I have become intimately acquainted with pain in the latest season of my life. I have also learned a lot about the process of grief. All of my life I have been a person that runs from pain. I dislike being emotionally out of control, feeling that terrible ache in the center of my soul. I thought if I ignored it, pain would go away.

You see, I personally experienced a lot of pain during my childhood. My parent's divorce left me hollow, and sexual abuse left me angry and fearful. I spent years chasing after affirmation, wholeness and a sense of security, but not understanding that acknowledging pain was crucial to my healing.

I was alternately angry with God, myself, and my family for the terrible injustices done to my siblings, my mother and me. Then, I would stuff it with food, friends, movies, and books. I was never a partier, but I found ways to cope with things I didn’t understand.

For years, Jesus has held my hand very patiently, waiting, knowing, and revealing things to me ever so gently. In the last several years I have begun to dig deep, and examine my heart, entering the process of fully surrendering to Him. It is not a pretty process. I have learned that God is not afraid of my pain, and neither should I be.

I told Jesus I wanted to feel all of the feels, walk through the messy and the scary. I would do it openly and honestly with Him. I have unapologetically cried, screamed, and cussed at Him and to Him. Then, I have looked at Him and unequivocally acknowledged Him as good, holy, faithful, trustworthy, loving, honoring, healing and mine. Then I have given myself grace to heal. I’ve grieved the loss of my childhood, the loss of an earthly father, the loss of innocence. I have acknowledged abandonment and rejection, but also allowed love and belonging to take their place. I’ve loved myself enough to believe in what He is doing in me, and trusted Him enough to let Him do it. And I will continue to do it, repeatedly until His work is finished in me.

The only way through pain is to actually walk through it. He is not just on the other side; He is in the middle of it with us. He is there to take it from us, giving life in return. Dare to be honest. His shoulders are so wide, His heart is so big, and He is so faithful.

"I praise You, Eternal One. You lifted me out of that deep, dark pit, and denied my opponents the pleasure of rubbing in their success. Eternal One, my True God, I cried out to You for help; You mended the shattered pieces of my life. You lifted me from the grave with a mighty hand, gave me another chance, and saved me from joining those in that dreadful pit."

Psalm 30:1-3The Voice

"You stood outside my grave, with tears still on your face. I heard you say my name, my night was turned to day"

You Came by Melissa Helser, Jonathan David Helser and Ed Cash