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  • Writer's pictureBonnie Smith

Pain and Change are not the Enemy

Just because it hurts when we are walking away from someone or something that is not good for us, doesn’t mean it’s not the right thing to do. Our society has taught us that when something causes pain we must do whatever we can to stop it. For instance, when someone has been trapped in an abusive relationship or enslaved by abusing drugs or alcohol and decide to walk away or quit and it causes pain, they know that they can stop hurting by just going back to it. However, if we can learn that pain is not necessarily a bad thing, and see it as a signal sent to our brain to alert us that something needs attention, we can finally stop allowing it to keeps us stuck in a bad situation because of fear. For example, if you place your hand too close to a fire, then a signal is sent to your brain, alerting you of the need to take action. In this situation, we have learned, early on, that we need to back away from the heat. However, we have also learned to apply this logic to all pain and discomfort, which is a mistake. If immediate danger is not present, then we should stop and consider the best course of action. So, when we walk away from someone or something causing destruction in our life, and the pain tells us that something is wrong…that’s good…but our response shouldn’t be to stop what we are doing. In this situation, the pain is alerting us that there is something inside of us in need of attention, similar to a hunger pain. We don’t run from it, we deal with it by contemplating on what will satisfy our hunger best. We could reach for candy and a coke, but that doesn’t satisfy for long nor does it nourish our bodies properly. Instead, it wreaks havoc on our physical bodies. Same with our brokenness inside, we have a soul hunger and feeding it a bad relationship, drugs or alcohol will leave us unsatisfied and will also wreak havoc on our mental, emotional and spiritual life.

Unfortunately, in our society, we have learned to avoid anything that is uncomfortable, difficult or painful because happiness, self gratification and comfort are our ultimate goals. Pain is good, pain can mean we are growing. Pain occurs when we are going through something difficult but when we push through it we find something better on the other side. It’s like when we go to the gym and we push through the pain and discomfort we become healthier and stronger. Better stated in a quote I saw at the gym one day, “Pain is weakness leaving the body!”. Which reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures found in Micah 7:8 “Do not gloat over me my enemy, though I have fallen I will rise, though I sit in darkness the Lord will be my light!” Both of these have become my fight song, for when I feel knocked down and weakened by the trials in my life. When you can push through the pain and make the changes that finally point your life toward a better path and a new direction, then you’ll find that you are strengthened! You’ll become so strengthened, that the next time something difficult comes into your life you’ll be able to better deal with it, in a healthy and positive way. But remember, you must first deal with the source of what causes the need to reach out for unhealthy things, otherwise you will continue to gravitate back to them over and over again. Just like we’re told in Proverbs 26:11 “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” Gross, I know, but so is going back to harmful things, over and over again.

I have found that there are two basic sources for what causes us to keep returning to bad situations. First, is a soul not satisfied by God and secondly, an old wound that needs tending to. It’s important to find a good Christian counselor or a Christian mentor who can help with both of these root causes.

It’s so important to remember, the discomfort that comes from pain and change aren’t bad! Stop running from it and face it head on, not forgetting to rely on Gods strength! Philippians 4:13 reminds us of this “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” I just want to encourage you, because I have been through this all, soooo many times and it left me in ruins over and over again. I, too many times, kept repeating the same bad choices, expecting a different result. I finally learned that I would never find the peace and joy I was searching for by turning to relationships and/or alcohol. It only came when I finally dealt with the brokenness through counseling and an active relationship with Christ. Only Christ can give you what you need to break free from the bondages you find ourselves in…only He can satisfy the deep longings of our heart and soul.

So, when you are in the middle of a dark storm, fix your eyes on God, push through and move forward. Stop running back to the counterfeit shelter or “home”, which is actually a prison. Be free…fight to be free! That’s going to take pain, that’s going to take strength, that’s going to take perseverance and grit! It’s worth it, because there is freedom on the other side. Pray, reach out to God, dig deep and when you dig deep, that’s where you will find Gods Spirit which gives you real strength. Sometimes, that’s why God allows us to go through trials, it allows us to exhaust our own strength so that we will finally rely on His power and strength. Just as God’s Word teaches in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”. So tap into His strength and power today and set yourself free from the prison you are trapped in. Because, when you are a child of God, your prison doors are never locked!! 1 Corinthians 10:13 “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”

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