holy Spirit could begin to heal me. If I had attempted to recover these memories any sooner, I am pretty sure I would have gone completely mad. These are things that no person should have to live through, and I am not even sure how I did. Well, I am sure actually – It was by the protection of God. Yes, even though I suffered severe abuse, God was there protecting me in ways I could not know and got me through to where I am now. Hallelujah! Now THAT is a miracle! I would not even be a lover of Jesus Christ, if the devil were to have succeeded in his plan. Praise the Lord, the Almighty God, that I am where I am right now.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
This journey has been a very difficult road, and it is not over. I have had some days where functioning was not even on my list of things to do that day. I just did what I could to make it through and tried not to have a complete breakdown in front of my kids. I have felt so awful as I have had to face the root of all my pain. I have been depressed, angry, scared, hopeless and worse – suicidal. Yet it has all been worth it because I see the healing Jesus is bringing. Things are improving. Because of this pain I have had to drop out of most of my social groups. At one point I was in 6, yes 6, Bible studies at a time. I was doing well at all of them and enjoying them. I also had a moms group and a life group. I have had to drop out of all of them, except my life group. Which honestly is only because that is the one group the Lord has moved to me stay in.
I haven’t been good company or a good friend. I haven’t been able to pray for people the way I used to or reach out to people in need the way I have wanted too. I have just shut myself in and tried to just do what I could each day. I would often start crying in public (like at some of my groups or at church) because I would be reminded of my great and deep pain. I have felt isolated and very alone. How can you share something like this with anyone else? First of all, it is more than I can bear, so I cannot expect others to bear it as well. Second of all, this is not your every day abuse that you just talk about. Not to say people talk about abuse easily. Yet most types of abuse have at least a support group of some kind or there are other people who have been there you can connect with. No, this abuse is so ugly and horrifying that is has to be kept secret. At least that is how I have lived for months.
I have to say the worst part is, as I have tried to explain to those I know in my life just a little bit, so they could understand why I am looking so depressed or started crying randomly or dropped out of my groups, I have not gotten a positive response. I try not to give details really, because it is personal, and as I said, very hard for people to deal with. I have gotten the brush off, or some kind comments then a change of subject, or some words that were supposed to be comforting but were hurtful instead. I have sat there in church crying, while people I know were a few feet away talking and laughing, oblivious to my pain. It has been very hard for me, especially coming from a place of wanting to push people away, because it seems safer than risking getting hurt again.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
I have known suffering personally. I have been in the trenches with it, and longed to climb up out and into the light. Yet I felt so hopeless that I could not even reach up to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe. Even that small of a task seemed impossible in those moments. I know not everyone has experienced that depth of pain like I have, but I do know everyone at some point has reached a point of pain that for them, seemed unbearable. Everyone has had those moments when they feel utterly alone and lost in this life, unsure of what to do to get help with where they are at. And that is why it is my prayer that if I ever, ever see someone suffering, that I would never just turn a blind eye, or walk away from that person without reaching out first. There is nothing like being in the depths of pain and sorrow, and knowing that the very Christians who are supposed to uplift and support you, can easily turn their backs on you in an instant.
I hope I do not sound angry or resentful, because for the most part, I am not. I have learned much from these experiences, about pain, and about people. What I have come to realize is that people hate pain and do not want to deal with it. I know that sounds pretty obvious, but actually it is not. We as people go to great lengths to avoid pain or dealing with the pain we already have. We take prescription drugs, get numbed to give birth, do drugs, drink alcohol, watch TV, and so much more. I know that sounds simple, but really the process by which we go to avoid pain becomes incredibly complicated. We created elaborate stories in our minds to have reason behind what we do to escape pain. We are very convincing to ourselves, but the outside world, and God, are not so fooled by our denial.
Take me for instance. I have tried to cover up my own pain with anger and rage and hate. If you knew me personally you would probably be surprised to hear that, because I try to keep that hidden from outsiders. It is my family that has seen my ugly secret, and has been on the receiving end of most of it. Yet anger has been so much easier for me to deal with. Safer. When I am angry, no one can touch me; no one can hurt me again. I have control, unlike when I was abused I had no control. I can keep those I love at arm’s length, instead of trusting them and being betrayed. I can pretend that I am angry about all kinds of things – things people do or say, or something that happened at church or whatever. That way I don’t have to acknowledge that I am really angry because I was betrayed and hurt and abused. I can just wash those things away with the anger. The funny thing is, anger is what brought me initially to my journey of inner healing. I was tired of being so angry all.the.time. Now I understand why I am angry and can begin to let go of the anger to start tapping into the pain.
My shield is God Most High,
who saves the upright in heart.
I know that it is hard to think about tapping into your pain. After all, pain is painful. We are told constantly to avoid pain at all costs – not just by our own human nature, but by the world around us. Pain is the enemy, and we must fight it at all costs. Yet we know that the truths of the world are always the opposite of the Truth of God. Jesus tells us that pain is to be expected in this life, no avoided. So when did we buy into the lie that we need to run from pain? When we face the ugliness of our pain, we have to face the ugliness of sin. It is sin that causes pain; our sin and the sins of others against us. The story of Adam and Eve is a perfect example. They sinned against God by believing the lies of the devil, and next thing they knew they had unraveled the foundation of what God had created for them.
Adam blamed Eve and God for his own sin and Eve blamed the devil. Neither one of them could face up to the pain of their sin against God. God did not cause them to sin, Satan did. Satan is the originator of all sin, and will continue to slither into our lives and use anything he can to convince us of his truths. His biggest “truth” is, that we must hide from the pain of sin and blame God for what we have experienced. He absolutely loves that he can turn people away from God, and towards him. Because when we turn to sin, we are turning to Satan himself. Sin begets sin. When we are sinned against it creates sin within us. The sin of the abuse that I endured, caused me to in turn, lash out with sin towards God and others for my whole life. Was I doing it knowingly? No. Did I have good reasons to be angry and lash out in pain. Yes. God does not hold any of that against me, or anyone else for that matter. That was finished at the Cross.
So we have a choice in this matter of pain. We can accept that we have great pain that we have ignored and that it has caused us to sin, or we can continue to live the lie that the devil has perpetuated for thousands of years. Your pain is too ugly to bear and you need to hide from all of it. It is OK that you are hurting. It is OK that you are angry. It is OK even if you blame God for your pain and anger. What is not OK is that you continue to deny your pain and continue to use it as an excuse to sin. If someone hurt you, or if you have seen horrible injustice to those you love, or worse than that; none of those things are OK. There is nothing that will ever justify that sin against you or anyone else, ever. God is not OK with it, and He will get justice for it in His perfect way. He is the Righteous Judge over all creation, and one day every knee will bow before Him in judgement. Hell is very real, and there will be people there. Only God gets to decide who goes there though. We do not.
I have grown very wear over a lifetime of hiding from my pain. I was unable to deal with my pain fully when I was unable to understand the reasons for my pain. Many times we need to go deep into our souls and our lives to find out the root causes of where our pain comes from. Does that mean you have gone through something as horrific as I have? Maybe not. Everyone has their own story, and each person needs to take that leap of faith to walk with Jesus Christ to come to a place where they can receive His healing. There is a place for you, where you will find amazing freedom in your life and be prepared to fulfill the calling God has anointed you with. Are you ready to walk into that place? Are you ready to earn your crown of glory? He is waiting for you beloved. You are not alone.
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.