Pain has a way of getting our attention and forcing us to slow down, sometimes it even forces us to take a serious break from our normal routine and rest. I’m a curious girl and I’ve often wondered if there may be a deeper message to our pain. I once saw a poster in a chiropractor’s office that confirmed my curiosity and peaked my interest. It was a picture of an iceberg with wording that said our physical symptoms are only the tip of the iceberg – signaling deeper internal pain. What if pain is an external signal to deeper unresolved issues? What if it were possible to use the time presented by our external pain to explore deeper internal issues?
A few years ago I was given an opportunity to explore this fascinating theory.
I had been struggling with a bulging disc that was pushing on my sciatic nerve causing intense pain that ran down my leg. This pain forced me to take time off and rest, and in that rest I listened deeply, wondering if the pain could possibly be more than just a physical ailment. I wondered if perhaps the pain was connected to some emotional pain, giving my pain a purpose. If nothing else, wondering if there may be a purpose to my pain made the pain more manageable - and I did indeed discover some interesting things. When I tuned in and listened closely to the pain, I heard it saying, “it hurts, it hurts real bad!”
I allowed myself to explore the emotional connection and I discovered that inside of me there was a wounded little girl that was still carrying a lot of emotional pain.
By God's grace and loving kindness, I gave myself permission to invite Jesus into the pain and He set about a beautiful process of healing. What I noticed was that in that sacred space of time and attention, Jesus had some special words of comfort for me that radically changed my deeper sense of well being.
My external pain had forced me to rest and in that rest I was able to connect to a deeper place of emotional pain. It seems as though there was purpose in my pain and somehow, in some mysterious way, Jesus used my back pain to heal me on multiple levels. Dare I say that I had even experienced joy in the pain as the little one inside of me rejoiced at being heard and attended to?!
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