Thursday’s Thread: Looking past our pain

Stories get written from brave moments we choose to live in.

Life has been hitting me hard lately…there’s not been one exclusive event that has crashed into our home- its been more like a continuous stream of small things that seem to be lasting longer than I’d like. 

Seasons of hard can sometimes be dangerous if we choose to let them drift us away rather than causing us to tread water…it’s far too easy for us to fall into despair.

Forgetting there was a time we weren’t struggling and the hard we’re currently in will  one day cease. 

So, as I woke up  this morning and told myself to muster up some strength a strand of hope by listing particles of gratitude.

My perspective was drastically changed when a string of texts and an urgent call came in…

It’s strange how what seems so big in our lives shrinks in the presence of greater need…I’ve been told my whole life when something hurts real badly if you cause pain in another part of your body it will dull it.

It’s funny but it’s true…

As I found myself this morning thrown into someone else’s pain-mine dulled…
I found a friend whose hurt was so deep it caused gasping breaths and tears to flow as I hung onto them tightly. 

You see, although we might have battles we’re fighting of our own-
there’s a whole lot of brave being mustered up around us.

I was faced to release what was building within my own aching chest to feel the brutally hard others were facing today-

This is the place our heart meets others in these tangled places of vulnerability….when we connect in ways we don’t entirely understand but for some reason it doesn’t matter because what does is why we’re lingering longer in their broken arms.

Friends, we may not be able to take the pain away but we can somehow ease it by ceasing our overcrowded lives and walking beside them…their pain is our invitation to come….it requires us to hang on, to be present and engaged.

To begin remembering some of what we’ve been forgetting lately…

To remember life won’t always be like this and hasn’t always been as it is.

To remember the hard we’re currently fighting through will get better…

Because healing always comes…

And although life is hard and painfully messy at times,
this is the kind of crazy stuff stories are written in…
brave tales we trade and the exact ones that give us compassion to pour into another’s life…to help us sit on broken knees as we beg God to intercede-

You see sweet ones,
without brokenness there is no need for healing and no imminent need for God in our lives. 

Our brokenness intertwines our lives with humanity as it so beautifully invites Christ in.

Last night my husband fought a battle of his own as his sugars sank into a deep low…the kind that can hurl worse things to come. 
He fights his own kind of brave every day as his body tries to make sense of this broken world we live in.
Yet so many days we can forget its there…forget he’s fighting this battle.

And I’m reminded of years ago when this crazy road began and it landed him into the hospital. 
He was so sick at the time we didn’t fully see his room mate who was hidden behind a curtain dividing their room.

But it happened the next morning when I came into their room and found out that the man on the other side of the curtain had spent the entire night whispering brave words of hope into my man’s ear. 
As my husband groaned through his pain in the night this audacious man trickled encouragement through their curtain.
He told my guy he would be okay and the worst of it would soon be over. 

We could all use some brave souls who call us to the finish line…

If this wasn’t enough though there’s more…
For this one who was fighting his own brave battle on the other side of the curtain that was kind enough to get past his own suffering and love on my guy all through that long night…he was climbing a mountain of his own…
-as I drew back the curtain that morning and exposed this dear man my heart sank into my chest as I found a man laying in a bed, who was missing all of his limbs from the diabetes.
A man whose wife also bore this disease and who was never able to have children because of its wreckage. 
Yet this one daring soul chose to vulnerably love my husband all the night through…I couldn’t have hugged him tighter!

I’ve never been more beautifully affected by a person than this day—and it’s these things that help me to remember what I seem to be forgetting lately. 

To remember we can truly love others with even the tiniest bit of what we have.

To remember my stuff may be hard but there’s others that have it even harder.

To remember the night may be painfully long but in the morning there comes a reason to be grateful.

And when we do all this pausing to remember,  
it has a beautiful way of helping us see our world with fresh new eyes.

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