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Pressing Through the Pain

March 8, 2017

Does it ever feel like the heartbreak in your life is trying to break you?

I understand. I really, really do. I’ve been in that place where the pain of heartbreak hits with such sudden and sharp force that it feels like it cuts through skin and bone. It’s the kind of pain that leaves us wondering if we’ll ever be able to function like a normal person again.

But God has been tenderly reminding me that pain itself is not the enemy. Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists.

Pain is the reminder that the real enemy is trying to take us out and bring us down by keeping us stuck in broken places. Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with brave tenacity and fierce determination, knowing there’s healing on the other side.

And in the in-between? In that desperate place where we aren’t quite on the other side of it all yet, and our heart still feels quite raw?

Pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His. I’m not writing that to throw out spiritual platitudes that sound good; I write it from the depth of a heart that knows it’s the only way.

We must invite God into our pain to help us survive the desperate in-between.

The only other choice is to run from the pain by using some method of numbing. But numbing the pain — with food, achievements, drugs, alcohol or sex — never goes to the source of the real issue to make us healthier. It only silences our screaming need for help.

We think we are freeing ourselves from the pain when, in reality, what numbs us imprisons us. If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us. It slowly kills the potential for our hearts to fully feel, fully connect, fully love again. It even steals the best in our relationship with God.

Pain is the sensation that indicates a transformation is needed. There is a weakness where new strength needs to enter in. And we must choose to pursue long-term strength rather than temporary relief.

So how do we get this new strength? How do we stop ourselves from chasing what will numb us when the deepest parts of us scream for some relief? How do we stop the piercing pain of this minute, this hour?

We invite God’s closeness.

For me, this means praying. No matter how vast our pit, prayer is big enough to fill us with the realization of His presence like nothing else.

James 4:8a reminds us that when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. When we invite Him close, He always accepts our invitation.

And on the days when my heart feels hurt and my words feel quite flat, I let Scripture guide my prayers — recording His Word in my journal, and then adding my own personal thoughts.

One of my personal favorites to turn to is Psalm 91. I would love to share this verse with you today, as an example for when you prayerfully invite God into your own pain.

Verse: “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1, NIV)

Prayer: Lord, draw me close.

Your Word promises when I draw close to You, You are there. I want my drawing close to be a permanent dwelling place. At any moment when I feel weak and empty and alone, I pray that I won’t let those feelings drag me down into a pit of insecurity. But rather, I want those feelings to be triggers for me to immediately lift those burdensome feelings to You and trade them for the assurance of Your security.

I am not alone, because You are with me. I am not weak, because Your strength is infused in me. I am not empty, because I’m drinking daily from Your fullness. You are my dwelling place. And in You I have shelter from every stormy circumstance and harsh reality. I’m not pretending the hard things don’t exist, but I am rejoicing in the fact that Your covering protects me and prevents those hard things from affecting me like they used to.

You, the Most High, have the final say over me. You know me and love me intimately. And today I declare that I will trust You in the midst of my pain. You are my everyday dwelling place, my saving grace.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

And with that I close my prayer journal, feeling a lot less desperate and a lot more whole. I breathe the atmosphere of life His words bring.

I picture Him standing at the door of my future, knocking. If I will let Him enter into the darkness of my hurt today, He will open wide the door to a much brighter tomorrow.

(Find more scriptural prayers written out for you in my book, Uninvited. Click here to get your copy.)

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26 Comments
  1. Darlene

    Wow, the timing of this was great. I really needed this, the last few months have been difficult. Thank you for this!

    Reply
  2. Margaret

    This is such a good read and where I find myself so often lately. My adult son has turned his back on God and it’s so painful! I know to trust God with him, but it’s so very difficult when the “what if’s” come screaming into my thoughts. Thanks so much for this reminder.

    Reply
  3. Calista Baker

    Wow! I just started reading Uninvited this morning. 🙂 Thank you for this. Rejection has been a tough topic for me lately. God bless you.

    Reply
  4. Dana

    What I know for certain:
    I have to trust God. This pain overwhelms me, but God has a plan to use this for good.
    Yes, even this. I wrote this at 3 am-

    Dear God,
    Please take all my brokenness,
    And create something beautiful.
    I give all my hurt to You,
    Only You can heal me heart and soul ?

    Reply
  5. Elaine Ledlow

    Awesome words. Psalms 91 has been a go to for the lasy several years. If you haven’t read Uninvited I highly recommend it! If you go to Proverbs31.com you can not pnly get the book but you can also see the inline bible study! Live loved! God bless

    Reply
  6. Shawn Hainline

    I don’t need to tell you that God’s timing is perfect! My son went to be with Jesus 4 weeks ago after a year long battle with Leukemia. I am blessed to have had 36 years with him and we were very close. I have never felt heart wrenching pain as this as my heart also breaks for his brother who was even closer to him than I. I have been trying to draw near to God but in all honesty I I’ve thought to myself whats the point. After reading this I began to cry yet again but this time simply asked God to hold me, and He did. I know healing will come, I don’t want to numb the pain but I sure don’t want to live in it either. Thank you Lysa for your open, honest words and your obedience to God.

    Reply
    • Rachelle Craig

      I can’t even begin to imagine your pain in the devastation of losing a child. But I do know the pain of losing a close sibling. May God be with you and your son and hold you both close. Praying for you both today.

