This past weekend, I wrapped up my first five sessions of training with Pathways CORE Training. One of the things we talked about this weekend absolutely fascinated me. The reason why is because this truth runs in opposition to how I have handled my life for the past seventeen years. Let me explain. When I was about eight years old, I began to understand that crying wasn’t the way to go for guys when they got hurt. I might have still cried, but I knew it wasn’t the “manly” thing to do. Over time, I learned to guard myself from showing pain. My best tactic I found was numbing out. This became a long term habit for me. When I would feel pain, discomfort, or emotional stings, I would check out.
It was easier to go numb, than to stay engaged and feel the pain.
This led me to a place in my life in which I had very little clue of how to be vulnerable. I wouldn’t be vulnerable with my heart with just about anyone. As time went on, I began to feel like I was going through the motions more often than not. As technology became a more constant option in my life, I learned how to check out on my friends, family, and most of all, my own life. I relentlessly searched for other people to always help them, and I found a lot of my self worth from helping others. Eventually though, I felt burned out on life, and even though I had Jesus, I still felt empty inside. I believed twenty-five was too young to feel that old, so I decided to do something different. That is when I chose to go to Pathways. Over the past five months, I have been stepping into the pain like never before.
Here is what happens when you step into the pain: you gain passion. When I faced myself, my fears, my pain and overcame them, I found purpose and vision. I am smiling now more than I was for the past few years, I dance all the time, and I love life. I have started sharing my feelings of love and hurt with friends and family more than ever, and found that as I do, I enjoy life even more. I am choosing to be vulnerable for the first time in years, and I am finding the joy of life in this.
For a long time, Jesus was someone who I wanted to give glory to, use for salvation, have a relationship with him because I should, or try to seek him from strictly an intellectual place. Now, my heart is engaged, and I am experiencing more love for Jesus. As I am coming to know Him better, I have found that Jesus really is my friend.
You can intellectualize pain, suffering, and the frustrations of sin in this world all day long. You can process it through conversations, and you can evaluate why things are the way they are. You can know things backward and forward, and still be devoid of passion, joy, and love…because you won’t step into the pain. When you step into your pain, and let yourself feel it, as you let yourself be filled with fear, regret, hurt, or shame, you can overcome the pain. First you must feel it. Then you can overcome it. When you overcome it, you can stand in strength knowing that you’re not avoiding, blaming, or running from the things that hurt you. You are stepping into your life right now with complete faith and passion. I love it. I hope you jump into the pain, even if you’re unfamiliar with how.
“Though the sorrow may last for the night, joy comes with the morning.” Psalm 30:5.
Step into the darkness of your pain, and as you overcome it, you will watch light break over your life just as the dawn breaks over the earth on a new day.