The phone rings…what could it be? What has happened? Who is in need? Who is angry? What did I not know about? Did I miss something? Car wreck? Someone ill? The possibilities are endless.
What was that pain? Heart attack? Gas? Was that a lump? Is that a tick? Are these just allergies or something else? How long has that hurt? Is that just a sore muscle or did I tear something? When will that go away? Will it ever go away?
Are the kids okay? Was that just hormones or are they dealing with something else? What is going on inside their mind and heart?
How much is THAT going to cost? Am I going to have enough money for this? Did I save enough in case that happens? Did I forget to pay for that bill? What’s my credit score?
My house sure seems to be sloping more and more. How come my back door doesn’t open the whole way anymore? Hmmmm, those bricks sure need to be pointed. How far is that tree going to lean before it comes down? That other tree sure is dead, how much wind will it take to blow it over and if so is it going to come down on the house?
Did I balance the soil for my plants or are they not going to grow? I wonder if the animals are going to eat my plants before they really grow. How much water is too much?
Why does the air in my car work, then not, then work again? How come it always works when I get it looked at? Why does the engine light come on…then go off? We should get the door and vent thingy in the van fixed. Why do things keep falling off of the bottom of the van. My car is old but paid for, how long will it last? I sure hope that the van and the car don’t go at the same time.
Impending doom. It’s with me a lot. It’s not heavy of debilitating, but it’s burdensome. It’s not with me all of the time, but it’s there. It doesn’t crush me, but it weighs heavily. It doesn’t define me, but it’s around me. It doesn’t win, but it’s in the game.
I know where it has come from. As a 12 year old my world was turned upside down when I learned that my dad was leaving to live with his girlfriend. Then he moved back in, then out again. In college, there were several times when I went to class at the beginning of the semester when I found out that my payment hadn’t gone through. During my time with YoungLife, many times there were major donations that didn’t come through which left the finances in peril. Then there’s the whole “You’re child has cancer thing.” Even when I found out that my thyroid wasn’t working (which resulted in a great health turn around) I found out that something, in fact, was wrong with my body.
I could end this post here but I won’t. I sadly know that many of you, to some degree, know what I’m talking about. Yeah, we could diagnose this as some sort of PTSD. That’s fine. That doesn’t change the day to day aspects of dealing with it though.
I have written many times about how to deal with hurts. I have spent many a word detailing the need for comfort here, here, and here (4 good posts on comfort). I have given you tools to deal with the pains and hurts of life. These are all useful and vital. However, the reminders of the events that caused you pain are still there.
Through using the tools I linked in the last paragraph, I was able to heal the hurts from all of my dad stuff. I was able to have a great relationship with him over the rest of our time together. Comfort has been attached to those hurts. But there is the residual affect of the “news” that caused such pain and instability.
One can end up riddled with anxiety and pain. Fear sets in and you become stuck, scared, and limited. You could, and do, put on the happy face. You do what you can to seem normal and even maybe let someone in on your situation. If you are blessed to have a friend who understands hurts it may help for awhile, until you’re alone again. Maybe you even throw it out there on social media hoping to hear from others that you are not alone. It helps…for a bit, then it doesn’t.
Maybe someone tries to help you and gives you scripture. They give you Matthew 6:34, which tells us to not worry. They may give you Phil 4:6-7 which tells us to not be anxious. Then you begin to worry that you are worrying and you feel anxious that you are anxious. Been there, done that.
What’s the answer then? To begin with, it lies in Phil 4: 8. Focus on the good. Focus on that which is holy. Rather than focusing on the hurts or the possibility of hurts, focus on the healing. Focus on the ways that God has blessed you through the maladies, the setbacks, the trials and tribulations. Again, those verses are not scorecards for your spiritual life exam. They are there to guide and direct you. They are not there to judge you but to love you.
Focus on God’s promises. He promises to never leave you nor forsake you. He promises to strengthen you. He will be (and is) with you. There are so many more. You can find them in any bible. A selection of them can be found here.
Heal the hurt. Feel the hurt with someone who will mourn with you. Share your pain with someone who can join you. That comfort will attach itself to those pains. You will not be able to remember the pain without being reminded of the tears of the one who cared for and comforted you.
Then, focus on the good. Learn and remember God’s promises. Know them. He never promises us a life without pain. He never guarantees that our life will go the way we want it to be. However: the God of all creation; the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Moses; the God who put the stars in their place; the God who sent His only Son to pay the price for our sin; the God that is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow; WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU.
Now, if you will excuse me the phone is ringing…I wonder what THAT could be.