Overcoming the pain of life’s disappointments (religion)

Published 4:51 pm Wednesday, February 17, 2016

By Chanel Bingham

We all deal with hurts and disappointments in life; however, facing the pain of our disappointments can sometimes be a difficult valley to navigate.

It is often a cold and dark place, and the terrain is rough and treacherous. Just the very thought of coming face to face with the pain of our disappointments, whether inflicted on us by someone else or as a result of our own choices, can be enough to keep many of us shackled tight in our own comfortable misery.



We build walls of stone to protect our hearts, and we knowingly wonder if the recovery process is more painful than the actual injury of the disappointment itself. Yet, we often fail to realize that the walls we build to keep out the pain and hide the hurt serve as a barrier to letting in God’s healing and grace.

Facing our pain requires us to stare directly into the eyes of all the ugly emotions created by our injury: shame, guilt, brokenness, worthlessness, bitterness, resentfulness, hate and so many more damaging emotions that tear through to our very core. But we must face and name our pain in order to enter into the freedom and joy-filled life ordained for us by our Heavenly Father.

When I was 9 years old, I dislocated my elbow in a gymnastics accident. The pain was so intense that the doctor had to put me to sleep in order to reset my elbow. Before being discharged from the hospital, the doctor shared with my mom that if I ever hoped of regaining full range of motion in my arm, then I would have to commit to a grueling schedule of at-home physical therapy that would be both excruciatingly painful and time consuming.

For the next several weeks, multiple times a day, my mom would sit me in a chair in our living room and kneel beside me. She would then take my arm, bent at a 90-degree angle, and slowly and methodically begin to work it up and down while rotating between applying ice and heat to my elbow. While it may sound simple enough, I can honestly tell you it was one of the most painful physical experiences I have ever had to endure. To move my locked elbow even an inch in an up-and-down motion sent fire through my entire body. I screamed in agony every time my mom would begin to move my arm.

Each day, I would beg and plead with her to skip the therapy process that would restore my arm to wholeness because the pain was just too great. Finally, after all of my protests, excuses and cries of pain, my mom looked at me and told me something that I will never forget. She said, “If you don’t go through this process of working through your pain, then your arm will never heal.”

And so it is with the pain of our disappointments. As difficult as it was for my mom to endure my cries of pain each time she applied pressure to my damaged arm, she faithfully persisted in the excruciating process because of her great love and desire to see me whole. She understood that had she given into to my pleadings to stop, the initial pain would cease, but my arm would remain damaged and unusable.

I now look back at that process as a beautiful representation of what God does in our life when we choose to walk with Him through the valley of pain as He leads us to the high places of wholeness and freedom, overcoming life’s disappointments. If we try to avoid the pain of the recovery process and choose to live in our own valley of comfortable misery, we will remain broken and debilitated.

And though the valley of pain is dark and scary, we do not walk through it alone. Full of mercy and grace, God lovingly takes our hand and together we work our way to freedom’s shores.

If you are facing a hurt or disappointment or struggling with letting go of the pain of your past, I encourage you to take it before your Heavenly Father, who is able to redeem and restore. Embrace the refining and recovery process, no matter how painful, and you will find that the truth of God’s word will bring healing to the broken pieces of your life.

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.” Psalm 107:19-21

Chanel Bingham is a freelance writer, blogger and public speaker. She resides in Thorsby with her husband and four children. You can visit Chanel at www.thepolishedcanvas.com or on Facebook at “The Polished Canvas.” Her column publishes each Thursday