STUFFING PAINFUL MEMORIES
Even in laughter the heart may be in pain, and the end of joy may be grief. Proverbs 14:13
That which weights down my heart like lead is usually difficult to acknowledge. Somewhere beneath my sanguine exterior, grief pokes at me constantly, begging for acknowledgment. If it’s too frightening to process, I will run from it. If the grief is terrifying, I’ll run from it indefinitely.
I am in tune with the sad eyes of people at social gatherings. Those who regale others with the funniest stories of the evening can be the very ones who cry themselves to sleep in private agony. How many comedians have admitted that they struggle with depression? It seems to be a theme. The jokester is often the troubled soul.
I know the right answers for spiritual and emotional health. I’m sure you do, too. If you’re your pain, explore it with God. Grieve it. Heal from it. But ultimately, the failure to do so boils down to a spiritual issue. I ran from my own painful issues for thirty-five years. I didn’t have an intimate relationship with God, the kind that would bear the weight of such a journey. I could have answered questions on a test about God’s character. I would have told you that He is faithful, loves unconditionally, and even redeems what is broken, but I hadn’t connected to Him emotionally to experience these things firsthand. I needed to feed my faith with abundant time in the Word so that I would gain an absolute trust of the One who would receive my tears.
While I played pretend, God noticed. He was already acquainted with the events that shaped my grief. He knew the instant they occurred that I would develop deep scars over the years. But He also hoped that I would not choose to stuff the memories out of sight. He, the healer and redeemer, continually reached out to me to draw me to Himself. He had everything I needed to navigate the journey. Time, insight, perception, comfort, and healing. After a season of grieving, I finally experienced the day when my laughter was no longer shallow but instead, bore the evidence of a joy too abundant to conceal. While there were and are, no shortcuts, the pilgrimage through the valley of sorrow is a temporary one.
Let me be someone who restores the breech today, mending others’ broken trust in you. Help me pass on deep attachment to Your Words. In Jesus’ name, Amen