My father was a football coach and he used many sayings to motivate his players. One of his favorite sayings was “Pain doesn’t hurt.” He used this saying on the football field and off. Even with his family. I knew he used it to motivate his players to push through their pain during many grueling practices and games but that saying also had a big effect on me. It made me think that my pain really didn’t matter. I just kept going and didn’t say anything. I just kept shoving the pain down inside me.
One day I was working on my homework for a bible study called “Jesus the One and Only.” I was studying the part where Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane and was praying, “Father, if you are willing, take away this cup of suffering. But do what you want, not what I want.”At the same time, I was also reading a book by Max Lucado on the same subject. Max commented that Jesus was very sad and troubled and He wasn’t putting up a front. He actually fell to the ground. He was agonizing over what was to come. He saw what was going to happen and he asked for a change of plans. He was afraid. He was so afraid that he bled drops of blood. He knew what it was like to have the whole world turn against him.
Jesus acknowledged his pain and anguish and told his father how he felt. I needed to do the same thing. I needed to tell my heavenly father how I felt. I built up so many walls over the years and denied the pain because “pain doesn’t hurt.” I believed a lie.
I started journaling, “I am so scared to be honest with you. My body trembles while my mind tries to grasp the truth. I need to quit thinking my fears are silly. You won’t tell me pain doesn’t hurt. You know pain hurts. You know what it is like to die on a cross. You know what it is like to be beaten to death.”
The little girl inside me needed a visual picture of Jesus so I started watching the Matthew Project. This movie is based on the the book of Matthew. I watched Jesus as He showed kindness to people everywhere. He broke down societal barriers by valuing women and children. He healed many people that society had written off. Everyone’s life was important to Him. He came to show the Jews and the Gentiles what God was like because He was the human representation of His father.
I cried off and on while watching the movie. I hadn’t been shown much kindness by a father in my life. Little Laurie needed to see kindness. She needed to see love. She needed to be valued. She needed to be taken care of. She knew that Jesus was the answer to her pain. She wanted to believe!
Beth Moore states,”A person struggles with belief off and on through their life because of the abuse. The struggle isn’t if God can do it. It’s the struggle within yourself of believing if God wants to help you. You know inside that He wants to help you, but your belief system can get in the way of the truth that God is telling you.” My biggest hurdle was my belief system. I knew He wanted to help me, but I was having a hard time believing He wanted to help me. There was a huge gap between knowing and believing in my mind. It was a roller coaster ride for me. One day I would believe He would help me and the next day I wouldn’t. The struggle was with me, not Him. He showed me over and over again He was there for me. I just had such a hard time believing Him!
I looked up the definition for unbelief.
Unbelief – not worthy of confidence, untrustworthy… a thing not to be believed.
After I read that definition, I did not want to say I didn’t believe God. I knew He was worthy. I knew I could have confidence in Him. My issues were with myself so I looked through my Bible and found scriptures to help me.
Job 30:12 “It is unthinkable that You would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice.”
Ps. 119:8 “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your Law.”
Is. 55:8 “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.”
I was basing my beliefs on what happened to me. My father had perverted justice, not God. I was holding it against Him. The little girl inside me wanted justice. She didn’t understand why her father hurt her. She had to lie for so many years that pain didn’t hurt. She needed a father to wrap his arms around her and protect her. She needed to be held and feel safe. I began picturing myself around 5 years old. I was with Jesus. He was smiling and asking me to come to Him. He wrapped his arms around me and held me. I didn’t say anything. I just enjoyed being held by my Savior. I felt safe.
Until next time fellow sojourners!