Have you ever met a “reader” who reads the beginning of a book, skips the entire middle then jumps back in at the end? Assuming the book is a good one they’re missing the meat, the point of the story. They stick around long enough to learn what the problem is then dive into the resolution, but they never gain anything from the story because the story happens in the middle.
A lot of us are like that in real life. We are hit with a problem and we want to skip to the end of it and find resolution and healing without actually working through the stuff in the middle. We don’t want to confront the person who hurt us, talk through a disagreement, weep over a loss, or face the demons that torment us. The middle of a conflict presents us with too much pain or discomfort so we fast forward to the pretend forgiveness or the fake smile.
For some who are Christians it can extend beyond avoidance. Some will embrace that sappy, giddy, Pollyanna (the glass is not only half full but all the way full) Christianity, where everyone’s perfect and smiles through their losses while lifting their hands in praise. And it is rarely a true picture if the one suffering hasn’t first let themselves feel the hurt, perhaps express the questions of why, or the anger or depression over what they’ve endured.
I’m not trying to spread a gloomy outlook and pull the plug on anyone’s rainbow just to let the colors bleed out. We all need to look for the good in our difficulties, to recognize the hand of God even before He delivers us and to praise Him even when it truly is a sacrifice to do so. But for most that isn’t the first reaction, or if it is, once the trial has dragged on beyond our emotional or physical limits we can crash and burn turning our positive outlook and hope into a heap of ash.
It’s okay to feel your pain, to express it. You weren’t given emotions to suppress them. They have a purpose. But too often we feel we have to be superhuman, to get over it so no one else is uncomfortable with our grief, so that we’re not uncomfortable with our grief, and sometimes because we think that it’s the “godly” thing to do.
This isn’t an endorsement for wallowing. Wallowing is bad and moving on is good, but too often it’s the in-between that gets neglected; the part where you deal with whatever is destroying you. That’s where you need to go, that’s when the true healing can begin.