Jadyn started her athletics conditioning for school this week. The past few days for me have been filled with both empathy and a of bit laughter, as I watch my daughter shuffle around the house with pain in every part of her body.
This got me thinking about pain. Pain comes in all forms—emotional, physical, and even spiritual. If you have had any type of relationship with any other person other than yourself, I can pretty much 100% guarantee and guess you have experienced emotional pain (and no, that just doesn’t come from romantic relationships). Headaches, toothaches, back pain, pain from working out—these all happen to most of us. And even spiritual pain can come in the form of not feeling like God cares or hears your prayers. Pain is not pleasant no matter how you experience it.
I teach my students often to be careful of overgeneralizations, so I myself try to be very cognizant of this. So, I will personalize my next statement fully recognizing that everyone reading may not have had this same experience. I have learned personally that amazing growth often happens on the other side of pain. There are lessons I have learned from the moments that have caused me the most pain, and the more intense the pain, the more I have grown.
Lessons can be as small as learning I can’t go a certain number of hours without eating so I don’t get a headache (I usually always carry food with me now). There have been “middle of road” lessons where I now understand to adjust my expectations of people depending on the role they play in my life (it truly lessens the pain of broken expectations). And on a much larger scale, I know the pain of a miscarriage, of infertility, and the loss of relationships. The lessons from these larger moments are countless but ultimately, they have led me to lean all the way on God. And you know what? He hasn’t failed me one time.
There have been moments—just like my title states—that I felt like I couldn’t move. I felt like I couldn’t move forward emotionally, I felt like I was broken, and I felt like God was punishing me for something. But another lesson I have learned along the way is our emotions can often lead us down a road that’s not reality. The reality is that God cares about every aspect of our life. Yes, from the headaches to the difficult people in our life, to the moments that cause unfathomable pain.
In the moments where you feel like you can’t move, I encourage you to do what I want my daughter to do. I want her to keep moving. Laying down on the couch (where she would like nothing more than to spend the next 5 days) is going to slow down her healing process. Temporarily, yes, it’s okay that she takes a break, but eventually, she needs to get back out there. She needs to trust the process and know on the other side of this pain is the amazing in-shape athlete I know she is. Pain is temporary, but the growth that will come is priceless.
“We have sufferings now, but these are nothing compared to the great glory that will be given to us.” Romans 8:18 ERV