It only takes a teaspoon of rejection to drown an otherwise very alive soul with sorrow. Its poisonous flow has such a sharp potency that cuts through the skin and bone. In milliseconds it gets into the very core of our chests, causing oxygen to be blocked, and suddenly a hollowed-out urgency for air sets in. We don't give air much thought breath to breath, day to day, until it's taken from us.
Love is like air in that way. When relationships are good there seems to be so much life, we hardly remember what a gift it is. But the minute love packs its things and walks away, the atmosphere seems depleted of all that air. A desperate, wide-eyed panic envelops us right down to the cells of our souls. And we find ourselves choking on utter emptiness.
And the worst horror of it is you're wide awake for the entire experience. Though you can feel the best parts of you dying, your collective whole is forced to keep going. And even when time allows you to find your breath again, it leaves behind deeply gnarled scars. Constant reminders that love is doubly edged with the most beautiful potential and the most dangerous pain. Being intimately aware of both means breathing is no longer the effortless habit it once was. Doubt sets in. Fear entangles.
Every breath takes way more effort than it ever did before.
We are no longer standing in that moment of being rejected, but we're not on the other side of it either. It's the desperate in-between. And it's at this exact place where we must make a crucial choice.
If we place our hope and future in the hands of our unchanging, unflinching God who never leaves us or forsakes us, we'll find healing and freedom. We'll be able to see something on the other side of all the pain. Something good. Something we know will be so worth whatever it takes to get well. So instead of running from the pain, we embrace it as necessary. We must feel the pain to heal the pain. If we never allow ourselves to feel it, we won't acknowledge it's there.
Remember: The pain isn't the enemy. Pain is the indicator that brokenness exists. Pain is a reminder that the real enemy is trying to take us out and bring us down by keeping us stuck in broken places. Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with the brave tenacity and fierce determination knowing there's healing on the other side.
And in the in-between? Pain is the invitation for God to move in to replace our faltering strength with His. I'm not writing that to throw out spiritual platitudes that sound good; I write it from the depth of a heart that knows it's the only way. We must invite God into our pain to help us survive the desperate in-between.
Watch Lysa this Monday and Tuesday on LIFE TODAY. Taken from Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. Copyright ©2016 by TerKeurst Foundation. Used by permission of Nelson Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com.