God at Work, Personal Growth

Surrender the Pain


The deeper a person’s pain is lodged inside of them, the tighter they will hold on to their limiting beliefs or coping mechanisms. Once they identify and release their pain, the less they have need of a coping mechanism.

The past couple of weeks I have been working on a challenge. It was a personal growth/personal improvement challenge on Finding Your Voice. That means something different for people I would imagine, but the crux of the matter was for me to find what has been holding me back from seeing and doing all that God has created me to do.

Simple right? Well, not so much. At the end of this week we were asked to write a love letter to ourselves. When I went to write the letter, I found myself in tears. Many years of hidden pain kept coming to the surface that wanted to be recognized but I had spent a lifetime hiding and ignoring it.

I kept thinking of a doctor and a patient. When someone goes to the doctor, they don’t go because nothing is wrong. They go because there is something off, something that they as a patient don’t have the ability to identify. That’s the reason they are standing in the doctor’s office waiting to be seen.

When the doctor comes into the room, he begins asking questions like “How are you feeling today?” or “What symptoms are you having?” Do you know, it just hit me today that pain is a feeling and demands recognition? We give it recognition by speaking, letting the doctor know what is happening in our body by identifying the symptoms.

Since we are spirit, soul and body, why do we think that the same process of identifying what happens physically shouldn’t be done emotionally as well. When things happen to us, experiences that cause hurt, we feel pain. We convince ourselves that we should just move on. There’s nothing we can do to change what happened, so we put it behind us. We put one foot in front of the other and move on.

We bury the pain by using phrases like “It happened for a reason.” I don’t know of any reason on earth why a child should be taken advantage of by an adult. Yet those of us who have experienced that have to find reasons to move on. We don’t have a way of processing those emotions, we don’t know what to do with them at the time usually, so we bury them and use food, alcohol or many other things as a way of coping with the pain of abuse (whatever form it takes).

What we eventually come to learn though is that all the pain we bury must eventually find an outlet, it needs somewhere to go. It will continue to push its way to the surface. The more we try to bury the pain, the more it tries to get noticed. As I was writing this letter and remembering that I have overcome a lot of painful experiences, the emotions yet to be released forced their way to the surface and overflowed in tears.

Anyone who knew me in the past knows that I felt that tears were a sign of weakness, so they were not allowed to surface. I spent many years in a frozen place where my emotions were off limits. It’s usually never a single instance where someone shuts down emotionally. It wasn’t a single instance for me. There were many other experiences that contributed to my frozen state, but I never told a doctor what was eating at me. However, as the years passed my physical body bore the brunt of my inability to deal with the pain.

I accepted Christ into my heart and as Lord over my life in 1996. The process of healing began as I sat at the feet of the Lord and surrendered to Him all that was happening to me in my physical body, my emotions and my mind. However, at the end of this challenge a couple of areas of current frustration for me I found that I had yet to surrender the emotional upheaval in those events. I failed to tell the Doctor what was wrong. Instead I continued to move on, to deny that there was a problem and stuff the emotions. Was it a conscious thing?  No, it was not, but the result was the same as if it had been.

That’s why when this challenge came around, God made it very clear to me that I needed to participate. We aren’t fooling Him, He knows what it will take in any given situation to reveal our lack of surrender. I would like to think that if He spoke to me specifically and said, “Linda, you’ve not yet acknowledged that there is a problem here,” that I would turn immediately and give it to Him. However, I know because He chose this route to get my attention, I might not have recognized I needed to. So, this is the route He chose.

The deeper a person’s pain is lodged inside of them, the tighter they will hold on to their limiting beliefs or coping mechanisms. Once they identify and release their pain, the less they have need of a coping mechanism.

At this point, I will spend the next few days, or however long is needed, listening to the Holy Spirit as He speaks to my heart in prayer. As I surrender the remaining pieces to Him, the healing will begin again. Wholeness and a life free of old wounds begins one surrender at a time. The Doctor, the healer, the savior, the teacher, the wisdom, and the revelation we need is embodied in the Lord.

Father I pray for those reading this blog post that they would recognize the areas of their life that are still steeped in lack of forgiveness (for themselves or others) and pain. I pray that you would reveal yourself to them as they come to you for healing. I thank you for every life impacted by Your goodness toward us in Jesus name.

4 thoughts on “Surrender the Pain”

  1. Linda – what a beautiful writing. Truth all around. The Doctor is healing His patient. Healing is often times painful but necessary. He is teaching us both so much. ❤ and He is good!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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