I have never had surgery, but those who have tell me they often continue to have pain at the site of the incision. The source is frequently scar tissue that forms. The pain can become unbearable, especially for those who have had multiple surgeries. The same goes for emotional pain and trauma. The pain and hurt lingers, and most of the time it lingers much longer than we ever wanted or expected.
To those who are no strangers to me and my writing, you remember I went through a separation and divorce at the end of my first pastorate. In my mind, I had a deadline for when I would “bounce back” and “have it all together”. I hate to break it to you, but 7 years hasn’t healed everything and made me magically better. Remarriage wasn’t the ultimate healing balm that made my previous marriage disappear. Having three children with my current wife didn’t take away the pain of not having my oldest three with me daily. I began to wonder what was wrong with me that would prevent me from coming to this ideal place of healing. Then I talked to others.
I find it interesting that most every divorced pastor I talked to spoke of the pain they still experience as a result of their divorce and often ministry hurt that was connected to it. Most said that not a day goes by that they don’t still feel some effects from it.
You may be reading this and are wondering when you will stop hurting. I don’t know what your emotional pain is, but God does. Scripture says He is near to the broken-hearted and He binds up their wounds. The evidence of your pain will always be there. What you do with it and how you view it will be the determining factors in moving forward.
A wise individual asked me an interesting question. He asked me how I viewed all the hardship surrounding my divorce with the following question – “Do you view your difficulty as an accusation or a testimony?” I wanted to say that I completely viewed it as a testimony, but I could see that I see it as somewhat of an accusation. Since so many who are affiliated with churches see my divorce as a scarlet D, why shouldn’t I, right? Wrong! From my broken place, I can weep with those who weep. I can let people know that weeping only endures for a night, and God does give grace.
Let me leave you with these lyrics of the old hymn “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”:
Oh soul are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior
And life more abundant and free
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace