A couple years ago, I couldn’t see the light to conquering my emotional pain. I couldn’t even convince myself to hang one leg out of my bed, let alone my entire body. The weight of my pain was heavier than a rocket launch pad – with enough pressure to launch my soul into oblivion with no hope of return.
Emotion like that can absorb all sense of feeling. Emotion like that makes it difficult to inhale because inhalation means you’re alive. Being alive means feeling and I didn’t want to feel. My heart was hollow. Desolate. Depleted.
On New Years Eve, six months after the painful event, I reflected on the year in the only way I knew how- by writing:
2015, you hurt.
Torture of the heart.
Callous, calculated, and cruel.
Like an acid eating through the depths of my soul.
Burning away the innocence of hope,
Stealing my dreams.
People break promises,
But God doesn’t break promises.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He promises renewal.
He promises to be my peace.
He promises a plan to prosper me and not to harm me.
He promises to be with me like a Mighty Warrior.
He promises to make beauty out of the messes.
“And so it was that she, having waited long and endured patiently,
realized and obtained what God had promised. – Hebrews 6:15
As I look back on those words, I see several things:
- I see a woman who is still in an awful amount of pain.
- I see a woman who, despite walking through the most difficult season of her life, still clung to hope.
- I see a woman who, instead of remaining in the pit of despair, chose to focus on God’s promises to her.
This was six months later though.
I bet if I had written my feelings down 6 months prior, you would have a very different perspective of how this woman was feeling. After years of prayer, she doubted God’s goodness. After years of commitment, she wanted to give up her hope that happiness was attainable. After watching her marriage crumble like morals, she doubted that any marriage could withstand the world’s expectations. She didn’t think God wanted her to be happy. She didn’t think He really answered prayers.
Your Pain is Unique
I know you’re hurting, sweet lady. You may be experiencing an illness, the loss of a job, the death of a family member, discouragement, a crumbling marriage, infertility, disappointment, a loss of direction, or broken dreams.
The last thing you want to hear, the last thing I wanted to hear, is that time will heal. It’s easy for others to give you the advice that you’ll feel better in time; they aren’t the one experiencing the pain. They aren’t the one experiencing the death. They aren’t the one experiencing the job loss. They aren’t the one in the crumbling marriage or the one experiencing infertility.
They aren’t feeling the pain.
They aren’t feeling the discouragement.
They aren’t feeling the disappointment.
At least not in the same way that you are.
Your pain is as unique as your fingerprints.
You’re right. Nobody else can feel what you’re feeling. Nobody else sees your circumstance the way you do. They’re not the one walking the path.
Conquering Your Emotional Pain
I’m not here to tell you that time will heal. I’m definitely not writing to tell you that your pain is insignificant because, oh sweet sister, your pain is utterly significant.
What I am telling you, what I am hoping for you in this season of your life, is that you will choose to focus on God’s promises. From one broken sister to another, I can tell you that it’s way easier to see God’s provision and God’s promises fulfilled when you’re looking back at the circumstance. So while you may not see how He is moving in your life right now, please rest in knowing that He is absolutely on your side. He’s orchestrating everything from who to bring into your life to provide comfort, to what you need, to blessings coming.
Three Things You Can Do to Conquer Emotional Pain
There were three things that catapulted me forward during this difficult season of life and those were: clinging to God’s promises, finding comfort in others, and writing my thoughts and prayers down.
1. God’s Promises
I knew that God’s promises were different than the promises of people. I knew that He never broke them because I knew He never changed. As a result, I began speaking promises to myself. I wrote them on notecards, I whispered them when I felt fear beginning to creep in, I read them to myself before bed and when I woke up in the mornings, and I spoke them to others. Pretty soon, the inevitable happened; I began believing them again.
15 Promises to Speak to Yourself
Promise #1: He will heal your broken heart and bind up your wounds- Psalm 147:3
Promise #2: He’ll give you strength when you’re weary and increase your power when you’re weak- Isaiah 40:29
Promise #3: He’ll work all things for your good- Romans 8:28
Promise #4: He’ll make beauty out of the ashes- Isaiah 61:3
Promise #5: If you put your hope in Him, He will renew your strength- Isaiah 40:31
Promise #6: He has plans to prosper you and give you hope and a future- Jeremiah 29:11
Promise #7: He will meet all your needs- Philippians 4:19
Promise #8: Trust in Him and He’ll make your path straight- Proverbs 3:6
Promise #9: He goes before you. Do not be afraid or discouraged- Deuteronomy 31:8
Promise #10: He hears your cry and will pull you out of your troubles- Psalm 34:17
Promise #11: He will hold you up- Psalm 37:24
Promise #12: He’ll be your lamp and bring light to your darkness- 2 Samuel 22:29
Promise #13: In Him you have peace- John 16:33
Promise #14: When you don’t know what to pray, His spirit will intercede on your behalf- Romans 8:26
Promise #15: He is a shield around you and will lift your head high- Psalm 3:3
And finally, sweet sister, remember this promise:
And so it was that she, having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained what God had promised. – Hebrews 6:15
Whatever you do, don’t give up. Keep on speaking truth to your heart, even if nobody else will.
2. Find Comfort in the Stories of Others
I know I said earlier that your circumstance is as unique as your fingerprints, but there are others who have walked through similar seasons in their own lives. It’s important during this dark season, that you seek out others who are empathetic and sensitive to your story.
Going to a marriage retreat resulted in me finding comfort in a lady who reached out to me in obedience to God’s prompting in her heart. You can read about that story in this post: Why Your Story is Worth Telling. She ended up giving me something concrete that has helped remind me that God is ever-present.
3. Write Your Thoughts and Prayers Down
My sister gave me a little gift, nestled in this sweet little box called a Prayer Box. In it, are small sheets of paper and a tiny pencil. The idea is to write your prayers down, lift them up to God, close the box, and allow God the opportunity to work. You can read about and purchase your own prayer box in this post: Box Your Prayers.
I mentioned earlier that it’s easier to see God’s hand at work in your life by looking back. My prayer box has given me so much comfort, excitement, and encouragement because I have had a written record of prayers that He has been faithful in answering. I’m not saying that God will answer every prayer in the way you expect. He answers them in three ways:
But, to my surprise, He has answered every prayer I’ve placed in that box. Every time He answers one, I put a little checkmark on my prayer and move it to the back of my box. That little box has been such a blessing to me.
In addition to writing down your prayers, blogging in itself has been very therapeutic. I wish I had started it earlier. I think it would have helped me to heal faster. Have you ever thought about starting your own blog? Trust me, you have a unique perspective that nobody else has. You have a unique story that nobody else has. If you’re interested in starting a blog, I welcome you to begin by reading my tutorials on how to start a blog.
If blogging isn’t your forte’, consider writing your thoughts down in a notebook. I did this, too, and it has proven to be an eye-opening way for me to see God’s hand at work.
See You on the Other Side
I hope these three things help you as much as they help me. Remember, speak the truth of promises to yourself daily. Keep saying them over and over and over again.
You’ll pull through this and I’ll be here waiting for you with my check-marked prayer slip; proof of God’s promise fulfilled in you.
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