SGLY: The painful truth

By Tiffany Chartier
Special to the Prosper Press

We have become good at concealing pain. We often arrive hurting — wherever we go. We carry conversations, keeping our heads above water while treading in discomfort. Just because others cannot (or choose not) to see the sufferings of others does not make the suffering any less real. The fact that some frailties are not visible makes us all the more vulnerable to their influences. Yes, pain is an influencer that presents itself in all forms, ranging from the physical to the mental.

Many wounded people have mastered the ability to hide behind smiles and small talk, holding it together with fickle faith and brittle bravery. Perhaps you are one of these people. The hits keep coming, and you find yourself waking up on the defense. You are not trying to give anyone a hard time — you are having a hard time. There is a big difference.

Those who have ever walked with a pebble in their shoe know far too well how one intrusion can affect the entire walk. Intrusions invade at different levels, but they all eventually wear us down. We can pray to God, begging for a different outcome; if not this, then at least a new outlook. The problem is a new outlook may keep our heads above water for longer periods of time, but we will ultimately tire once more. Pain fatigues even the brightest spirits.

I have found that when my thoughts are shaky and my bones are tired, if I can muster the strength to move beyond myself and into the Word of God, even if for a few minutes, I am reminded of something very important: God keeps His promises.

God has never let me drown (despite me being a poor swimmer). I must practice trust daily — trusting Him to be my peace — to find purpose in my pain — to bring me joy in my praise of His unfailing devotion.

No matter what I face or what faces me, my feelings and the facts of my circumstances are not meant to enslave me. There is a greater truth than what compromises and compresses my world. There is a greater God than the idols that steal my attention. When I reposition the dwelling of my soul into the goodness and desires of God, my little idols are shaken…. they collapse like a wave crashing upon the rock.

“The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2).

I am fortified by a strength that cannot be manufactured, sold, or stolen. Only the sacrifice and grace of Jesus can free me from the worst of myself. And only Jesus’ love can make me accept with kind eyes all the parts of me… even the painful ones.

I am free to respond to life with free will. What better way to use my free will than to let my joy and peace be evidence of His love and presence in my life?

We must continue, but how we continue makes all the difference. When we continue to depend upon the Lord, we discover that our vulnerabilities are vessels to greater hope. We do not have to understand to be obedient when we trust the unshakable One.

Will you trust God with your pain? Hand it over. God knows your heart and your hurts, and His love goes deeper and is brighter than the darkest waters we tread.

SGLY, dear reader.

(Smile, God Loves You.) 

Tiffany Kaye Chartier

Tiffany Kaye Chartier is a Christian author and opinion columnist. Submit feedback and connect for more soul lifts on Facebook: Tiffany Kaye Chartier; Instagram:@tiffanysgly; and Twitter: @tiffanychartier. The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Texoma Marketing and Media Group.