From August of 2019 to September 2020, I was in physical pain. I went to the doctor and was provided non-invasive treatments. Nothing stopped the pain. As uncomfortable as this pain was, I began to tolerate it. I began to function and carry out my normal activities except certain exercises.
The one treatment I had not considered was surgery. I barely like to take medications, so I know I didn’t want to have surgery. Truth be told, I was scared to be put to sleep, and I did not want to be cut. I was stressed out so bad one Sunday at church (pre-pandemic), I broke down crying to the song “Never Lost” when I heard the words “Who are you great mountain, That you should not bow low? Jesus defeated the darkness. He has never lost a battle.” I had never cried like that before in church, but it was the release I needed for what happened next.
After church, I was talking with one of the Deacons about what was causing me pain. She said Brandy, “ You know surgery is God’s medicine.” When she released those words to me, I felt a peace come over me. Between crying and talking about my pain, that Sunday, I knew what I needed to do.
I had begun to allow the pain to be part of my everyday life, ignoring the pain that was still there because I did not want to have surgery. The same thing happened with me spiritually. I was functioning with the pain I felt. I was carrying on with life as if the spiritual pain did not exist. What I thought was functioning really was me not listening to what my body was telling me physically and spiritually.
I had to acknowledge in both situations that 1.) It was not normal to function with pain, 2.) Just because I thought I was functioning, it doesn’t mean that I actually was, and 3.) I had to realize that as much as I did not want to experience being in pain, that was the only way to bring healing. Spiritually, I did not want to relive every event in my life that caused me pain, but I could not heal until I began to write about the pain.
Oftentimes, one does not want to acknowledge what has caused them pain. When they do not, it continues to cause more damage. In doing so, one can lose their voice and are often suffering in silence because they do want anyone to know. No one wants to be in pain because it hurts, exposes us, makes us feel vulnerable, and can make us feel weak. But I am here to tell you that there is so much power in conquering the battle of healing from your pain.
In 2 Corinthians 7: 8-10 NLT version Paul writes, I am not sorry that I sent that severe letter to you, though I was sorry at first, for I know it was painful to you for a little while. Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.
In the scripture, Paul states he’s not sorry that he sent the severe letter and he knew it would be painful for a little while. The pain we experience is temporary, if we repent and change our ways. To heal from the pain, we have to change our ways by not continuing to pretend that we are not hurt. We have to acknowledge, brokenness, depression, anxiety, loneliness, feeling lost, or any other thing that causes us pain.
Paul also states that the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads away from sin and results in salvation. According to Google, salvation is the preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss. Only you can determine what has caused those painful areas in your life that you need deliverance from that will bring healing. We are often hard on ourselves because of the situations and circumstances that led us to the pain we experienced, but Paul states “There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow.” He states, “But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.” Spiritual death comes upon us when we refuse to let the pain (sorrow) go and heal.
There are two forms of pain. Pain from suffering and from healing. The pain from suffering, if you allow it, will keep you bound and encapsulated in what caused it. But when you allow yourself to heal from pain, it brings freedom and wholeness. It is not easy to go through, but the reward is far greater and you will be free and healed.
I’ll leave you with this confirmatory scripture from 1 Peter 5:9-10 ESV, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
Physically, I could not heal until I had surgery and although I went through physical therapy, the pain I experienced brought healing and restoration of normal function to my body. Spiritually, I could not heal because I refused to acknowledge I was in pain. But God wanted so much more for me, and I realized that through my gift of writing. As I wrote about the pain and released it, God did exactly what He said he would. He restored, confirmed, strengthened, and established me. I just had to acknowledge the pain before healing.