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Do You Flee From Pain or Face It?

Pain is something I work hard to avoid. It hurts and seem only a negative. A pain in my legs after exercise means an injury. A scratchy throat is the beginning of an illness. A broken heart represents losing at love.

Even though pain is not fun, there’s positive that can come out of it. The pain in my leg is my body adjusting to a new workout that’s making me stronger. The scratchy throat is due to long phone conversation with my loving mother. And the broken heart was God’s separating me from a bad choice until the right one came along.

My survival instinct many times causes me to flee pain.

Growing up adults repeatedly shared the famous quote, “When the going get tough, the tough get going.” However, the only “get going” I wanted to do was away from the pain.

We live in a hurting world and the pain many of us face can be overwhelming.

Not long ago I saw an interview with J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. She talked about her mother’s death and the pain involved. She was extremely close to her mother. However, the pain she felt from losing her mother helped her fully capture Harry’s character. She was able grasp the pain he felt of not having a family.

Many charities were founded out of pain. Great works or art were created from pain. Scientific discoveries were motivated out of pain.

If we consistently flee pain instead of facing it, we miss out on a lot.

Facing pain – Awakens our souls to a deeper part of our being that has been touched by God. If we don’t go there, we miss God’s touch and seeing more of Him.

Fleeing pain– Closes up a wound faster but it leaves a scar on our heart that is numb. It prevents us from fully feeling love and life.

Facing pain – Initially breaks us down but after rest and healing we come back stronger, filled with wisdom.

Fleeing pain – Wears us down. When we flee, we are alone. When we are alone, there is no one around to help hold our arms up.

Facing pain – In time we become a source of healing for others. We can use our strength and pass it forward to others.

Fleeing pain - Stunts our growth and we become a burden. Insecurities develop and if we’re not careful, we pass it on to the next generation.

There are levels of pain that make it easier to face some over others. There is no formula to ease the process but there is a loving God who has experienced pain.

He was a refugee, poor. Maybe He carried the burdened of knowing thousands of babies were murdered because of his birth. He was betrayed. Single. Falsely accused. Spat upon. Beaten and treated like a thief.

Jesus lived in constant tension while here on earth. But, He didn’t flee. He was tempted to but instead of running He went to a garden, got on His knees and went face to face with God. And when He was done, He had the strength to not only face it pain that was ahead but to endure it.

He paid it forward to us. Because He faced His pain we can rest assured that one day our pain will be removed.

When we face God on our knees, He will carry our burdens and we can face anything.

How are you doing?

Are you fleeing your pain for facing it?

Maybe it’s time to go face to face with God in the midst of your pain.

Comments

Hi Laurie,
A very timely post here as we approach the cross and Easter. Jesus endured the most radical pain of all. Not just physically, but emotionally and even spiritually as he was crucified. I often think about how difficult it must have been for Jesus to have endured the pain of watching his mother suffer as she watched him and to see the disciples, his closest friends betray him, and yet he took it all on on the cross. Incredible!
Leaning into pain is so opposite from what our world teaches. Culturally, I think we tend to flee from pain or hide it with job success, materials, or relationships and that has become the social norm for many.
But when we don't hide the pain or run from it and when we are patient with our pain and allow ourselves to feel pain, that's when God shows up and reveals his love and his goodness in abundanct and radical ways. He not only helps us in the pain, he changes us in awesome ways as a result and builds us up. I too just wrote a bit about this theme so thank you for writing about it here. I love reading your words. Good stuff! Thanks!

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I am a total believer in that we must be broken down before we can be built up stronger, and pain is a great notifier of that happening. When we can embrace pain instead of run away from it then we ultimately become stronger people! It's still sad, though, considering that we are a pain fleeing society. A recent study on a home security blog pointed out that crime rates have actually decreased by a lot over the past two decades, yet the number of home security systems (and percentage therefrom) has increased! Just goes to show that we fear pain, and will run from it despite contrary evidence. How can we get more people to embrace the growth that comes with pain?

You make great points and ask a great question. Part of me wonders if complacency is the bulk of the problem. We're so use to being comfortable that we shy away from any form of discomfort, regardless of the the cost or reward. My deepest moments with God have been during hard times. My relationship with my husband grows during times of struggle and I see the most character development in my kids and all of us during such times. Even though it was painful, I'd never want to lose those moments in our lives.

Thank you for sharing this and pushing the thought deeper!!

Laurie

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Not long ago I saw an interview with J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. She talked about her mother’s death and the pain involved. She was extremely close to her mother. However, the pain she felt from losing her mother helped her fully capture Harry’s character. She was able grasp the pain he felt of not having a family.
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Pain motivates the individual to withdraw from damaging situations, to protect a damaged body part while it heals, and to avoid similar experiences in the future.-Texas Lending

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The single events or the event chains that have the most potential to affect the projects are the “critical events” or “critical chains of events.” By identifying critical events or critical chains of events, we can mitigate their negative effects. These critical chains of events can be identified by analyzing the correlations between the main project parameters, such as project duration or cost, and the event chains.
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Once events and event chains are defined, quantitative analysis using Monte Carlo simulation can be performed to quantify the cumulative effect of the events. Probabilities and effects of risks are used as input data for Monte Carlo simulation of the project schedule.[4] In most real life projects, it is necessary to supplement the information regarding the uncertainties expressed as an event, with distributions related to duration, start time, cost, and other parameters.
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About
Laurie is co-founder of Russell Media. She's lived in several countries and writes on what it means to unleash faith from the trappings of church and secular culture.


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