Return to Pain

CAVE_OF_PAINSix of us were in a room. I was there to share my story. The other men were there to listen, ask questions, interpret, and offer counsel. We all were there to seek discernment from the Counselor Himself.

Some vague thing had been troubling me, some wound I could not identify. For a long season, I felt like I had been reaching down a black hole, groping around for whatever was down there, but never locating it.

Whatever my wound was, I couldn’t get past it. I couldn’t get over it, get around it, or get away from it. I was about to learn that I would have to go through it.

I started my story at the beginning, and immediately I became uneasy. I pictured myself, and the five other men, in a tour bus in front of my childhood home. I didn’t want to go in there. I just wanted to say, “Driver, let’s move on.”  But the Counselor was driving, and there was no doubt that He was directing all of us to get off the bus. I felt a mounting fear, almost a dread.

It was reminiscent of that scene in Return of the King when Aragorn and his companions travel the Dimholt road to visit the spirits of the cursed warriors who were doomed to dwell in the mountain. As the three friends approach the cave, fear mounts. Gimli the dwarf says, “I feel as if the very warmth of my blood is stolen away.”  Legolas reads the cryptic inscription, “The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it.” The dark mouth of the cave breathes terror.  The horses get skittish and gallop away. All three visitors hesitate outside the dark doorway before summoning the necessary resolve to enter.

That’s what it felt like for me when I was on the threshold of revisiting the pain of my childhood wounding. I am not trying to suggest any particular kind of wounding. I am addressing what makes wounding common to us all—the pain we suffer. Wounding hurts. And we are afraid to revisit the awful pain of our original wounding. We don’t want to make ourselves vulnerable to it again.

The enemy knows this. He doesn’t want us to confront the dark moments of our past because he knows that healing and freedom are on the other side of that pain. So, he says, “The way is shut. Don’t even go near that hurt. It will overwhelm you.”

But it won’t.

And it didn’t.

The Spirit went with me into my childhood pain, and brought healing to my childhood wounding. At last, I was free!

We have to go back before we can move forward. We have to revisit the pain of our wounding because it’s our old wound that still hasn’t healed.

So, I went back. But I didn’t go alone. In fact, that trip was part of a longer journey that I’m taking in company with “the fellowship.” And with each mile I travel with them, I become less encumbered. You’ll see why.

4 thoughts on “Return to Pain

  1. Dave: You are a courageous writer — a courageous man. You are confronting hard truths in your blog post and I applaud you for doing so. It’s when someone writes words like yours that writing is truly a ministry.

  2. Thank you for sharing part of what you’ve learned as you work through your wounding. I love that God is so faithful to walk with us through the healing process, and He often gives flesh and blood help as well. He’s definitely done that in my life.

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