Thursday, July 30, 2015

Suffering in Silence

Phil 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

C.S. Lewis...

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world”

This post has been coming together in my mind for a long time.  I may have even touched on some of it before.  It is on pain...the good, the bad and the ugly.  Suffering in silence.

For many years, I have been on medicine that has helped me get into remission, but it has dulled the pain in doing so.  I could not cry.  I did not feel happy or sad but was on an even keel, most of the time.  I felt no emotions good or bad, hard or joyful.  I could not handle pain without becoming sick,  so this was a necessary thing at the time.  Since then, I am on minimal amount of antidepressants and psychotic meds.  When they, the meds, were lowered, I began to have severe pain in my cheek and jaw.  I went to the dentist and had serious problems.  I ask my doc, who gave me the meds, if these meds could also deaden me physically.  He said yes.  Not having that pain, did not alert me, there was trouble that needed my and a professional's care, my dentist.

Much is the pain we suffer in everyday life.  Pain signals us that something is wrong.  It can be in us, others, circumstances but something is just not right.  Pain is a good thing...well it is used for good.  It is a red flag, that something is going on in our heart.  We need the body of Christ, His word and the Holy Spirit to uncover this trouble.  To bring to light our fears, our beliefs, or lack thereof and bring them against truth, the truth of the gospel.

The truth of the matter is, I have ran from pain, since I got sick almost 20 years ago. Even before then, I was in denial.  Going into psychosis, is nothing more than an escape from pain.  Removing you from circumstances, that are too hard to cope with, so the mind escapes.  It goes into denial, by removing you from reality.  I did this off and on for many years.  I also would sit and stare.  I would be on the computer for hours at a time.  This was nothing, but removing myself from life.  I would get in my husbands red pick up truck, roll down the windows, turn the radio up and ride.  All the while, running away from pain and from the life God had given me, even from God Himself.

People do this everyday, although maybe not to this extreme.  A husband comes home and goes to the television, maybe goes for a run to get away from it all.  Leaving his family, that has waited on him to come home, all day long.   A wife tunes in television herself, the phone, text or keeps herself busy in the home, while all the time being in a no brain state.  Kids yelling mommy, mommy hours on end and she has no strength to respond.  I have done this through studying theology or reading a christian book.  Learning was my escape.  I wanted to know how to find true happiness.  There are so many ways we do this.  To name a few are our addictions, alcohol, pills, work, spending, eating.  We all have them.  We want relief and comfort.  We try to control with our manipulations or fear. We put up walls and distance ourselves from others. We do not interact with life or those we love.  We are tired.  Think we need a mental break, but in reality we are escaping from a life we cannot handle.  A life we think we do not deserve.

 I have friends suffering now in enormous ways.  I have wondered...can I feel their pain with them?  What if I get sick again?  The fear overrides the compassion and I try to give quick fixes and rescue us all, from a very painful situation by trying to fix things or them or give encouragement when grieving is more the thing Jesus would do.  The thing they really need, is for me to weep with them.  Jesus did not try to fix Mary and Martha concerning Lazarus death but He grieved with them.  He could have said so many things, but He stayed in the moment with them and hurt as they hurt.  Jesus wept.

What if I spiral?  Get depressed?  Get sick again?  I can't go there.  When I feel someone else's pain with them, that is loving them.  The emphasis is not to be on me.  I do not take on the responsibility of the painful situation or their pain, but I share in it with them.  I may need to feel it for awhile and then go focus on other things, to not drown in it all.  But I stay in the moment.  I am intentional with life and people.  I am mindful of all that is going on and ways I can be there and support and love my friend.  I pray for them.  My hearts cry is I need Jesus.

It is through experiencing the suffering and the pain, that we know what it is, to feel and experience the peace and the joy.  It is through suffering we know Christ.  It sanctifies us and gives us perseverance.  It teaches us and gives us strength in our weakness.  It helps us to learn to depend on God and not ourselves.  We cannot run and we cannot hide.  Suffering will come.  God promises it.  There is purpose in it.  The question is... will we embrace it and trust Him to be with us through it all?  Will we suffer and feel the pain of it all, in isolation and silence and denial or will we go to Him, go to our friends, seek comfort and grieve and know Christ more?  Let them share with us our pain, acknowledge it is and feel it, that it is hard.  Experience the fellowship of suffering with Jesus and those who love us?  Will we chose, this time, not to suffer in silence?