Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Avoiding pain is an almost universal thing. Who would seek out pain?! I suppose it's a survival instinct. My OT husband who works with spinal cord injury patients talks about pain as a necessity, a message that is essential to our well-being. Once I told him that I thought a lack of pain would be just fine with me, but I was wrong.

I have a finger that doesn't feel pain. I damaged the nerves in an accident with a knife when I was thirteen. (Maybe some of you remember that trip from my party to the emergency room in our Halloween costumes!) It's never really caused me any problems, except that I can't trill very well on my flute.

This week, however, that lack of pain caused me a problem. I got a sliver of glass in the finger and didn't know about it at all. Not a clue, until it festered enough to burst open when I slid my finger along a book. Yuk.

Needless to say, the mess drew my attention to the injury, and I cleaned it out so it could heal. Okay, I thought, so physical pain is a necessity, but I can certainly do without emotional pain! But then I thought about that...

I don't think so. I think I need emotional pain, too. I think God uses it to guide me. His Holy Spirit speaks to me from my heart, and sometimes that comes out as emotional pain. When have I grown the most? In the midst of emotional pain. In the times of my life that hurt.

When I hurt, I notice what I'm doing wrong and clean it up so I can heal. I can think of many times this has been true in my life, but none more powerful than the weeks leading up to my current marriage. I had been dating a guy, a nice-enough guy who clearly wasn't Mr. Right for me. Nor was I Ms. Right for him, but being together was better than being lonely.

I didn't feel right dating him, though. It was emotionally painful to consider breaking up because I didn't want to be alone. I prayed to God, "Please, God, if this is NOT your will for my life, make it clear to me. Then I'm done dating until you drop the right man in my lap, and I will do it your way."  Four days later, Not-Mr.-Right dumped me.

Pretty clear.

So I proceeded with my life, assuming I would be alone. My heart hurt a lot, but I was determined I was going to do this God's way, not mine. Mine didn't work! (Obviously! I'd been divorced twice, I'm sorry to say.) I was committed to changing the way I dated and built relationships.

 About 3 weeks later, on a Friday night, I was doing a web search for a project at church. Up popped an ad for christiancafe.com. I was intrigued; maybe a Christian site would produce a better quality of guy than I was watching my single friends meet online. On a whim, I filled out my profile and did a single search. Off this nationwide site, the FIRST man on my "matches" was from MY city. I clicked on it, and found the man who became my husband. We met a few days later, and prayed together on our first date. Within a week, we had established parameters for our relationship before marriage, not knowing how long that would be. Within three months we were married. It's coming up on five years later, and neither of us has regretted our relationship and marriage for a nanosecond.

The emotional pain I had been in was the motivation for changing my life, which led to a marriage that is right in every way. I guess we need emotional pain, too. Not that we should seek it, but that we should see it and change our lives to align with God's will.


This is the wedding gift I made for my husband. Our faith is central to our marriage.

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