An Open Letter to Pain

Dear Pain,
 I know it’s been awhile since we’ve talked. I remember when we last interacted with each other. While I don’t remember the exact time or place, I do remember the way I felt and the way I treated you. I’m sorry I treated you like that. I’m sorry I’ve always treated you like that. I want you to know that the way I’ve treated you has never been your fault. That’s been on me. This brings me to my reason for writing: I’ve learned a lot about you lately. I’ve learned things that have changed my perspective of you, Pain, forever. I’m telling you this in hopes of cultivating a better, more trusting relationship between the two of us.

I’ve learned that your intentions are pure towards me. Your job has always been to inform me–to inform me of what is going on in my body, my mind, and my heart. You never meant to hurt me. Rather, you have approached me in my hurt to teach me, to help me grow. In that light it’s ironic that I, along with just about everyone else, have been taught in some way or another to avoid you altogether. Maybe it’s because your personality has the tendency to put people off. I’ll be straight with you just as you’ve been straight with me: you have a gruff personality. You don’t sugarcoat things. You’re certainly not the comforting type. Initially, you’re not easy to get along with in general. You’re not supposed to be, though. I’ve realized though that that’s not your job. Your job is to give people what they need, not what they want. Your job is to help me grow. You help to identify issues within my heart, mind, and body. You typically use emotion to communicate to me where my heart is concerned. It’s potent to be sure, though I usually see the emotion itself as the problem, rather than the indicator you intend for it to be. I’ve always thought that you wield emotion as a weapon rather than the tool you utilize it as.

So Pain, today I make this commitment to you: from this point forward, no matter the circumstance I am in at the time, I will learn to recognize your God-given purpose to teach, inform, and caution me. I will learn to welcome your wisdom whenever you come around. I can’t promise I’ll be happy whenever I see you coming. I will occasionally moan and groan when you show up. However, I will commit to learn to listen to what you have to say regardless of how I feel at the moment. In fact, from here on out, I will anticipate your arrival as I strive to grow. I will learn to be sensitive not only to when you are present, but also to when you haven’t been around in awhile. Should the latter eventuality be the case, I’ll commit to examine myself and determine whether or not I’m actually moving forward on the path of my desires or even whether or not I have moved off of said path completely. I will let the Holy Spirit guide me and will allow Peace, Pain (you), and Passion be my sense of direction. You are an integral part of the navigational functions of my heart, and I won’t forget that.

Pain, no longer will I shut you out. No longer will I avoid you. I see you. I hear you. I welcome you. I embrace you. I thank God for you. I say to you that I no longer harbor hard feelings toward you.

I now go to dream, work, strive, and succeed in whatever God has for me. It’s for that reason I am not saying goodbye, for I know we will meet again soon. And when we do, you can expect me to welcome you with open arms.


Originally published at on November 28, 2015.