A note from Kelly King: Kaye often steps on my toes when I’m reading her articles, but today’s really got my attention! How often do I try to minimize the hurt and pain of my own situations because I need to show others that I can handle it? I know I need to be more vulnerable and seek the help of others when going through a difficult circumstance. What about you?
Have you ever noticed how women (all people, really) have a tendency to downplay their own pain? Not only do we diminish its presence in our conversations, we deflect and disregard it as no big deal. Instead of acknowledging the hurt, wound, or difficulty, we point out other’s pain as more valid and more deserving of prayers, concern, or attention. I have heard it happen in multiple conversations. It sounds like this: Me: “I’m so sorry for your pain; it’s sounds like a very hard road to walk right now.” Her: “Oh, thanks. It’s ok, I’m really ok. There are so many other people with harder things to deal with. I’m fine, really, but thanks.” Sound familiar? Have you said that? Have you heard that? So what’s the big deal? Some might say that it is a show of strength or faith to be able to “put on your big girl pants” in the middle of difficulty. I appreciate statements of faith in the middle of a storm, but denying, deflecting, disregarding, or comparing our pain is not a show of faith or strength and doing so can cause problems.
Here’s why it’s problematic to dismiss our pain:
- When we don’t give voice to our own pain, we hinder or block access for the Holy Spirit to do His best, healing work in us. I call it the law of access. See if it doesn’t ring true in every area of our lives. The invitation from Scripture is to always bring what is hidden to the light, to always speak truth about our own stories, and to surrender and submit to the work of the Holy Spirit.
- When we don’t give voice to our own pain, we miss the indescribable beauty of seeing Jesus at work for us and in us through the comfort, care, and concern of others. This is especially hard for people who are wired as caregivers, which I suspect many of you reading this are. Giving care is our delight; receiving care is a bit harder.
- When we don’t give voice to our own pain, we mute God’s story through us and to others of His power, presence, provision, and peace in our trouble—in effect stealing His glory by “managing” our own pain. No extra commentary needed!
If there is pain in your story today, I am so sorry. When you share your pain with someone, you are no less a woman of great faith. Sharing your pain does not equal doubting in God’s goodness or point to unbelief or a lack of trust in His plan. It simply makes you human. In truth, it takes greater strength and faith to allow someone to walk with you in your struggle because it requires vulnerability. Dare to be vulnerable today. Dare to tell the full truth about your story.
Please give voice to your own pain for His glory, your good, and the good of the one listening. And if someone is telling you her story today, please listen well and love well!
Kaye Hurta has a Masters Degree in counseling from Liberty University and is a crisis counselor for Women’s Events through LifeWay Christian Resources. Whether speaking, singing, or listening, Kaye’s passion is to help others find intimacy with Christ and soul transformation through the living pages of His Word. Kaye met and married her husband Chris in Austin, Texas in 1987. They have two daughters through the miracle of adoption, Madison and Cami. Kaye is also a contributing author for the LifeWay resource, Women Reaching Women in Crisis.