Thank Your Pain

Everyone has things that they go through. Some of those situations are more painful than others, but they all definitely shape our perspective.

My pain came from a soulwound that developed from feeling unlovable. It started from discovering that not everyone believes that being an adopted child like myself is simply a “chosen one” but also was given up, for whatever reason. That shaped my thinking for a really long time. How could anyone love me when my own birth parents didn’t want me?

It was this that led to great self-doubt and low self-esteem. I became so desperate for the feeling of acceptance and belonging that I found myself willing to put up with anyone and anything just to get some attention. The funny thing was that I was getting attention from my parents, family members, and friends. It just wasn’t enough for me, so my insecurities led me into some sketchy situations. I ignored the people who genuinely cared for me in order to chase after others who couldn’t care less about me.

I also found myself willing to stay quiet about the sexual abuse I was enduring because I was afraid of losing the love of my parents if they found out and even the love of my abuser who was a man I genuinely cared for and saw as a second father. My sense of shame was coupled with my need to be loved at all costs. It seemed to be worth the pain.

I handled my “double life” by indulging in lots of self-destructive behavior, including substance abuse and promiscuity. I also reveled in tons of anger and self-pity. I embraced being a victim. I was actually proud of it. After all, look at what I had endured. How amazing I was to deal with all this crap. I felt I deserved recognition and major props for dealing with everything I’d needed to deal with. I absorbed the pain and anger like a sponge, feeling it sink into my very soul and filling me with strength.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that the strength I was drawing on was artificial, fueled by all the negative emotions I was holding onto. I thought it would sustain me, filling up all the empty parts of me. But it didn’t. It wasn’t real strength, so it faded away.

As fake as that bogus strength was, it did have a purpose. Just as empty calories temporarily stave off hunger, this false sense of power I had from wallowing in my own self-worship got me through some hard times. It got me out of bed during the days I wanted to hide and die. It propelled me through difficult confrontations and wouldn’t let me give up on myself because that would let my enemies win. I couldn’t let them see how much I was hurting and I wasn’t willing to give up my superiority over them.

Of course, I was to learn later on that the true source of strength is God, although that was a difficult lesson to learn. I asked myself, if God is real and He loves me so much, why did He let such horrible things happen to me? I had heard all the trite platitudes, and hated each one of them. In my disdain and disbelief, I saw them as proof did NOT care about me rather than proof that He does. But as I got to know God better, I realized that everything He allows in our lives is both for our good and for His glory. It isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, but it helps to know there is a purpose for our trials.

Look at the trials you’ve gone through in your life. Face them, head on. Thank your pain. Now, let it go. It did its job, you don’t need it anymore. Now you can take the next steps of healing.

You may never know why God allowed certain circumstances in your life and that’s OK. Maybe it wasn’t for your benefit, but for someone else’s. Either way, God’s will was done.

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

5 comments

  1. Wow! Such a powerful message. Theresa, I am sorry for the pain you endured and at the same time happy to see you on the other side . I’m so proud of you! Love you lots.

    Liked by 1 person

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