The Other Side of Pain

Light After Darkness by jhongdizon

http://www.flickr.com/photos/japokskee/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/japokskee/

 Today, I got to experience the other side of pain.

Joy.

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV): "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion adn the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hoope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

For many years, I struggled through a difficult life. Earmarked by poverty, fear, lonliness, isolation. The list could go on. As I made my way through, I often railed against God.

Alone and crying, I would plead, "Why me Lord? Why are you testing me like this? Why must I endure this?"

And always the answer was the same. "So that you can share with others later." The response came from friends, pastors, counselors. They all believed that my suffering would some day help me to help others.

I listened to the pat response with cynicism, fear, scepticism, doubt. How could I ever help anyone? I couldn't even help myself. And, more importantly, why wasn't anyone "helping" me? Where were these people, who had experienced what I was going through? Where the compassion, where the comfort, where the understanding? The trials I endured seemed foreign to those around me, living in comfort and leisure.

That was the view I embraced. No one could possibly understand. No one could possibly help. No one really cared. It felt like their need to distance themselves from my pain resulted in a biblical, albeit unsettling response.

I remember one bible study leader telling me, "Consider it pure joy, Deborah, when you endure troubles of many kinds. For you will learn that the testing of your faith produces perserverence, and perservence leads to wisdom." His words, from the book of James, were intended to comfort, but I could not see the joy in my suffering. I could only feel the hurt.

When our family was asked to leave a church body, for the first time, the shame, fear, lonliness, anger, isolation and abandonment felt insurmountable. I could see no good. I could not see God. Before me, desolation, disgrace. Behind me, a church family who finally decided to expel the offending member from it's midst. And even as I cried out to God, begged, peaded and  bargained, I could not see how any good would ever come of this.

God, in his infinite mercy, first comforted me. Although forsaken by my "family", he would never  leave me. He let me know that I could always turn to him, alway talk to him, always cry out. And when I was ready to listen, I would hear the small still voice. A response to my anguished cries.

And now, many years later, God has given me a beautiful gift. He has, in a sense, restored the years the locusts have destroyed. The gift came in the form of a woman, from out of town. She stopped in my bookstore, looking for... something. She left, empty handed. Days later, she called, requesting a reiki treatment.

Before giving reiki, I always pray that God will use me as a conduit of his healing energy. I also ask that I simply share his love, in whatever form is needed. On this day, as she and I talked, I heard fear in her voice. As she described a church situation, and her decision to separate from a body in which she had worshipped for fifteen years, I suddenly realized how to help her.

I honestly shared from my own experience, telling her of the pain and lonliness that would result from her decision. Regardless of the reasons, when you leave a church, it is a painful separation.

After speaking, I laid my hands on her and felt Gods energy and love pouring through me, and into her. It was emotionally charged for both of us.

I can now honestly say that I understand the need  to go through that devastating experience. 

God's peace and joy filled me and flowed through me, finally, on the other side of pain. 

 

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Comments 10 comments

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Things are too often, not what they seem. If the Golden Rule is not adhered to and taken to be THE law above laws- there will be injustice in churches, governments, people.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

I,m so sorry, but i must have missed a hub or something

because, i didn,t understand about you being asked to leave a church, why were you asked to leave?

I will read about Reiki too, I have never heard of it.

Please don,t think i,m being rude, i just don,t understand.

God Bless


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD Author

Thanks for your wisdom, Micky Dee, I always appreciate your comments.

Always exploring, you didn't miss a hub, I just didn't write this one well. I haven't ever said much about my past. The church I refer to in this case, asked us to leave after it became apparent that my ex-husband had no interest in healing, no interest in growing, and NO interest in sitting under any authority aside from his own. After being there for about eight years, as the demons living inside our home began to emerge (ie abuse, pornography to name a couple), they asked for us, and for him specifically to receive some church counseling, if we wanted to continue our membership. Remember, you can only lie and hide so long... as people begin to see your real life, the lie falls apart. So, by mutual consent (his and the elders), we would not receive counseling, and we would find a new church home. Youch. It was one of the hardest times in my life. To help someone through the process with empathy, love and grace was a huge gift in my life.

Thanks for reading.

Namaste friends.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

It sounds like you had a rough time.. I'm glad the clouds have parted for you.


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Although I do not see life through a religious prism, I do firmly believe that life's trials and troubles serve to make us a stronger, more well-defined people. I always look to the past, however painful some parts may be, as every bit a part of who I am today, and I would not change a single thing.


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD Author

Thanks for your kind words, Carolina muscle.

Springboard, I appreciate you reading, and agree that our trials make us stronger.

Namaste.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 6 years ago from Canada

All in God's time... when I first heard those words, I wondered if that time would ever come. Thank YOU for sharing so honestly about your life, and your journey. Namaste, my friend.


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 6 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Glad things have worked ouit for you


Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 6 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD Author

Thanks for your kind words RedElf, and thank you ethel for stopping by.

Namaste friends.


MFB III profile image

MFB III 6 years ago from United States

It is how we deal with the pain and the sorrow that God

rewards most. It is how we help others in the same boat.

we were put here with free will, if God stepped in everytime we were in dire straits we would be his puppets on heavenly strings. He is not at fault for the woes of the world burdening our shoulders, but he cares, and he offers an eternity if we handle them well. An eternity where all of our pain and sorrow will be just a nanosecond forgotten in his glory. Great hub~~~MFB III

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    Deborah Demander profile image

    Deborah Demander602 Followers
    126 Articles

    Deborah is a writer, healer, and teacher. Her goal is to help people live their best lives everyday, while sharing her joy and love of life.



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