It Won’t Hurt Forever
My mum sometimes reminds me that I was a daredevil when I was a kid, and the faint scars on my right knee and forehead prove her accurate description. Looking back in hindsight, I can see why taking my big sister’s bike and deciding to ride it fast down a freshly gravelled road wasn’t going to end that well, as my sister is four years older than me and her bike was way too big for me to ride. Nevertheless, one hospital visit and a few stitches later found me in a whole lot of hurt. “It won’t hurt forever,” Mum said. And, of course, mums are always right. Right?! But what if some wounds from your past don’t heal as quickly, causing you to believe things will never get better? What if the emotional wounds are just too deep to turn into scars because you feel that they will hurt forever? What then?
We experience all kinds of pain and try to avoid it at all costs. Pain is a strange force that can either hold you back, shrink your potential and paralyse you, or it will push you to your limits, make you achieve more than you can imagine, and propel you in a forward motion. Pain can also leave you at your wit’s end, letting you know that life isn’t easy and it’s rarely ever fair.
Craig Groeschel says that ‘pain teaches us to depend on God as it purifies our motives, keeps us humble and moves us to pray, as the pain is always worth the process because choosing what’s right over what’s easy helps us to grow.’ Brené Brown moves in the same vein as Craig’s thoughts around pain as she says that we need to decide to ‘choose courage over comfort because you can’t have both.’
Brené is right, we can’t have both courage and comfort, and the scars I carry from my past are not just faintly visible on my forehead and right knee. I carry a few invisible scars that tell my story of the times I was wounded and on the run. How I ran away from God for many years because of people’s betrayal, abandonment, and abuse. Pain that I thought would hurt forever and never go away. And yet, it wasn’t until I decided to stop running and let the precious scars on the hands and feet of Jesus minister and soothe the most painful wounds that I realised my hurt won’t last forever.
I believe the hardest part for hurt to heal is deciding you’re going to stop running, choose courage over comfort and then do what’s right over what feels easy. As A.W. Tozer suggests, “It is the direction and the motion that matters…if God is the direction and if you are moving toward God, then I am happy.” When we run to God rather than run away from Him, the pain we feel will feel like it will last forever. Our wounds turn into scars by the direction we choose and it will be either toward God or away from Him.
When I was asked to speak about my wounding and how Jesus healed them with His scars, I asked one of my closest friends to pray for me before I gave my talk. She replied, “Breathe in and let the truth come out.” I like that. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath in and let the truth come out and in time the hurt won’t be as raw, as tender, as painful. As I mentioned in my book, ‘they say time heals all wounds but it is Jesus who heals all wounding’ and spending time with Him means the hurt will get better.
When we read the Bible we find many pain-filled moments. From Peter’s denial to Judas’ betrayal, God promises that it won’t hurt forever because ‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death no more; mourning no more, crying no more, pain no more, for the first things have gone away.’ [ Revelation 21:4 TVT] As Taylor Swift sings, “Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes” but we still try to fix, cover up, and mask our pain, colouring in our painted-on smiles with a lipstick shade that matches our rose-tinted glasses, pretending like nothing happened and the situation didn’t bother us that much.
I promise you when you get real with God, it won’t hurt forever and the pain from our wounds will eventually be healed into silence. Because it’s the scars that are left behind that tell our stories helping others to find their healing too.
As Brené Brown suggests, where have you chosen courage over comfort and stopped running away from God and run to Him instead?