Crises and pain

When We Fail

Every once in a while, life deeply hurts.

In my work I see all types of devastation. Whether brought on by oneself or at the hands of others, life is not simple and it takes courage and faith to continue.

Fixing one's eyes on what lies ahead as written in Proverbs 4:25, can hold little inspiration as the pain of today seems intolerable. Telling one to forgive in these times only adds to pain and we need to remember that forgiveness in some situations is a journey and a process.

To guard one's heart though can and should be done.

Whether we are responsible or not for our pain, God has given us the capacity to guard our heart. We may be hurting, and there are times when we should dwell on our situation and allow ourselves to grieve. In these times we can repent and reevaluate and determine to make certain changes.

However this needs to be accompanied by the decision to guard one's heart. When we catch ourselves going into the victim mode or revenge mode, we decide to stop these thoughts and push into forgiveness. If too difficult, we can know that God is gracious and has seen all, across all time. Our situation does not shock Him.

Other keys can be a list of profitable Scriptures. These need to be kept in a place where our eyes often venture.

Sometimes a to do list is profitable. This list should contain tasks that are not overwhelming but give us some structure for each day.

Working is definitely empowering. God created Adam and Eve and set them to work in the garden.

Talking with others that are empathetic, but will not allow you to wallow in self pity, is crucial.

The good and bad in life will shape us and difficult times are not an end.  

The Problem With Forgiveness

No one will escape life without needing to forgive or be forgiven. It's a necessary aspect of a happier life.

At times though, we can cheapen its worth. We quickly instruct ourselves and others to forgive. Therefore we minimize situations and fail to recognize the extent of wrong that has been done.

I work often with those that have been sexually abused or have experienced huge loss. At times, situations have occurred years earlier and yet their cry for help is now. They have been told by well meaning others that forgiveness is the first step.

What does this do though? Firstly, it places more pain upon the one that has been wronged when they are so vulnerable. Rather than feeling supported and understood, responsibility is placed upon the weakened shoulders. They therefore feel the culprit.

Secondly, by simply stating that "you need to forgive", the full extent of a situation has not been recognized. The victim therefore is only left feeling inadequate and ashamed. 

Forgiveness is needed and is powerful. It brings one to freedom.

To thrust it though upon one in crisis, only adds to their burden and is cruel. 

Forgiveness needs to be given and should be practiced. Yet it is often more constructive and healing when one has been allowed to grieve.

It is more needed toward the end of the process rather than at the beginning.