      Reply
    • Payira Bonnie

      Hello Shawn,I totally understand what you go through ever day of your life and your son too.
      I lost my Mum When I was 3 years old and lost my Dad 2 days after celebrating my 8th Birthday.I have lived in that pain for the last 30 years.Every challenges that came my way during my teens refereed me to the thoughts “If mum was here she would have solved this easily”
      As time went by,I accepted Jesus,enjoyed his company I think more than I would have done if both my parents where all around.

      He can never leave you alone.Reach out for him He is waiting for you.

      Psalm 34:18

      Happy Easter

      Reply
  7. Yvonne

    I began to read the book Uninvited & wondered if Lysa is writing my life story. Rejection has been a real part of my journey in life, but I am excited to see how Lysa moved beyond her pain and began to see the beauty, and I know God wants that for me too. The big question is “Where is my focus”?? That makes all the difference in my view of life. THANK YOU for your honesty, vulnerability & encouragement to become more, to become a rose among the thorns. God bless you!!

    Reply
  8. Amanda

    This came in God’s perfect timing. We just learned that we basically only have one option left for treating my husband’s cancer, an invasive surgery that would require some major changes and sacrifices for both of us. We go in April for a surgical consult, and to find out for sure if this is even an option. If it isn’t, or if my husband decides the consequences of the surgery are too great, I face losing my husband much sooner than I could ever have expected. We both have been pushing through the pain since we found out his last treatment didn’t work, and this has just been overwhelming. God’s grace is truly the only thing that had kept me on my feet, keeping our daily life in order. My prayer is that whatever God’s will, he will use this to his glory.

    Reply
    • Kathy

      So sorry you and your husband are going through this! I pray you will feel God’s strength, peace and provision in a mighty way!

      Reply
  9. Lauren Gaskill

    Oh, how my soul needed this prayer today. Thank you, dear Lysa. Thank you. <3

    Reply
  10. Dorie

    I have been reading “Univited”, as most of my life I have felt uninvited (I’m 54).
    I still struggle, but I just keep praying and keep on “keeping on” with the hope that one day, it will all make sense and the struggle and the unfulfilled hopes and dreams will have been because God had much bigger hopes and dreams for me and my life.

    Reply
  11. Kathy

    This was timely for me and exactly what I needed to hear. God is using you in a mighty way.

    Reply
  12. Briana

    I just started reading uninvited and already i feel the impact that isbeing made in my heart. Im a mom of 4 and my marriage is not in a good place I was feeling hopeless and reading this book has reminded me the need to lean on the lord and how much i am still loved by him no matter what thank you Psalm 91;1 im holding close to my heart

    Reply
  13. Chantai Finesse

    Thank you for allowing others to see the vulnerable side that people often hide. It’s in that authenticity where we really grow in strength. I’ve been following Proverbs 31 Ministries for over seven years now and there is always a gem to be taken from you and the others affiliated with P31. I just want to say thank you!

    Reply
  14. Trina

    Thank you for your post. I love your story. You have so a wonderful love for life. Keep it up.

    Reply
  15. Anna K. Hughes

    Love this. And LOVED Uninvited. Thank you Lysa for stepping into hard places and equipping others through Gods word on how to walk in and through those hard places.

    Reply
  16. Julia

    I feel like you are reading the pages of my mind. The story isn’t exactly the same but the thoughts and feelings are… Hoping for healing.

    Reply
  17. Susanne

    I really needed this today. Thank you.

    Reply
  18. Kellie

    God’s timing that I read your post this morning. thank you

    Reply
  19. Christine

    I just ordered your book, The Uninvited, from Barnes and Noble. I then read a sample on B and N’s website and it convinced me so much that God wants me to read this book that I wrote about it in my blog. I can’t wait for the book to arrive!
    https://warrriorforchrist.wordpress.com/2017/03/31/the-uninvited/

    I am thankful to God for having you write it, too. Be blessed.

    Reply
  20. Jackie Ott

    Lysa, three years ago my friend and I began a small group study, First Place 4 Health. Since then, there has been a steady core group of about 6 ladies who embarked on the journey to healthier lifestyles. I lost the 30 or so pounds I had gained since getting married in 2003, and, instead of very tight size 14s, was almost back to a 10.

    Last September my honey went home to the Lord very unexpectedly, and my focus was gone. I gained 15 pounds back, and didn’t really care. A few weeks ago, our group began working through your Made to Crave study. Tonight while reading the chapter, The Very Next Choice We Make, it struck me hard. “He’s given me everything and I don’t want to forget.” I will choice wisely, for God’s sake. I will get healthy to his glory. I will seek to crave him.

    Thank you, Lysa.

    Reply
  21. AM

    My story in my current season seems to be the path you have recently walked. I am so very encouraged by your faith and your ability to see your value as a Daughter of the KING! I’m still walking through the “process” big decisions lie in my future. In the meantime God is allowing me to meet others in their loneliness. I feel God’s presence and peace so much in doing this (Bedtimeblissblog.wordpress.com- Read the about page). I wait in expectation to see how God will bless you for your diligence in seeking his Will and guidance through your trial.

    Reply
  22. Juanita Garza

    Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m desperately looking to heal from mental and emotional abuse. Stayin in the marriage was painful leaving the marriage also brought me lots of pain and feelings of despair and loneliness. The only good thing I can see from this is I can still be kind and caring towards others in the midst of my pain. I give God all the glory for this. I refuse to allow the darkness to settle in my heart.

    Reply
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