What Makes Me Cry: Living With Chronic Pain

O God I am furrowed like the field

Torn open like the dirt

I know that to be healed that I must be broken first

I am aching for the yield that you will harvest from this hurt

Abide in me

Let these branches bear your fruit

Abide in me Lord as I abide in you

Let your word take hold

Remove in me the branch that bears no fruit

Remove in me as I abide in you

The Sower’s Song by Andrew Peterson

“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.”

Hosea 2:14(ESV)

Dear Readers

These are not the words I want to give you today. I’ve wrestled the words for weeks. I can’t hand them to you in a pretty package. If I’m here to encourage you in your wilderness, in your pain, I must share with you my own.

In her book A Million Little Ways, Emily P. Freeman asked the question, “What makes you cry?”

Dragging my journal across my lap, I scratched a list on the page:

Rainy days and cold

Another’s grief, visceral grief

Pain inflicted upon the innocent 

When my children hurt

When you hurt

Russ Ramsey’s song The Ballad of Andy Catlett

I cry when I leave the cranberries out of my lentils and rice. When I forget to thaw the orange juice. Words others write. When worship music vibrates through my soul.

Tears fall over craggy places and the simplest of things, and yet in my own pain, I squeeze them tight, for fear if the first one escapes I would somehow drown.

It’s the drowning that keeps me on the edge of holding on.

Andrew Peterson’s words strike with every beat of my heart:

“I know that to be healed I must be broken first.”

It’s not a question of healing. That will come on the other side of this life.

It’s listening in the wilderness the tender words spoken to me. It’s abiding in Him, trusting Him in the removing of the branch that bears no fruit. Allowing the tears to fall in the bitter places so bitterness will not take root. Settling into my soul.

Trusting in the drowning just as I trusted Him in the fading away of my old life. Trusted Him in the grieving of what was.

Abiding in Him is trusting. Trusting Him to catch the tears that fall. Trusting Him in the breaking of me.

I. Know. This. We’ve had three and a half years walking through the wilderness. Times when I have gone ahead, and times when I was drug kicking and screaming. Times when I have been carried.

I am never stranded. He never takes me anywhere and leaves me.

There is always this hope. An anchor.

…we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf… Hebrews 6:18b, 19, &20a (ESV)

Hope for me. Hope for you. A refuge to release our tears of pain. An anchor to hold us steady in the unsteady.

Gifts of Grace 

PS: I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.

You are welcomed here! Sign up here and receive new posts directly in your inbox. 

PSS: I took a trip home some weeks ago, set on a pew, danced in the midst of grief and joy. Gaping holes were filled with how to #live inspired.

In case you missed it, you can read about it here


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