Why healing is painful
...and why it's worth it.
When you hear the word "healing", what comes to your mind?
I used to think of comfort, peace, serenity, and restoration. I used to think that if I chose to heal, it would be smooth sailing into blissful paradise. I used to think this about healing, that is, until I actually went through it myself. Then I realized, there were words I was missing. Anxiety, sadness, fear, anger, turmoil, pain.
It didn't mean that there wasn't beauty in healing. There absolutely was. But it didn't take away from the fact that it hurt. A lot.
But why? Why would something so beautiful, and so important for life be so painful? To heal is to transform into something better. So wouldn't that be a good thing? Where does the pain come from?
It's because when we heal, we have to address unaddressed pain. We have to take the band-aid off of the splinter that we covered because we didn't have time to deal with it, and we have to pull the splinter out. Oh and by the way, because we chose to wait so long, now it's infected. It's spreading into other areas of our lives. Our relationships. Our work. Our parenting. And so much more.
So yes, it's going to hurt. First we have to disinfect it. Then we have to get out the tweezers. Then we have to dig. And since it's deep now, this might take a while. After the splinter is out though, and the infection is gone, and the wound closes back up, we do get to apply those good words to describe healing.
Comfort, peace, serenity, and restoration come after anxiety, sadness, fear, turmoil and pain. Not the other way around.
At the end of Psalm 30:1-5, David says, "Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning".
This is such a beautiful picture of what healing looks like. We need to endure the pain before we can enjoy the relief that comes with perseverance. But it isn't easy.
This is why so many people, including myself, delay healing. It isn't because we don't want to reap the benefits of it. It's because healing is a painful process that requires dedication, consistency and self-discipline. In other words, it's work. And frankly, work takes time and effort. When our lives are busy, the last thing on our minds is to take on another task, especially if we can grit and bare or ignore it.
But the longer we ignore the splinter, the longer healing will take.
Choose today to remove it.