In 2006, a movie was released called The Pursuit of Happyness. The title alone connected with people because whether or not we are consciously aware of it, many of us are on that very pursuit every single day. We want to feel happy. 

You know what movie title would probably be a bust? The Pursuit of Pain. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know anyone who is on that pursuit. We do not enjoy pain. We don’t wake up in the morning saying, “I just want to hurt today.”  

Pain is a Part of Our Story

The problem is…we live on planet Earth. Pain is part of our story on this side of eternity. No matter how hard we might try, we can’t escape it. And when the hurts we’ve experienced in our lives remain unhealed, they can literally cause every form of bondage imaginable. 

A young man who never received love from his father finds himself in bondage to success in his career, desperate to receive the love and affirmation of others. 

A teenage girl who was bullied by peers when she was young develops an eating disorder as she desperately searches for something that she can control. 

A woman who loses a child begins to obsessively cling to her remaining children out of fear of losing them. 

A man whose wife leaves him soon finds himself sabotaging one relationship after another to avoid being hurt again. 

The stories and examples could go on and on. The hurts in our lives that have not been healed will significantly affect who we are and what we do. The enemy wants nothing more than to use our hurts to hold us in bondage.  

Facing Our Past Hurts

Here’s the tricky thing: to allow the Lord to do a healing work in our lives, we have to actually acknowledge our hurts. We have to face them. And guess what? That process usually hurts!  

Let’s be honest, when we have experienced hurt, the last thing we want to do is go back to the hurt. When we see pain staring us in the face, we want to do everything in our power to avoid it. But, no matter how much we may wish it weren’t true, we can’t run from our hurts. They always – always – catch up.  

God is not sitting on the other side of that pain, simply encouraging you and cheering you through it. No. He is right in the middle of it. So if you try to go under, over, or around the pain, you will miss Him. And at the end of the day, isn’t He the ultimate goal?  

Psalm 62:8 says, “Pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.”(NIV) He is waiting for you to step in and process the hurts of your life with Him. He has a response to your pain, anger, and disappointment. He has something to say about those hurts and the damage you have sustained as a result. 

Processing Pain With God

I can personally testify that leaning into our pain with God will not only result in our hearts being healed; it will result in a deeper connection with the Healer and a fuller understanding of His goodness, love, and compassion. On the other side of some of the most painful experiences in my life, I can honestly say that while I don’t want to go through those experiences again, I would if it meant that I could know and experience Him the way that I do now.  

This is the beauty of Jesus. That out of ashes, He brings beauty. Out of mourning, He brings gladness. Out of brokenness, He brings healing.  

You may be looking at a deep hurt in your life and wonder if He can actually do this for you. Friend, what seems impossible to you is very possible with Him. He is not intimated by the depth of your pain or need, or emotion, and He wants to meet you in that place. Bringing the kind of healing that only He can bring.  

Beginning the Process of Healing

And here’s the thing: If you don’t want to do this for yourself, do it for everyone else in your life. Because the more healed and free you are, the healthier you will be as a husband, a wife, a mother, a father, a friend, a coworker. If anything, do this for those you love most!  

I realize that going back to past hurts likely means unlocking the box with all the emotions in it, and that can feel scary. But pouring out our hurts and emotions to God is where true inner healing begins. Allowing Him to speak into the painful experiences of our past is a life-changing exercise. You can be guided through this process in Mercy’s Keys to Freedom study, so I encourage you to get a copy today and start moving toward greater levels of healing and freedom!  

Mercy Multiplied exists to provide opportunities for all to experience God’s unconditional love, forgiveness, and life-transforming power. We offer multiple programs and resources online and onsite designed to equip people to live free and stay free in Christ. For more information about the services we offer, click here.

Want more resources? Read last week’s blog, “Embracing Who God Is”For daily inspiration, follow us @MercyMultiplied on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter!