Create a sacred place for suffering

By Dave Henning / September 23, 2018

“How you process [deep sorrow] will determine its effect on your life.  If your suffering has become your identity, it’s too close to you.  Create a sacred place for suffering in your heart, and it will make you more like Christ.”- Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller

Alison Cook and Kimberly Miler continue Chapter 11 of Boundaries for Your Soul as they look at the benefits, dangers, needs, and fears one associates with feeling sadness.  The authors observe:

  • Benefits – when you treat painful loss as an ally, you honor it and offer it up to God.  As a result, the part of you carrying sadness reminds you of your need for others and for God.  In addition, sadness helps you understand your heart and the things you deeply love.  Finally, it allows you to speak the truth of your story and the hardships you’ve faced.
  • Dangers – sadness surfaces in unhealthy ways when not lovingly welcomed.  Thus, this process leads to: feelings of being invisible, worthless, or unlovable; weariness and exhaustion; rumination about painful memories.
  • Needs – your sadness needs a safe place to grieve your loss of people, relationships, or opportunities. Also, rather than a quick fix, your sadness needs validation of the sorrow it holds.
  • Fears – finally, your sadness displays fears over letting your Spirit-led self take the lead.  Examples of these fears include the idea that forgiving implies that you forget your pain ever happened or that no one will pay attention to you if you’re not in need.

In conclusion, Alison and Kim exhort:

“As the part of you carrying sadness develops trust in God, made known through the loving attention of your Spirit-led self, this lost sheep wandering in your soul will settle into the arms of the Good Shepherd.”

Today’s question: What Scriptures help you create a sacred place for suffering in your heart?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Moving on or moving forward – the difference”

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Dave Henning

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